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Vol. XLIII No. 8; February 27, 2013
Editor: Adam Overland,

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

Inside This Issue

--2013 State of the University address, Feb. 28
--State Relations Update.
--Features: Shattering the classroom walls; Chew on this.
--People: President Eric Kaler has been named a charter fellow by the National Academy of Inventors; and more.

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


THE 2013 STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY ADDRESS will take place Feb. 28, 3:30–4:30 p.m., Coffman Union, and broadcast live to all campuses. Following his address will be a moderated question-and-answer period with President Kaler, with a reception to follow. Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit a question for the president now through the end of the address. Beginning Feb. 28 at 3:30 p.m., President Kaler will accept questions on Twitter (via #UMNsotu) and in written form in Coffman Theater. For more information, or to submit a question, see State of the University.

STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: On Mar. 12, President Kaler will present the U's administrative costs report to the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee. In other news, the Minnesota Management and Budget Office will release its economic forecast for the state on Feb. 28. For more information, see State Relations.


FEATURE: On Feb. 20, the University announced a partnership with Coursera—a leading massive open online course (MOOC) platform—to develop free, noncredit online courses. In the future, U of M students may earn credit as faculty are able to integrate offerings from Coursera into existing academic courses. For more information, read "Shattering the classroom walls."

FEATURE: Chewing involves some of the human body's most complex motions, and ART, the artificial mouth at the School of Dentistry, can perform a year's worth of chewing in just a day or two. By reproducing the motions and forces at play in chewing, ART is invaluable for testing the performance of dental materials and guiding their development. For more information, read "Chew on this."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: President Eric Kaler has been named a charter fellow by the National Academy of Inventors; professors David Chapman and Rebecca Ropers-Huilman have received 2014 Fulbright Awards; Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics professors Berenice Mettler and Pete Seiler have each received a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation; CURA Community GIS Program director Jeff Matson was recently selected to serve on the steering committee for a newly formed American Community Survey (ACS) Data Users Group; 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

A NEW SUPPLY PURCHASING WEBSITE, U MARKET, will launch this summer, supplying materials from beakers to pens, chemicals, office supplies, and more. A series of March information sessions will offer an opportunity to learn more about the new tool. Register online to attend a session.

STUDENT EXCUSED ABSENCES FROM CLASS WILL AGAIN REQUIRE A DOCTOR'S NOTE. As of Feb. 25, the U has reinstated its requirement of a doctor's note for excused absences from class due to illness. The policy was temporarily suspended in January. For more information, see 2013 Influenza communications.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

SPRING GARDENING CLASSES AT THE U OF M LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM are open for registration. Course offerings include Growing Grapes in Minnesota, The Best Herbs for Your Garden, Creating the Japanese Garden, You CAN Grow Your Own Food!, Totally Tomatoes!, and more. For registration and more information, see Gardening.

THE INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT has launched a new online and print magazine, Ensia, and event series, Ensia Live, for environmental leaders. Tickets are available for individual events or for the series, with special rates for faculty and staff.


BLACK HISTORY MONTH activities will conclude with a "Celebration of Black History and Culture" dinner event on Feb. 28, 6 p.m., Bede Ballroom. Entertainment will include African dance and drum, spoken word, a gospel choir, a fashion show, and modern and tribal dance. For more information, see Black History Month.

THE INTERNATIONAL DINNER SERIES will begin with "The Power of Egypt," Mar. 4, 6 p.m., Bede Ballroom. The second event, "Canadian Difference," will take place Mar. 11, followed by a Mar. 25 event highlighting the organization, Change Africa. Students representing each of the featured countries will share their favorite dishes and a special presentation. For more information, see dinner series.

UMC WILL LAUNCH A PROJECT TO DESIGN A NATURAL PLAY SPACE along the Fosston Inspiration Trail in Fosston, MN. Eric Castle, assistant professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, and Mitch Sledge, a junior majoring in horticulture from St. Louis Park, MN, will assist in the project. For more information, see play space.


ASSISTANT PROFESSOR ANIKA HARTZ has been selected to receive the U of M McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. Hartz's research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that regulate blood-brain barrier function in Alzheimer's disease. Because the blood-brain barrier naturally plays a protective role, it can prevent life-saving drugs from reaching the brain. For more information, see Hartz.

UMD CONTINUES TO MAKE STRIDES in institutionalizing equity and diversity, through such programs as the Pre-Doctoral Teaching Fellowships. Now in its second year, the program invites Ph.D. candidates who have completed all requirements except the dissertation to apply to teach one course per semester while writing their dissertations. This year's candidates are Akiko Maeker, Eun Joo Kim, and Benjamin Agbo. For more information, see Pre-Docs.

SANDRA STEINGRABER, biologist, environmental advocate, and author, will present "Living Downstream: The Impact of Chemical Exposure on Human Health" as part of Women's History Month, Mar. 4, 7 p.m., 200 Chemistry Building, Steingraber, who is also a cancer survivor, explores the links between human health and environmental toxins. For more information, see Steingraber.

THE UMD VISUAL LECTURE SERIES will host Erik Loyer, media artist, Mar. 5, 7 p.m., 70 Montague Hall. Loyer's website, The Lair of the Marrow Monkey, was one of the first to be added to the permanent collection of a major art museum. For more information, see Visual Lecture Series.

