myU OneStop

What's Inside

Related Links

Home > Brief > Brief (2-9-2011)  Print

Vol. XLI No. 5; February 9, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents to meet Feb. 10 and 11.
--Provost Sullivan to return to faculty at end of 2011.
--Features: To degree, or not to degree; Staring down adversity; U of M Moment.
--People: VP Rosenstone was named chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; and more.

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


THE BOARD OF REGENTS WILL MEET FEB. 10 AND 11. Highlights of the meetings include action on the 2011 state capital budget request. A report to the Faculty, Staff, and Student Affairs Committee will present trends, issues, and benchmarks in academic retirement programs. Review and action will be taken on schematic plans for the proposed new Physics and Nanotechnology Building on the UMTC campus and capital budget amendments related to Eastcliff renovations, Central Corridor laboratory mitigations, and renovation of Northrop. For more information, including live-streaming of the board meeting, see Board of Regents.

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS AND PROVOST TOM SULLIVAN announced that he will be stepping down from his position at the end of 2011. Sullivan, who has held the position since July 2004, will be returning to the faculty of the Law School, where he previously served as dean. President Bruininks praised Sullivan’s wide range of accomplishments as senior vice president and provost. Sullivan has agreed to continue in his role as provost for the first six months of President-Designate Eric Kaler’s term, to assist in Kaler's transition. Kaler has said that he intends to conduct a national search for Sullivan’s successor. For more information, see Sullivan.

FEATURE: It's no secret that having a college degree not only helps in getting a job, but also in keeping a job in a down economy. Yet thousands of students have left the U after completing 90 or more credits. The U is reaching out to some of those students with an initiative called GradUate Minnesota, and together with MnSCU, the program will eventually contact thousands of former students. For those who've nearly graduated, a little encouragement from the U might be just the nudge they need. For more information, read "To degree, or not to degree."

FEATURE: Tubby Smith arrived in Minnesota in March 2007—an unexpected bombshell of a hire that electrified the fan base for men's basketball. In his first season at the U, he brought a team that had won nine games the year before to a 20-win season—the largest single-season turnaround in school history. Despite an often challenging, injury-riddled season, Smith’s Gophers continue to be a feel-good story, due in large part to the steadying influence of their popular head coach. For more information, read "Staring down adversity."

U OF M MOMENT: The recent unrest in Egypt and Tunisia could spell big changes for politics in the region and beyond. Humphrey School of Public Affairs professor Ragui Assaad, who has spent significant time in Egypt and studies the politics and economics of the Middle East, says multiple factors caused the demonstrations abroad. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

Awards and appointments

PEOPLE: VP Rosenstone has been named chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; associate professor of theatre Lou Bellamy will retire; School of Music clarinet professor Alexander Fiterstein was recently named to Symphony magazine’s annual list of emerging artists; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

THE FILING PERIOD FOR THE 2010 REPORT OF EXTERNAL PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES (REPA) has been delayed for a few weeks in order to enable Electronic Grants Management System staff to reprogram the REPA form to include modifications requested by the Conflict of Interest Program. Look for an email notification in late February for the commencement of the 2010 REPA filing period. If filing a new REPA before then, please call 612-626-1462 or email REPA.

THE SYSTEMWIDE U OF M JOB AND INTERNSHIP FAIR is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent U graduates (2008–present). Last year's fair served 2,800 job seekers and nearly 200 employers. Feb. 25, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Minneapolis Convention Center. Online preregistration cost is $10 prior to Feb. 22, $25 at the door. For registration, see 2011 Job Fair.

Funding opportunities

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Minnesota Futures Grant Program in the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) promotes research and scholarship by fostering opportunities for researchers to cross disciplinary and professional boundaries. The program is designed to advance more in-depth work to convert ideas into viable research questions. Proposals may be for up to two years for a maximum of $250,000 each. The program anticipates awarding two grants. For more information, including application deadlines and key program dates, see OVPR website.

