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Vol. XLIII No. 5; February 6, 2013
Editor: Adam Overland,

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

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents meet Feb. 7–8.
--2013 State of the University address.
--Features: U expertise in a changing climate; Seeing through smoke; Jurassic Park molecules?
--People: Highlights of Today's News, which features U faculty and staff cited in the media; and more.

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


THE BOARD OF REGENTS WILL MEET Feb. 7–8. On Feb. 7, the regents will join President Eric Kaler and students from the U's five campuses at the State Capitol during the annual student-organized Support the U Day. Regents will also discuss a presentation on the job classification system redesign project and a recently launched "spans and layers" analysis, which looks at the U's administrative costs and operational excellence initiatives. For more information, see the news release.

THE 2013 STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY ADDRESS will take place Feb. 28, 3:30–4:30 p.m., Coffman Union. Following his address will be a moderated question-and-answer period with President Kaler, with a reception afterward in the theater lobby. The event will be broadcast live to all campuses. Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit a question for President Kaler now through the end of his 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 and to watch the event live, see State of the University.


FEATURE: In recent years, scientists have been pointing to some distinct trends in our nation's and world's climate. Many of those changes have been detailed in a new report from the U.S. Global Change Research Project—a document intended to inform federal climate and environmental policy in the coming years. On the heels of that report's release, five researchers from the University of Minnesota testified before a joint committee hearing in the Minnesota House of Representatives about the climate change before us, and how current science can help inform investment decisions in the state. For more information, read "U expertise in a changing climate."

FEATURE: University of Minnesota researchers have taken a step toward providing first responders like firefighters with a new means of finding their way through dark or smoky buildings, creating gloves that use ultrasonic sensors to detect walls and other objects. The research explores the broader potential for developing sensory augmentation through wearable devices. For more information, read "Seeing through smoke."

FEATURE: University of Minnesota biochemist Burckhard Seelig and colleagues have evolved an enzyme whose "body plan" may hearken back to the earliest days of evolution—and help with modern problems. Seelig foresees a use for his enzyme in sequencing RNA, a step which could lead to understanding hundreds of baffling diseases, including autoimmune disorders. For more information, read "Jurassic Park molecules?"

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: 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

DIAL 4-UOHR: A NEW CONSOLIDATED CALL CENTER was launched by the Office of Human Resources on Feb. 1. Faculty and staff should call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 1-800-756-2363 in Greater Minnesota) with any HR-related questions, including questions about benefits, payroll, wellness training, and development.

A NEW WEB CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS), Drupal, will be introduced systemwide as the U's new enterprise-level CMS. It is anticipated that Drupal will be available early this summer. A pilot for interested users will be available in the next few months. UMContent, the U's current web CMS, is scheduled for retirement sometime after November 2014. For more information and project updates, see the CMS project website.

Awards and funding opportunities

A NEW RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT PROGRAM will fund interdisciplinary endeavors, especially between the Academic Health Center and other disciplines. The program will award $3 million to fund research services or equipment and specialized support staff that constitute direct components of research and scholarly efforts that further the U's mission and support interdisciplinary needs. Researchers from all campuses are eligible and encouraged to apply. Awards will range from $50,000 to $1 million; colleges must provide matching funds. For more information and to submit a proposal, see Research Infrastructure Investment Program.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: THE MINNESOTA FUTURES RESEARCH GRANT PROGRAM encourages faculty to reach across academic disciplines to advance ideas into viable questions, enabling researchers to respond collaboratively to emerging opportunities in interdisciplinary research and scholarship. The Office of the Vice President for Research seeks research proposals that originate from new interdisciplinary groups. Proposals may be for up to two years and a maximum of $250,000 each. Two grants will potentially be awarded. For more information, see Minnesota Futures.

2013 TRANSLATIONAL GRANT PROGRAM funding is available. Grants are intended to help drive the highest quality early stage of the complex process of translating basic science discoveries into patient benefit. The goal is to positively impact human health in Minnesota and the nation. A letter of intent is due Feb. 15, 5 p.m. For more information, see Translational Grant Program.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: THE 2013 P&A OUTSTANDING UNIT AWARD (OUA) recognizes a unit judged to be exemplary in its support of the critical role P&A employees fulfill in carrying out the mission of the U. Units will be judged on work during the past three years in supporting the careers of P&A employees, practices used for P&A involvement in decision-making, and P&A contributions to profession and community. Nominations are due to Jodi Carlson Grebinoski by Mar. 8, 4:30 p.m. For more information, see P&A OUA.

