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Vol. XLIII No. 7; February 20, 2013
Editor: Adam Overland,

For additional news and information, see the Faculty and Staff views of the U homepage.

Inside This Issue
--State Relations Update.
--Features: Path for robotics runs through Minnesota; Unlocking the mysteries of the aging brain; Operational Excellence: A look at how one college is achieving it.
--People: Mark Jacobson has received the American Medical Association's International Award in Medicine; and more.

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


STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: President Kaler recently presented the University's 2014–15 budget request to the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee. Four faculty members also testified on the importance of the MnDRIVE program proposal. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter appeared before the House Higher Education Committee to present details on University finances, including tuition rates and the U's budget process. For more information, see State Relations.


FEATURE: Soldiers, law enforcement officers, and firefighters seldom get the luxury of time when assessing a potentially dangerous scenario before taking action. But first responders can now employ the first-ever throwable, mobile reconnaissance robot capable of surveying its environment in complete darkness. Invented by computer science and engineering professor Nikos Papanikolopoulos, "Scout" robots are braving hostile environments to save lives. For more information, read "Path for robotics runs through Minnesota."

FEATURE: Why does one woman's brain thrive as she ages, while another's declines? Exploring the mysterious recesses of the brain has been the life's work of Regents Professor Apostolos Georgopoulos. His ambitious study, called the Minnesota Women's Healthy Brain Aging Project, aims to gather comprehensive assessments of healthy women ages 30 to 100-plus to find answers to some perplexing questions. For more information, read "Unlocking the mysteries of the aging brain."

FEATURE: "Operational excellence is not just about purely saving money—It's about a better way to do things," says Craig Bantz, director of technology innovation with the College of Biological Sciences (CBS). Nevertheless, it's hard to ignore that a "better way to do things" has resulted in CBS spending less now on information technology services than it has at any time in the last decade, while at the same time getting more out of IT than ever before. For more information, read "Operational Excellence: A look at how one college is achieving it."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Mark Jacobson has received the American Medical Association's International Award in Medicine; Gunda Georg has been selected to receive the annual Volwiler Research Achievement Award; Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment has awarded grants in the final round of renewable energy research funds; the College of Pharmacy has been selected to receive the Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award; Will Hueston has received an honorary doctorate in veterinary medicine from Chiang Mai University in Thailand; Frank Cerra, professor of surgery and former VP of the AHC, will be honored by the College of Pharmacy with its 2012 Weaver Medal Feb. 22; faculty from Plant Pathology, Agronomy and Plant Genetics, Plant Biology, and Soil, Water, and Climate have received a grant from the National Science Foundation for $4.96 million over three years; U in the news includes highlights of Today's News, which features U faculty and staff cited in the media daily. Read about these topics and more in People.




Administrative information

THE STUDENT PROJECT WORK STREAM COMPONENT OF THE ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS UPGRADE PROGRAM (ESUP) is in the second phase of moving to the new version of PeopleSoft. During this phase, the team is focused on identifying the U's business requirements, how the off-the-shelf version of PeopleSoft meets those requirements, and developing solutions when it doesn't. The Student Records team is establishing regular "town hall" meetings to engage with students, staff, and faculty involved with the affected business processes. The first meeting is Feb. 22, 8:30–10 a.m., with locations on all campuses. For more information, see ESUP student system.

THE PEOPLESOFT SIGN-IN PAGE WILL CHANGE FEB. 24. The sign-in page for PeopleSoft Campus Solutions/Human Resources (CS/HR) and financial systems will be changed to match the U's new M Key sign-in page during the PeopleSoft weekly maintenance window on Sunday, Feb. 24, 6 a.m.–noon. Users should not experience additional service disruptions. For more information and to view an example, see PeopleSoft sign-in changes.

A NEW AUDIO AND WEB CONFERENCING SERVICE is now available to the University of Minnesota. The service, provided by InterCall, replaces Gopher Conferencing, which will be retired Feb. 28. For more information, see new conferencing service.