THE CENTER FOR URBAN AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS (CURA) invites U faculty to apply for the 2011–12 Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs, an endowed one-year position that supports research activities on a project related to urban and regional affairs in Minnesota. Applications are due March 22, 4:30 p.m. For more information, see CURA application.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE EXTENSION CENTER FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT will hold a free public symposium, "Exploring the impact of deployment on military youth and families: Recent research findings," with Angela Huebner, associate professor in human development at Virginia Tech. Huebner will present findings from several studies of both adolescents and parents and their experience of parental/spousal deployment since 9/11. Feb. 23, 10 a.m.–noon, McNamara Alumni Center. For more information, see military deployment impact.

SAVE-THE-DATE: THE SPRING GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION ASSEMBLY will feature keynotes by two national experts on academic program evaluation: Chris Golde, associate vice provost for graduate education, Stanford University; and George Walker, vice president of research and graduate studies, Cleveland State University. April 18, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. Members of the U's graduate and professional education community are invited to attend. For more information, see assembly.


THREE UMC STUDENTS WILL REPRESENT THE CAMPUS AT A FEB. 10 luncheon with the Board of Regents. Junior Yangchen Gurung and seniors Heather Donati-Lewis and Derek Ricke were selected for their high academic standing as well as campus involvement and leadership.

WAR ON GERMS: Assistant professor Venu Mukku and associate professor Brian Dingmann are fighting back in the war against germs. The duo is working on research to discover compounds to combat Staphylococcus (staph) bacteria, a type of germ that, although common even to healthy individuals, can harbor the potential to cause serious infections. For more information, see war on germs.

RECYCLEMANIA 2011: Crookston Students for Sustainable Development and the UMC Sustainability Committee announced efforts to recycle as part of RecycleMania, a recycling competition among more than 575 colleges and universities. All participating schools are required to report measurements (pounds of recycled materials divided by campus population) on a weekly basis. The contest runs through Apr. 2. For more information, see RecycleMania.


A SHORT DOCUMENTARY FEATURING NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED ARTIST AND UMD ALUMNUS CARL GAWBOY will premiere Feb. 11, 7 p.m., Weber Music Hall. "Carl Gawboy Portrait: The Art of Everyday," directed by Lorraine Norrgard, features the Ojibwe artist and Bois Forte Band member who is recognized for portraying the traditional life of the Ojibwe people through watercolors and acrylics. A reception will follow in the Tweed Museum. For more information, call the American Indian Learning Resource Center at 218-726-6379.

UMD PLANETARIUM PRESENTS CLASH OF THE TITANS: THE REAL STORY. The recent Hollywood movie Clash of the Titans was based on the ancient Greek understanding of the constellations—but Hollywood did not portray the complete story. Feb. 11, 7 p.m., UMD Planetarium. Free and open to the public. Ages 6 and up. For more information, see Planetarium.

UMD SWENSON COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING (SCSE) HAS NAMED SUSAN MACK its development director. Mack holds a master of arts degree in education from the University of St. Thomas and is in the final stages of earning her doctorate degree in education. For more information, see SCSE.


JENNIFER KOLPACOFF DEANE'S new book, A History of Medieval Heresy and Inquisition, has been released by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. An associate professor of history, Deane’s recent publication reflects her research and expertise in the area of medieval religious history. For more information, see history.

STUDENTS DEBBIE SCHNEIDERMAN AND MATTHEW LOVANDER have published research in a special issue of Chemistry of Materials. Working with Ted Pappenfus, associate professor of chemistry, their research documents the creation of the first known redox polymer that conducts electrons and holes—a significant discovery in organic materials research. For more information, see chemistry.

A NEW 32-PANEL SOLAR-THERMAL ARRAY installed at the Regional Fitness Center (RFC) to heat the recreational pool will be celebrated Feb. 12. To mark the achievement, the Students Using Natural Energy team—working with Karen Mumford, assistant professor of environmental studies, and Troy Goodnough, sustainability coordinator—is gearing up for the first annual free solar swim. For more information, see solar swim.

THE STUDENT THEATRE ORGANIZATION MEININGENS will present Recent Tragic Events by playwright Craig Wright. Set in a Minneapolis apartment in the wake of the September 11 attacks, the characters embark on a journey of courage, humor, and perseverance in the face of crisis. Feb. 10–12, Humanities Fine Arts Black Box Theatre. For more information, see Recent Tragic Events.