DISTINGUISHED LEADERSHIP AWARD FOR INTERNATIONALS nominations are due Mar. 15. The U-wide award recognizes leadership by international alumni, former students, and friends of the U, and highlights their outstanding accomplishments. Recipients have included the "father" of air conditioning in India and the president of Charles University in Prague. For eligibility and nomination guidelines, and past recipients, see Distinguished Leadership.


TWO UMC STUDENTS presented the campus with flags from their home tribal communities at a special ceremony Jan. 31. Addie O'Neil, a senior majoring in agricultural education, presented the flag of the Lower Sioux Indian Community in Morton, MN; and Steve Allard Jr., a senior majoring in natural resources, presented the flag of the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe Nation in Belcourt, ND.

THE CHINESE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF MINNESOTA DANCE THEATER will perform Feb. 9, 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.), Kiehle Auditorium. The program is sponsored by the Confucius Institute and the UMC International Programs Office. For more information, see dance.

PROVIDING NEEDY CHILDREN WITH BEDS has become a special project under the direction of Lisa Loegering, UMC assistant director of community engagement. In collaboration with community partners, Loegering began the project providing beds to needy children, delivering the first 10 beds on Jan. 30. For more information, see beds for kids.

THE CLEAN WATER FOR EVERYONE DINNER will take place Feb. 12, 6 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The dinner helps fund the UMC Enactus project, designed to provide clean water for developing countries. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased by calling 218-281-8176. For more information, see Clean Water Dinner.


UMD's UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM (UROP) supports full-time undergraduates in research, scholarly endeavors, or creative projects undertaken in partnership with a faculty member. Here, six UROP student participants share their research and the questions they've explored in their projects. For more information, see UROP stories.

UMD STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED to take part in Support the U Day at the Minnesota State Capitol on Feb. 7. The day is an opportunity for students from all five campuses to communicate the importance of the University of Minnesota to leaders at the state level. For more information, see Support the U.

CHANCELLOR LENDLEY C. BLACK WILL HOST A RECEPTION to introduce UMD's two new coaches, Curt Weise, football, and Matt Bowen, basketball, Feb. 8, 5–6:30 p.m., Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, Lake Superior Ballroom. For more information, see Reception.

GLENSHEEN, the historic Congdon estate on the shores of Lake Superior, is offering romantic Valentine dining Feb. 14 and 15, 6 p.m. In addition to dinner, festivities include a self-guided tour, live music, and a beer and wine tasting. For more information, see Glensheen.


THE UMM THEATRE DISCIPLINE will present God of Carnage Feb. 7–9, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Fine Arts Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre, with an additional matinee Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. Siobhan Bremer, associate professor of theatre arts, directs this outrageous dark comedy that gives audiences a peek into a discussion between two sets of parents addressing their children's playground altercation. For more information, see God of Carnage.

UMM RECENTLY COMPLETED CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HORSE SHELTER. The facility enables the UMM Saddle Club to simultaneously shelter both horse herds that make their homes on campus. Construction of the shelter was completed by campus Plant Services late last fall. The project was supported, in part, by a grant from the Minnesota Horse Council. For more information, see Horse Shelter.

DILLON MCBRADY '13, Morris Campus Student Association president, and Elizabeth Pappenfus '14, helped highlight University of Minnesota advocacy and led the rouser with President Kaler at the 2013 U of M Legislative Briefing held Jan. 23. For photos from the event, see Legislative Briefing 2013.


THE MINNESOTA BOOK AWARDS has named finalists in eight categories, including the book Ruth 3:5, in the genre fiction category, written by UMR International Program coordinator Michael Fridgen. Meet the finalists Mar. 15, 7 p.m., Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S, Minneapolis. For more information, see Minnesota Book Awards finalists.


Administrative information

VOTE FOR THE 2013 HOMECOMING THEME and spread the word by sharing the poll link with colleagues and University of Minnesota friends. The poll closes Feb. 22, 4 p.m. For more information and to vote, see

U OF M LIBRARIES ARE SPONSORING A STUDENT VIDEO CONTEST on the theme, "Discovery Illuminates Everyone." Each member of the winning team will receive an iPad. For more information, see video contest.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE WEISMAN ART MUSEUM (WAM) WILL HOST A SWEETHEART SALE Feb. 7–14. U of M faculty, staff, and WAM members will receive 20 percent off during the sale. For more information, see WAM Sweetheart Sale.