THE CULTIVATING COMPASSION: EMPATHY, LEADERSHIP, AND SOCIAL CHANGE conference will take place Mar. 6, 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Kirby Ballroom. Anita Nowak, integrating director of the Social Economy Initiative at McGill University, will give the keynote address, "Empathic Action Rocks: Join the Movement that Can Change Your Life and Change the World." For more information, see Compassion Conference.


UNITED STATES SENATOR AL FRANKEN will serve as the 2013 Commencement speaker at UMM. Senator Franken is an advocate for affordable health care, an economy that works for the middle class, the promise of a 21st-century education for children, and the creation of a green economy. This year marks UMM's 50th commencement exercise. For more information, see Franken.

THE NAKAI, EATON, CLIPMAN TRIO will perform Mar. 9, 7:30 p.m., Edson Auditorium, Student Center. Led by R. Carlos Nakai, the trio combines flute melodies and lyraharp guitar tones with world beat percussion to create music that is ethereal and earthy. For more information, see Nakai Trio.

A NEW PROGRAM AT UMM, "PEER LISTENING," will provide supportive listening and decision-making assistance as well as referrals for campus services, beginning Mar. 4. The program will also provide upper-division interns with practical experience helping others. Kristina Grundmanis '13, Minneapolis, and Andrew Gelbmann '13, White Bear Lake, are the first interns to serve the program. For more information, see Peer Listening.

NATALIE HOIDAL '15, Forest Lake, is teaming up with the State of Minnesota Environmental Quality Board, Minnesota Youth Environmental Network (MNYEN) to organize the upcoming MNYEN conference. The conference answers Governor Mark Dayton's call for citizens' support in shaping a future that addresses Minnesota's environment and energy challenges. For more information, see MNYEN Conference.


UMR CONNECTS teams with RAAFUM (Rochester Area Alumni and Friends of the University of Minnesota) to bring historian and author Brenda J. Childs to campus Mar. 19. Childs will discuss her new book, Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community, and end with a short discussion on the Ojibwe People's Dictionary. For more information, see UMR CONNECTS.


Lectures, exhibits, and other events

TEDxUMN will host a free, live simulcast of the TED2013 conference Feb. 27, 3:30–6 p.m., 221 Mechanical Engineering. For more information, see TEDxUMN simulcast.

"ECONOMIC FORECAST AND ITS IMPLICATIONS" will feature a bipartisan panel of state legislators and finance officials discussing the Minnesota economic forecast, scheduled to be released on Feb. 28. Moderated by Professor Larry Jacobs. Mar. 1, 9–10 a.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. For more information, see economic forecast.

THE ART OF MIGRATION, a presentation by Kianga Ford, visual artist and writer, focuses on the changing landscapes of communities. Ford will discuss her work-in-progress with the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which looks at the complex histories of immigration to and movement within the Twin Cities. Feb. 28, 4 p.m., 125 Nolte. For more information, see Art of Migration.

THE BELL MUSEUM SUSTAINABILITY FILM SERIES: THE EDGE OF CIVILIZATION explores different viewpoints on environmental sustainability and human stewardship of the Earth. Next up in the series: Switch, a film about the future of energy with visionary geologist Scott Tinker. Mar. 7, 7 p.m. Free with U of M ID. For more information, see Sustainability Film Series.

AUTHOR AND PHILOSOPHER Martha Nussbaum will present "Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities" Mar. 7, 7 p.m., 100 Rapson Hall. The lecture, reflecting ideas Nussbaum advanced in an acclaimed book of the same title, offers a timely and provocative call for reconnecting education to the humanities. For more information, see Nussbaum lecture.

GRAMMY-WINNING MUSICIAN LILA DOWNS will present Una Cancion para Mi Padre/A Song for My Father, Mar. 10, Ted Mann Concert Hall, followed by the opening reception for the exhibit, Allen Downs Life & Work: Winter Quarter in Mexico, Nash Gallery. Lila Downs is a CLA alumna and daughter of the late art professor Allen Downs, who started the celebrated Winter Quarter in Mexico program. For more information, see Lila Downs Concert.

THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH teamed up with students at the College of Design to create National Public Health Week Film Festival promotional material. Vote for the "People's Choice" poster award online.

CENTER FOR HEALTH EQUITY RESEARCH ROUNDS and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute will present "Five Generations of Research of Health Disparities" Apr. 4, 12:15–1:30 p.m., 2-620 Moos Tower. Nancy Adler, vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry, director of the Center for Health and Community, and Lisa and John Pritzker Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco, will give the talk.

SAVE THE DATE: The U of M Public Health Institute will offer 38 short courses in 9 interest areas. Courses are an efficient way for grad students and working professionals to gain competencies and skills. Most courses are offered in a weeklong format, with opportunities for field trips, case studies, hands-on labs, and simulations. Registration opens Apr. 9. For more information, see Public Health.

MORE EVENTS include Words at WAM! (Feb. 27); Internationally acclaimed portrait Painter Felix de la Concha speaks on campus (Feb. 28); What's the Big Idea? First Fridays, March 2013 (Mar. 1); Rock On Climbing Competition (Mar. 2); Drone Attacks and Human Rights (Mar. 3); 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.

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. Submission guidelines are available online.

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