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Vol. XLI No. 6; February 16, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--State relations update.
--Board of Regents February meeting summary.
--Features: Turning the tables on HIV; John Watkins, Distinguished McKnight University Professor; Quality Fair 2011; U of M Moment.
--People: Carlson School of Management dean Alison Davis-Blake has been named as the new dean of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business; and more.

University News and Events
Top News | University-wide | Crookston | Duluth | Morris | Rochester | Twin Cities


STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: In recent state government news, Governor Dayton released his capital bonding bill proposal, which includes funding for University projects. He also delivered his State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate, with one of his priorities being investment in education. The legislature's first bill of the session, however, included $89.2 million in funding cuts to the U. On Feb. 15, Governor Dayton presented his budget proposal to the legislature. The state’s budget forecast will be released on Feb. 28 and will project the actual budget deficit, which is critical for the development of the state’s biennial budget. For more information, see state relations.

AT THE BOARD OF REGENTS FEBRUARY MEETING, the Regents gave final approval to the $81 million Northrop renovation project. The Facilities Committee approved schematic plans for the proposed new Physics and Nanotechnology building on the Twin Cities campus. The full board approved the 2011 state capital budget request. The Faculty, Staff, and Student Affairs Committee heard a report on trends, issues, and benchmarks in academic retirement programs. The board also approved the Retirement Incentive Option (RIO), an opportunity for voluntary retirement for eligible employees. For more information, see Board of Regents.

FEATURE: Now in its fifth year, the 2011 incarnation of the Quality Fair tackled the theme "Working together, learning from each other." Centerpieces of the program were 42 posters demonstrating University improvement projects, each with a story far beyond the 2-D depth of the posters. This year's winning posters/projects featured everything from improving use of office space to the development of a sophisticated principal investigator dashboard to keep track of research progress. For more information, read Quality Fair 2011.

FEATURE: A battle rages inside white blood cells of persons infected with HIV. The struggle pits many human and viral proteins against each other, but new University research suggests that the fight between just two of them may become a focal point for tipping the balance. For more information, read "Turning the tables on HIV."

FEATURE: A charismatic and provocative teacher, John Watkins was named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor last spring. He previously received the University’s McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, was a CLA Scholar of the College, and has won every undergraduate teaching award available. For more information, see John Watkins.

U OF M MOMENT: The best indicator of a stable romantic relationship might be how well partners are able to "move on" after a conflict, according to new research from psychology Ph.D. candidate Jessica Salvatore. If even one partner recoups well after a spat, the other partner can reap the benefits of a more happy union. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

Awards and appointments

INVENTORS RECOGNIZED. The Office of the Vice President for Research held a "University Innovations" event at McNamara Alumni Center on Feb. 10. The ceremony recognized a total of 161 inventors, representing 10 colleges, whose efforts generated 106 patents and 84 licenses in fiscal years 2009–10. The event also addressed the importance of research and innovation to the nation’s economy, the U's role in Minnesota’s economy, and the growth of U research. For more information, see celebrate inventors.

PEOPLE: Carlson School of Management dean Alison Davis-Blake has been named as the new dean of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business; the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has selected R. Lawrence Edwards to receive the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship; Will Craig has been named a fellow of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Funding opportunities

APPLICATIONS FOR EQUITY AND DIVERSITY TRANSFORMATION AWARDS (formerly known as IDEA Grants) are invited by the Office of the Vice President and Vice Provost for Equity and Diversity. Awards will fund projects, programming, events, and research that support the enhancement of safe and welcoming spaces for underrepresented and marginalized members of the University community. All academic and administrative units systemwide are eligible to apply; proposal applications are due March 31. For more information, see transformation awards.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

A RALLY TO RESTORE AFFORDABILITY (also known as Support the U Day) will take place at the State Capitol on Feb. 22 at noon. More than 300 University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff from throughout the state are expected to participate. Hosted by the Minnesota Student Association (MSA), the goal of the rally is to garner support for higher education funding and to raise awareness of the U as a key driver of Minnesota's economic growth. For more information, including a list of speakers and events, see Rally to Restore Affordability.