TWO PUBLIC EVENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE EXHIBIT, The House We Built: Feminist Art Then and Now, will be held Feb. 7 and 11 at Wilson Library. Researching Feminist Art: Then and Now, a panel discussion, will take place Feb. 7. A film screening of !Women Art Revolution will take place Feb. 11. For more information, see Feminist Art exhibit.

THE INCITEMENTS OF INFRASTRUCTURE, a presentation by Quadrant fellow Nikhil Anand, and by Hannah Appel, will take place Feb. 7, 4 p.m., 125 Nolte. The talk will draw attention to the ways in which the maintenance, repair, and reproduction of unstable, mobile infrastructures—particularly oil rigs in Equatorial Guinea and water pipes in India—provide new ways to theorize the workings of the corporation and the operations of government. For more information, see infrastructure.

UNIVERSITY YOUTH AND COMMUNITY PROGRAMS open for registration Feb. 11. A campus highlight for more than 25 years, the week-long day camps for kids ages 5-15 feature hands-on enrichment and skill building through Kids' University, Discovering U, Minnesota Sport Schools, and Gopher Adventures. All camps include indoor rock climbing, swimming, organized recreation, themes and projects, a state of the art playground, quality arts and crafts, and campus exploration. For more information, see summer camp registration.

TEACHING WITH WRITING FACULTY PANEL: WRITING ASSIGNMENTS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY will feature Dana Davis (microbiology), Walt Jacobs (African-American studies), and Tom Reynolds (writing studies). They will describe ways in which they ask students to utilize current genres and media to address purposes from digital storytelling to critical analysis of scientific data. Feb. 14, noon–1:30 p.m., 335 Peik Hall. For registration and more information, see Teaching with Writing.

THE ACARA PROGRAM will offer an Introduction to Social Ventures workshop series Feb. 14, Mar. 7, and Apr. 4. Acara gives emerging entrepreneurs a chance to envision and launch successful social businesses. This three-session series will provide an introduction to opportunities for entrepreneurial spirits who want to "do good while doing well." Sessions will be held 6:30–8:30 p.m., R380 Learning and Environmental Sciences Building, St. Paul. Sessions are $30 each. For registration and more information, see Acara social ventures.

COMMUNITY DIALOGUES ON CLINICAL RESEARCH: A Conversation with Harriet Washington, author of Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. Washington will speak about her work and host a dialogue aimed at identifying constructive ways for communities and researchers to work together to improve health. Feb. 21, 5–7 p.m., Wilder Center, St. Paul. For registration and more information, see community dialogues.

THE INSTITUTE FOR MATHEMATICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS will present "Math in China, India, and the West—Can We Compare Their Achievements Objectively?" Feb. 27, 7 p.m., 175 Wiley Hall. Speaker David Mumford of Brown University will present a series of vignettes of actual math from Babylon, Vedic India, Han China, Baghdad, and Kerala (India) to illustrate how the idiosyncrasies of each culture profoundly altered the math they developed. His lecture will also cover what was unique to the math of ancient Greek culture, and why, finally, math exploded in 17th century Europe. For more information, see IMA public lecture.

AN EXHIBIT DEDICATED TO SUSTAINABILITY has opened at the U of M Institute on the Environment (IonE) Commons on the St. Paul campus. The exhibit, Downstream/Upstream: A Journey Through the Urban Water Cycle by Jonee Kulman Brigham, is a visual display detailing a two-week adventure taken by 39 children ages 4–6. The exhibit includes photographs, maps, artists' books, and diagrams documenting their exploration of the water cycle. For more information, see the news release.

MORE EVENTS include NOMMO African American Author Series (Feb. 6); What Does Mexico Need to Do to Roar Like a Latin American Puma? (Feb. 7); Skate Skiing (Feb. 8); The Sustainable Yard: Trees & Shrubs (Feb. 9); "Abnatural Embodiments: Dracula and the Smog Demon" (Feb. 11); Frontiers in the Environment (Feb. 13); 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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