THE UMR BALLROOM DANCE TEAM is preparing for the state ballroom dance competition on Feb. 26. The team will also host a dress rehearsal, open to the public. The event is cosponsored by the Wellness Committee. Students will be selling red Valentine's Day feather pins to raise the funds to attend this competition and for the club's future activities. Feb. 14, 417 University Square. For more information, see ballroom dance.


Administrative information

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED TO HOST INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS attending an orientation in St. Paul. Hosts provide students a reassuring welcome and typically house them three to four nights, providing room and board as well as transportation to and from campus. Seeking volunteers on Feb. 14–15, March 21–22, April 4–5, or April 18–19. For more information, email Susan VonBank, call 612-625-8797, or see Twin Cities Host program.

CENTRAL CORRIDOR LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT (CCLRT) UPDATE: On Feb. 28, the Metropolitan Council is scheduled to begin work in earnest on the CCLRT line that will travel through campus on Washington Avenue. The size and complexity of the project will create many challenges and will significantly impact automobiles, buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists. For more information and to sign up for weekly email updates from the Metropolitan Council, see Met Council Central Corridor. For more specific information on the Central Corridor and the U, see CCLRT online.

THE UNIVERSITY RETIREES VOLUNTEER CENTER is seeking volunteer judges/evaluators for two science fairs. The Young Inventors Project and Fair needs evaluators of any discipline to judge 3rd–8th grade projects Feb. 24 and/or 25. The MN Academy of Science needs science expert judges for evaluating middle and high school papers and presentations March 20 and/or 21. For more information and to volunteer, email Sally Schakel.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: THE CENTER FOR URBAN AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS (CURA) is inviting proposals for the summer 2011 semester for three of its Community Based Research programs. These community research projects typically place students in part-time research assistantships for one semester or over the summer. Students are selected by and report to the community organization. Organizations define and direct their research projects. Faculty and staff are encouraged to share this information with community organizations that could benefit from a research assistant. Applications should come directly from community organizations. The deadline for project proposals is March 15. For more information, see CURA proposals.

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 no reviews, but a reminder that all faculty and staff are invited to contribute to the column. Previews include "Winner-take-all Politics: How Washington is Making the Rich Richer," Valentine's Day themed fun at the Raptor Center, a conference on Islam and the Humanities, and more. For more information, see Preview/Review.

AN END TO DRUNK DRIVING? Susan Ferguson, program manager for a multimillion-dollar research program investigating driver alcohol-detection technologies, is the featured speaker at the CTS winter luncheon. She will discuss advanced systems that can be installed in all vehicles to noninvasively measure driver blood-alcohol concentration. Feb. 15, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. McNamara Alumni Center. For more information, see CTS winter luncheon.

"TAKING THE POLLUTION OUT OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION," part of the Moos Family Speaker Series on Water Quality, will be delivered by Craig Cox, vice president of the Environmental Working Group and a longtime advocate for soil and water conservation. Sponsored by the Freshwater Society and the College of Biological Sciences. Feb. 24, 7 p.m., St. Paul Student Center. Free and open to the public, but seating is limited and registration is required. For more information, see Freshwater.

FINANCIAL CONSULTANT RUTH HAYDEN will give a lecture on how today's generation needs to think and plan differently for the future. The lecture is co-sponsored by the U's Women's Center and Securian Financial. A dessert reception and book signing will follow. Free and open to the public. March 9, noon–1 p.m., Mayo Auditorium. For more registration and more information, see Hayden lecture or email women.

VOTE FOR THE 2011 HOMECOMING THEME. Homecoming 2011 is just months away, and the largest campus-wide event is in search of a theme. Faculty, staff, and campus community members are encouraged to participate. For more information and to cast a vote, see the Homecoming website.

MORE EVENTS include author and humanitarian Izzeldin Abuelaish discusses I Shall Not Hate (Feb. 10); Minnesota Planetarium visits campus (Feb. 15); Skywatchers and the Native Sky (Feb. 16). 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

Brief is published by email and on the web. Subscribe to Brief.