U OF M EXTENSION HAS BEGUN OFFERING AN ONLINE COURSE IN RETIREMENT SAVING: "Invest Now: Money in Retirement." The course teaches the basics about saving and investing for retirement. For more information, see retirement course.


UMC THEATER WILL PRESENT Dracula: the Musical, Feb. 16, 7 p.m.; Feb. 18 and 19, 7:30 p.m.; and Feb. 20, 3:30 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium. For more information, see theater.

THE INTERNATIONAL DINNER SERIES at UMC will feature the flavors and unique cultures of countries across the world. Dinners in the 2011 series, featuring China, Ghana, and Nepal, are scheduled for March 7, 21, 28, and Apr. 6. A limited number of tickets are available by emailing Rae French or calling 218-281-8339. For more information, see dinner series.

TAKING THE FIRST STEP IN IMPLEMENTING THE ACADEMIC QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROCESS (AQIP), a team of faculty and staff consisting of Tom Baldwin, Peter Phaiah, Adel Ali, Sue Brorson, Sharon Stewart, Soo-Yin Lim-Thompson, Kevin Thompson, and Bill Peterson attended a Higher Learning Commission Strategy Forum for new institutions. The team became more familiar with AQIP processes, worked with other AQIP institutions, and developed initial action projects to implement on campus. Last November, UMC changed its institutional accreditation method from the traditional process to AQIP.


CHANCELLOR LENDLEY BLACK WILL BE INAUGURATED AS UMD'S NINTH LEADER at a ceremony March 4, 2 p.m., Romano Gymnasium. A reception will follow. Beginning March 1, a weeklong series of events will celebrate the inauguration. For a complete list of events, see inauguration.

UMD THEATRE PRESENTS BLITHE SPIRIT, one of Noel Coward's most celebrated and performed works, directed by Kate Ufema. Feb. 17–19, and 23–26, 7:30 p.m.; and Feb. 20, 2 p.m., Marshall Performing Arts Center. For tickets, see UMD theatre.

THE ANNUAL POLAR BEAR PLUNGE TO BENEFIT THE MINNESOTA SPECIAL OLYMPICS is set for Feb. 19, 3 p.m., Canal Park. UMD's Labovitz School of Business and Economics is one of the sponsors raising money for the athletes—including the Duluth All-Stars, one of the state's largest delegations. This year, UMD and the City of Duluth have challenged St. Cloud State and the City of St. Cloud in the Polar Plunge Contest. The winning school will receive the coveted, traveling "Top Dog" trophy. Faculty, staff, and students are invited to participate. For registration and more information, see Polar Plunge.

THE ALWORTH INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES IS HOSTING THE 3RD ANNUAL "WORLDQUEST" COMPETITION, in which eight teams compete on their knowledge of international subjects. This year's featured subject is France. A donation to a favored charity is awarded to the top three teams. The event features door prizes, best costume awards, a buffet, and more. Feb. 24, 6 p.m., Kirby Student Center Ballroom. For more information or to register a team, see WorldQuest or call 218-726-7493.


"HEADS vs. FEDS: THE DEBATE TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA," will bring together Steve Hager, editor-in-chief of High Times magazine, and Drug Enforcement Agency veteran Robert Stutman. Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. For more information, see marijuana debate.

A NEW UMM VIRTUAL TOUR of campus offers users three trails from which to choose: the general tour, the historic district tour, and the "green" tour. For more information, see virtual tour.

THE COUGAR WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM, coached by Tim Grove, continues to place at the top of NCAA rankings in assists, three-point percentage, and field-goal percentage. Senior guard Brandi Cresap leads the nation in assist turnover ratio—the best in NCAA basketball, men or women, regardless of division. For more information, see women's basketball.


INFORMATION FOR THE NEW STUDENT HOUSING OPTION at 318 Commons beginning fall 2011 is available online. For more information, see details and a slideshow of the units.