CAREER ENRICHMENT WORKSHOPS have been developed by OHR's Organizational Effectiveness unit to help University employees advance their careers. The first series of five workshops, "Resilience in the Face of Change," will help participants understand the impact of change, as well as tools and techniques to build resilience. The second series, "Best-Selling Personal Leadership," will examine the key components of four recent best-selling leadership books. Open to staff on all campuses (via UM Connect). For registration and more information, see Career Enrichment.

THE ENTERPRISE PORTAL TEAM INVITES PARTICIPATION from the U community to design "thinking workshops." In partnership with the upcoming Design Thinking@College of Design, participants will cycle through a process of observation, brainstorming, synthesizing, prototyping, and evaluating towards the goal of identifying and ranking possible portal features and design elements for the new U of M portal. No experience necessary. Workshops will build on the information generated from the Portal Project Kickoff. For registration and more information, see upcoming workshops.

U OF M INFORMATIONAL TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP are initiating formal Communities of Practice (fCoPs) that mobilize around FY2013 IT priorities. U faculty, staff, and students are invited to join these communities to engage in planning that advances key strategic initiatives. To be added to the email list, see IT Governance and join the Google group. RSVP to attend a kickoff meeting Mar. 1. For more information, see Communities of Practice.

Award and funding opportunities

PROPOSALS FOR THE SPRING MINI GRANTS COMPETITION sponsored by the Institute on the Environment are due Mar. 15. Faculty, staff, and students systemwide are invited to apply. IonE Mini Grants seek to spur new collaborations across disciplines, units, and campuses by providing small amounts of funding (from $500 to $3,000), administrative support (including organizing and staffing meetings), and space (for meetings, small conferences, new courses, reading groups, etc.). For more information, see Mini Grants.

NOMINATIONS FOR THE REGENTS PROFESSORSHIP are due by Mar. 21. The Regents Professorship is the highest honor the University of Minnesota bestows on its faculty, recognizing those who have made unique contributions to the quality of the U of M through exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research, and scholarship or creative work, and contributions to the public good. To view nomination procedures, criteria, and a list of current and emeriti Regents Professors, see Regents Professorship. Email Vickie Courtney with questions.

NOMINATIONS FOR THE PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE are due by Mar. 15. The award honors active or retired faculty or staff who have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the U community. For more information about the award and the nominating process, see President's Award or email Vickie Courtney.


THE MINNESOTA CHAPTER OF THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY (TWS) recognized John Loegering, associate professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, and student Jenny DuBay, a senior natural resources major, at its annual meeting held Feb. 5–7. Loegering was honored with the Service to Chapter Award, which recognizes service, teaching, and professional contributions to the organization and the profession. DuBay was presented with the Bob Fedeler Memorial Award, which helps beginning wildlife professionals through membership in TWS. For more information, see wildlife awards.

SPRING SEMESTER CONVOCATION will take place Feb. 21, 12:30 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium. Crookston Student Association president Adam Switzer will serve as master of ceremonies. Vice chancellor Tom Baldwin and chancellor Fred Wood will recognize student academic achievement, and varsity coaches will recognize their respective teams and provide season updates. Music will be provided by the UMC Choir under the direction of associate professor George French.

RON SPRIGGS will present the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen Feb. 25, 7 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium. Part of UMC's Black History Month Series, the presentation is free and open to the public. Spriggs is an oral historian, lecturer, and curator of the Ron Spriggs Exhibit of Tuskegee Airmen. Sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Multicultural Programs, Concerts, and Lectures, and the UMC Aviation Program.

TASTEFULLY SIMPLE founder and CEO Jill Blashack Strahan will speak at UMC Feb. 26, noon, Kiehle Auditorium. Her presentation, "Small Beginnings—Big Dreams," is part of an entrepreneurship speakers' series sponsored by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES). Free and open to the public. For more information, see entrepreneurship.


UMD'S ALWORTH INSTITUTE will hold its fifth annual WorldQuest Trivia Competition Feb. 21, 6 p.m., Kirby Student Center. This year's featured country is Canada. Teams of eight compete on subjects such as flags and capitals, geographical features and international borders, and people and events in the news. For more information, see WorldQuest.

