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Vol. XLI No. 7; February 23, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--2011 State of the University Address.
--State relations update.
--Bruininks testifies before legislature.
--Four Regents selected by the state legislature.
--Features: Data Center Modernization; U of M Moment.
--People: Bruininks honored by the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association with the “Champion for Children” award; and more.

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


2011 STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY ADDRESS: President Bruininks will deliver the State of the U address March 3, 3 p.m., Coffman Union Theater. A brief question-and-answer period will follow the address. For online participation, see State of the U online. The address will also be broadcast via ITV to all campuses: UMC, 220 Dowell Hall; UMD, 173 Kirby Plaza; UMM, Science Auditorium; UMR, 419 University Square. Disability accommodations will be provided upon request by calling 612-624-6868. For more information, see 2011 State of the U.

STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: On Feb. 15 Governor Dayton released his biennial budget. The Governor recommends a six percent reduction from the U's base in FY 2012 and FY 2013, for a total biennial reduction of $77 million. On Feb. 22, chief financial officer Richard Pfutzenreuter provided the legislature with an overview of the U's finances and operations, followed by President Bruininks's testimony responding to how the U might accommodate a larger cut of 15 or 20 percent, which is proposed by the state legislature. For more information, see state relations.

PRESIDENT BRUININKS, in a letter to the U community on Feb. 21, outlined some of the actions that the U is currently planning to take to ensure a balanced budget for 2011–12. Bruininks also testified before the House Higher Education Policy and Finance committee on Feb. 22. As the legislature debates the University's budget in the coming weeks, please consider adding your voice to the president's in making the case for strong state support by taking action through the U's Legislative Network.

NEW REGENTS: The full Minnesota Legislature met Feb. 21 and elected four new members of the U of M Board of Regents: incumbent Regent David Larson was re-elected (3rd Congressional District), former state representatives Steve Sviggum (2nd Congressional District) and Laura Brod (at-large) were newly elected, as was David McMillan (8th Congressional District). All four will serve six-year terms and begin service immediately.

FEATURE: The Office of Information Technology launched a Data Center Modernization Program in mid-2010. Besides creating efficiencies for the University system, the program has created opportunities for colleges and individual departments to be more strategic about resource use. If widely adopted, the program will give IT staff more time to do work that directly supports the U's mission. For more information, read "Data Center Modernization."

U OF M MOMENT: It's an old sailor's axiom that staring at the horizon from the deck of a ship helps ward off seasickness. But why does focusing on a faraway point when on land sometimes cause dizziness? Kinesiology professor Tom Stoffregen’s latest research attempts to explain the phenomenon. His findings are the first to scientifically prove thousands of years of sailing advice. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

Awards and appointments

PEOPLE: President Bruininks was honored by the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association with the "Champion for Children" award; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

THE BENEFITS ADVISORY COMMITTEE IS REQUESTING COMMENTS about experiences with UPlan medical, pharmacy, and wellness plans from January 2010 through the present. Comment deadline is March 11. Anonymous summaries of comments are used in performance reviews of UPlan health benefits. For more information, see benefits or enter your comments at BAC 2010-11 UPlan.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FAIR 2011 will feature a keynote address, "How Did I Get Here?" by UMD chancellor Lendley Black. Additional agenda items include informative breakout sessions covering career-enhancement topics such as emotional intelligence in the workplace, managing stress at work, goal alignment, and more. An information expo will feature training and development organizations from across the U. March 8, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Coffman Union. For more information, see development fair.


CAMPUS LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING: State representative Debra Kiel and state senator LeRoy Stumpf plan to take part in a campus legislative briefing Feb. 25, 1–2 p.m., Youngquist Auditorium, Agricultural Research Center. Campus and community members are welcome to attend the session to discuss issues related to the current legislative session and the state budget.

GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION: Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies. March 1, 9–11 a.m., Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center. A short presentation about the center will begin at 9:30 a.m. The center's mission is to encourage entrepreneurship through educational leadership, applied research, and insightful consulting by engaging the students, faculty, and research facilities with regional entrepreneurs. For more information, see rural entrepreneurship.


WEEK OF INAUGURATION EVENTS FOR CHANCELLOR BLACK: "TEDxUMD," March 1, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Kirby Student Center; Equity and Diversity Panels, March 2, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., and 3–4:30 p.m., Library Rotunda; keynote speaker Cathi Tactaquin: "Women, Global Migration and Human Rights," March 2, 7 p.m., Kirby Student Center Ballroom; Sustainability Panels, March 3, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., and 3–4:30 p.m., Library Rotunda; and more. For a complete schedule, see inauguration events.

"GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS: PERSPECTIVES FROM ASIA," Feb. 23, 7 p.m., UMD Library 4th Floor Rotunda. Presented by 2010–11 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Vipin Bhatt, Zhella Manrique, and Pepita Jane Petralba. For more information, see Alworth lectures.

UMD MUSIC PRESENTS THE ENGLISH BAND MUSIC FESTIVAL with the Twin Ports Wind Orchestra, directed by Mark Whitlock with guest Keith Allen, conductor of the Birmingham Symphonic Winds in Birmingham, England, Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, directed by Mark Whitlock and Daniel Eaton with Keith Allen, performs Feb. 27, 3 p.m. For ticket information, see UMD music.


PLAYWRIGHT FORREST MUSSELMAN will present a workshop Feb. 25. Musselman is the author of Sophie and the Adventures of Ice Island, the upcoming 2011 spring children’s theatre production directed by Siobhan Bremer, associate professor of theatre. For more information, see theatre.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE INAUGURAL PRAIRIE GATE LITERARY FESTIVAL. The festival will bring together literary enthusiasts, aspiring writers, published authors, editors, and other professionals. Guest writers are poet Tom Hennen, novelist Eric Gansworth, memoirist and poet Mary Rose O’Reilley, novelist Kiese Laymon, and poet Phil Bryant. March 24–26. For more information, see literary festival.


THE ROCHESTER AREA ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF THE U WINTER LECTURE "Sources of Bacteria that Contaminate our Waterways and Beaches—Can we clean up our Environment?" has been rescheduled for April 7, 7 p.m., 414 University Square. For more information, see alumni.


Administrative information

CENTRAL CORRIDOR LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT (CCLRT) UPDATE: On Feb. 26, the Metropolitan Council is scheduled to begin work on the CCLRT line that will travel through campus on Washington Avenue. Work on the Washington Avenue Bridge will restrict traffic on the bridge to one lane in each direction and significant traffic delays should be expected. Drivers are encouraged to consider University Avenue or Huron Boulevard as alternatives and should leave extra time to arrive at campus destinations. For more information and to sign up for weekly email updates from the Metropolitan Council, see Met Council. For more specific information on the Central Corridor and the U, see CCLRT online.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

PREVIEW/REVIEW: UNIVERSITY EVENTS AND LECTURES is a periodic column highlighting events and lectures recently past and soon to come on the TC campus. This issue features three reviews. Previews include The Immortal Life and Troubling Ethical Issues of Henrietta Lacks, The Rise and Fall of the Baseball Organist, a sustainability film series, and more. For more information, see Preview/Review.

ALLAN D. SHOCKER LECTURE: Professor James Patell, Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management and co-director of the Product Realization Network at Stanford University, will discuss lessons learned in the development of "Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability," an interdisciplinary course at Stanford. In the course, graduate students apply design, engineering, and business skills to create comprehensive solutions for challenges faced by the world’s poor. March 11, 2–4 p.m., 3M Auditorium, Carlson School. RSVP is required. For more information, see Shocker lecture.

"BUILDING BRIDGES ACROSS THE PROFESSIONS: PROMOTING SUCCESSFUL INTRAPROFESSIONAL COLLABORATIONS," March 30, 9–11:30 a.m., Coffman Union Theater. Jaime Lester, author of Organizing Higher Education for Collaboration: A Guide for Campus Leaders, will discuss ways to promote successful collaborations using a comprehensive approach that addresses the role of culture and leadership as well as interpersonal dynamics. For registration and more information, see building bridges.

THE UNDERLYING CAUSES OF HEALTH DISPARITIES in minority, immigrant, and low-income populations will be the focus of "Accelerating the Future: The Changing Face of Health in America." The morning session will focus on policy-level strategies (i.e., the intersection of immigration and health care reform), while afternoon presentations will focus on institutional-based strategies to reduce health disparities. Apr. 19, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Coffman Union. For registration and more information, see health disparities.

MORE EVENTS include Through the Trees: Tree Rings Help Us Understand MN Climate Change (Feb. 23); "The Humanities through Islamic Eyes: The Beginnings," by Wadad Kadi (Feb. 24); CURA Showcase (Feb. 25); Queen of the Sun Film Screening (Mar. 1). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

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

For additional news, information, and resources about U faculty and staff, visit the Faculty and Staff website. Follow us on Twitter at UFacultyStaff.

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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