THE UMR FILM CLUB WILL SHOW Invictus, Feb. 17, 5–7 p.m., room 414. Pizza will be provided, with a discussion facilitated by Rebecca Bamford to follow the film. For more information, email Kelsey Metzger.


Administrative information

THE STUDENT EMPLOYMENT LEADERSHIP PROGRAM (SELP) offers workshops and activities to help student employees enhance their on-campus work experiences and develop workplace leadership skills. SELP invites supervisors to encourage their student workers to participate in this semester's SELP offerings on conflict fluency, leadership, and motivation. The program is open to any undergraduate student employee. For more information, see student employee development.

SAVE THE DATE: "Building Successful Research Teams: Preventing and Managing Conflict," an interactive workshop for faculty and principal investigators, will focus on strategies for building successful teams by anticipating and preventing conflict, reducing the standard reactions of paralysis and avoidance, and developing skills for intervening and discussing difficult topics. Howard Gadlin, National Institutes of Health ombudsman and leader in higher education ombudsman work, will present. The event satisfies the awareness/discussion component of the Responsible Conduct of Research continuing education requirement. Apr. 11, 3–5 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union; or Apr. 12, 9–11 a.m., 145 Veterinary Science Room. For registration and more information, see workshops.

U LIBRARIES WILL OFFER A VARIETY OF WORKSHOPS FOR FACULTY AND STAFF this spring, including "Getting Acquainted with Copyright," "Creating a Data Management Plan for Your Grant Application," and "Google: Increasing Productivity and Collaboration." For registration and more information, see library workshops.

THE GOPHER WAY TUNNEL THROUGH NORTHROP AUDITORIUM WILL CLOSE FEB. 21, due to construction. Travel between Nolte/Folwell/Williamson and Morrill/Johnston Halls will still be possible utilizing the Church Street Garage. Please use caution in these areas. Signage will be posted. For more information, see transportation.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE WORLD PREMIERE OF COMPOSER ALEX SHAPIRO'S Immersion will be performed by the University of Minnesota’s Symphonic and University Bands Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. This three-movement electro-acoustic work is inspired by water and water-based life and will include multi-media visual film art created by School of Music student Jay’d Hagberg. For more information, see Immersion.

A EVENT CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH will feature civil rights activist Josie Johnson. She will share her take on the historical moments she helped spur. A civil rights activist since her teenage years, Johnson has firsthand experience of some of the most contentious and volatile times in American history. The event is the fifth installment of the College of Continuing Education’s "LearningLife Forum, Witness to History" series. Feb. 17, 7 p.m., Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul. Tickets are $15. For more information, see learning life.

AN INSTITUTE FOR MATHEMATICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS LECTURE, "Secrecy, privacy, and deception: the mathematics of cryptography," will explore the mathematical ideas behind keeping information safe and protecting online networks against intruders. March 9, 7 p.m., 175 Willey Hall. For more information, see mathematics applications.

SAVE THE DATE: Nursing Research Day: "Technology and Telehealth: Changing the Face of Nursing Research and Practice." Apr. 29, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. School of Nursing faculty and students, along with the school's community partners, will showcase research studies and clinical innovations for ways to improve health outcomes across our state and beyond. Keynote by Diana Wilkie, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago. For registration and more information, see Nursing Research Day.

MORE EVENTS include Seminar: Environmental & Policy Implications for Bioenergy Switchgrass in the SE (Feb. 17); Tax Reform that Can Pass...This Year (Feb. 17); Navigating the Aftermath (Feb. 19); Putting CO2 to Work—Turning Environmental Liability into Commodity that Makes Money (Feb 21). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS: Golden Gophers | UMD Bulldogs | UMM Cougars | UMC Golden Eagles

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Brief is the official University of Minnesota staff and faculty weekly news digest, featuring human resource, employee benefit, administrative, legislative, budgetary, event, and other pertinent information.

Published by Internal Communications in the Office of University Relations at the University of Minnesota. Please send comments, questions, or submissions to the editor at The deadline for submissions is noon on the Friday before publication. All Twin Cities event submissions are handled through the events calendar at

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