UMD FACULTY Lyle Shannon, instructor, Department of Biology; Steve Colman, director, Large Lakes Observatory; and Ladona Tornabene, associate professor, Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, are recipients of the Chancellor's Teaching, Research, and Service awards for 2012–13. For more information, see Chancellor Awards.

2013 IMAGINE FUND AWARD RECIPIENTS include UMD faculty from a wide range of disciplines. The awards support research in the arts, design, and the humanities. For more information, see Imagine.

UMD WILL OFFER A LIVE BROADCAST OF THE TED2013 CONFERENCE "The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered." to 50 UMD faculty, staff, and students at a time, Feb. 26–Mar. 1, without charge. The broadcast will consist of more than 70 talks dedicated to business, science, art, politics, economics, modern technologies, and other subjects. For more information, see TED2013.

UMD HAS LAUNCHED A SEARCH for a director of Intercollegiate Athletics. With a focus on academic performance, student development, and athletic programs, the successful candidate must provide strong leadership to foster the continued national prominence of UMD intercollegiate athletics and to promote new levels of excellence. Community members are encouraged to make candidate recommendations. For more information, see Athletic Director Search.

THE MINNESOTA CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION has honored UMD's James I. Swenson Civil Engineering Building with the 2013 Award of Excellence in the green/sustainable construction category. For more information, see excellence.


UMM STUDENTS ARE PLAYING A PART IN SYSTEMWIDE LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS. At both the 2013 University of Minnesota Legislative Briefing and the Support the U Day Rally, UMM students demonstrated outstanding leadership efforts while advocating for a proposed two-year tuition freeze for resident undergraduate students at the U. For more information, see Students Speak Up.

JOLEE HENKEL '15, Clara City, has been working for the past year with the Center for Small Towns (CST) to help create a first-ever comprehensive breakdown of Stevens County's carbon footprint. Henkel and CST have undertaken the project in partnership with Stevens FORWARD!, a nonprofit agency focused on creating a brighter future for Stevens County. For more information, see Henkel.

UMM WILL HOST CHRISTIAN LANDER AND ELON JAMES WHITE at convocation Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m., Edson Auditorium, Student Center. Lander, creator of the pop culture phenomenon Stuff White People Like, and White, the award-winning creator of This Week in Blackness, address the idea of what it means to be "post-racial" in their Post Racial Comedy Tour. For more information, see Post Racial Comedy Tour.


UMR HOSTED MORE THAN 35 FAMILIES at its first Family Weekend, Feb. 8–10. Attendees enjoyed a classroom experience with assistant professor Kelsey Metzger, a welcome reception featuring performances by the UMR Dance and Ballroom Dance teams, and a chance to get photos taken with the UMR Raptor. They could also choose to attend an Ice Hawks hockey game, visit the Rochester Area Family Y, or see the newest exhibits at the Rochester Art Center.


Administrative information

THE U HAS LAUNCHED A SEARCH for the position of associate vice provost for enrollment management and director of admissions. Associate dean Jennifer Windsor, College of Liberal Arts, will chair the search committee. Other members of the committee were selected to provide broad representation from the colleges and units that are involved with undergraduate education on the Twin Cities campus. For more information about the position, search process, or application or nomination procedure, email Jennifer Windsor or Suzanne Bardouche.

THE ASSIGNMENT CALCULATOR is available through U Libraries to help students plan research papers, speeches, videos, lab reports, primary research projects, and more. Instructors can customize an assignment for specific due dates, and students can sign up to receive email reminders. For more information, see Assignment Calculator.

Award and funding opportunities

THE OFFICE FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT (OPE) seeks applications for the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award and the Outreach Scholarship W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award. Sponsored by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, these are regional and national awards that recognize public colleges and universities for their engaged learning and discovery. The APLU accepts one application from each institution. An OPE committee will review applications to determine which should represent UMTC. Applications are due by Mar. 15, 4 p.m. For questions and more information, email Amber Cameron or call 612-624-1706.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT'S "ENSIA LIVE" lecture series will bring some of the world's leading environmental visionaries to the Twin Cities for three evenings filled with presentations, conversation, and entertainment focused on Earth's greatest challenges—and solutions that give hope. Tickets are available for individual events or for the series, with special rates for faculty and staff.

THE INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY will host "Sites and Sins of Omission: The Perils of Research in Personal Archives, Feb. 21, 4 p.m., 125 Nolte. Panelists will discuss the challenges of navigating unknown acts of archival selection. The event satisfies the awareness/discussion component of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing education requirement. For more information, see Sites and Sins.

A MISSISSIPPI RIVER FACULTY IDEA FAIR will showcase what colleagues throughout the University of Minnesota are doing regarding research and teaching relative to the Mississippi River. Each five-minute presentation will give a capsule vision of the work being done, and presenters will also state what they hope to learn from collaboration and how they hope to collaborate with other colleagues. Feb. 22, 1:30–4:30 p.m., 125 Nolte. For more information, see Mississippi River Ideas.

MAPPING THE WAY TO A BETTER DRIVING EXPERIENCE will be the topic of the Center for Transportation Studies annual winter luncheon. Nokia geospatial-mapping expert Jane MacFarlane will discuss how GPS navigation devices, computers, and innovative in-vehicle sensors are improving the driving experience to provide a safer and easier journey. Feb. 28, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. For more information, see better driving experience.

"NEUROECONOMICS AND THE GOVERNANCE OF CHOICE." In this Consortium on Law and Values lecture, Natasha Dow Schüll will explore how neuroeconomics, a marriage of behavioral economics and neuroscience, is tracking what happens in our brains when we make decisions that value the present at the expense of the future. She'll also discuss how policymakers are using this science to find better ways of guiding and governing behavior. Schüll is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor at MIT. Feb. 28, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. Free and open to the public. For registration and more information, see Neuroeconomics.

ENGAGING CONTROVERSIES: "DOES WRITING INSTRUCTION TRANSFER?" will feature a facilitated discussion about whether what students learn in high-school transfers to college, and whether writing instruction is so context-specific that one cannot expect students to connect what they learn in one class to what they learn in another. Mar. 1, 9–10 a.m., 12 Nicholson Hall. Coffee provided. Facilitator: Tim Gustafson, Center for Writing. For more information, see Engaging Controversies.

GME GRAND ROUNDS: The Graduate Medical Education (GME) Administration will host GME Grand Rounds, a quarterly gathering of the local GME community, Mar. 5, 4–6:30 p.m., Mayo Memorial Auditorium. David Asch, executive director for innovation at the Wharton School of Business and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, will present "What Business Are We In?" For more information, see grand rounds.

LEARNINGLIFE'S SPRING lifelong learning opportunities are now open for registration. LearningLife features short courses, workshops, seminars, presentations by nationally and internationally renowned speakers, and other special events. For more information, see LearningLife.

A U LIBRARIES EXHIBIT explores the exotic worlds created by the scenic artists for public theatres and private fraternal spaces of the Freemasons. Curated by Professor C. Lance Brockman, the exhibit documents the backstage environment of early theatre and vaudeville and includes original renderings and materials from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Open through Mar. 15, Andersen Library. For more information, see scenic sketches exhibit.

THE 2013 MELENDY LECTURE will feature professor Brian Isetts presenting "Progress Toward Goals: Building a Medication Use System Our Country Deserves," Mar. 26, 12:20–1:10 p.m., Mayo Auditorium. For more information, see Melendy Lecture.

THE 2013 HEALTH DISPARITIES ROUNDTABLE, "Engaging Communities in Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy," will take place Apr. 26, 9 a.m.–noon, Coffman Union Theater. For more information, see health disparities.

MORE EVENTS include Frontiers in the Environment (Feb. 20); FREE Yoga Session (Feb. 21); RACISM IN A "POST-RACIAL" AMERICA—A Candid Conversation (Feb. 22); TRiO Day at the U of M (Feb. 23); The Dance of Words (Feb. 25); SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

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

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.

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