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Home > Brief > Brief (3-16-2011)  Print

Vol. XLI No. 10; March 16, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

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Inside This Issue
--State Relations Update.
--Board of Regents March meeting summary.
--Features: Weaponizing salmonella; Oliver Williams on prison reentry and domestic violence; Room to Ruminate; U of M Moment; This week @Minnesota.
--People: Renee Sieving and Linda Bearinger have been inducted as fellows of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine; and more.

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


STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: The Minnesota House and Senate leadership have announced budget targets. Unlike previous years, the targets for the higher education finance divisions are the same—$2.5 billion. This number is 14.1 percent lower than the Minnesota Management and Budget Agency's forecasted base for higher education of $2.9 billion. The two higher education committees will next produce their own omnibus bills that divide this reduction between the U, MnSCU, and state financial aid. In addition, on Mar. 8, the House Higher Education Committee heard legislation that would mandate a two-year tuition freeze and a tuition cap on future years. A call to contact legislators was issued to the U's Legislative Network, a volunteer coalition of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. For more information, see State Relations.

AT THE BOARD OF REGENTS MARCH MEETING, the Regents heard the results of the recent economic impact study conducted by Tripp Umbach. In late February, the top-level findings of the study were presented, showing that for every $1 of state investment the U generates more than $13 in economic activity for Minnesota. State economist Tom Stinson provided an update on Minnesota's economic forecast. Regents also heard from Tom Sullivan and Robert Jones on the reports and recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Committees. The Board recognized five new McKnight Land-Grant Professors for 2011–13. For more information, read "Board of Regents March meeting summary."


FEATURE: University of Minnesota researchers are using salmonella—the bacteria commonly transmitted through food that sickens thousands of U.S. residents each year—to do what was once unthinkable: help people. U of M Masonic Cancer Center researchers, including lead researcher Edward Greeno, believe salmonella may be a valuable tool in the fight against cancer in organs surrounding the gut. Researchers want to "weaponize" salmonella, allowing the bacteria to then attack cancer cells in its natural environment. For more information, including a video animation explaining the research, see weaponize salmonella.

FEATURE: When School of Social Work professor Oliver Williams was approached by the Office of Violence Against Women at the U.S. Department of Justice nine years ago to study the relationship between domestic violence and prison reentry, he was struck by a lack of knowledge in field. As Williams listened to women who were involved with men coming out of prison, he realized they had different life stories than the women who domestic violence agencies were used to serving. Since 1993, Williams’ Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community has sought out communities that are hardest hit by domestic violence. For more information, read Oliver Williams on prison reentry and domestic violence.

FEATURE: 100 YEARS OF THE CAMPUS CLUB: The University of Minnesota Campus Club has come a long way—but hasn’t strayed from its purpose—since its founding 100 years ago. Through world wars, a ban on women members and alcohol, several relocations, and more, the club has been witness to the highs and lows of history at UMTC, as well as many a lunch special. For more information, read "Room to Ruminate."

U OF M MOMENT: Much has been made of the plight of the honeybee, a species that has suffered severe population declines in recent years. U of M Bee Lab entomologist Gary Reuter and the U's Bell Museum will host a short course each spring to educate the public about the basics of bees and beekeeping. Reuter says beekeeping helps take the sting of out of Minnesota's long winters. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: MAR. 7–11. In this installment of the new weekly video roundup from the U's News Service, viewers look at U research that says salmonella could help fight cancer, and go inside a "smart house" at the Goldstein Museum. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards and appointments

PEOPLE: Renee Sieving and Linda Bearinger have been inducted as fellows of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine; Connie Delaney, dean of the School of Nursing, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Funding opportunities

APPLICATIONS FOR EQUITY AND DIVERSITY TRANSFORMATION AWARDS (formerly known as IDEA Grants) are invited by the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED). For spring 2011, OED will fund projects, programming, events, and research that support the enhancement of safe and welcoming spaces for underrepresented and marginalized members of the U community. All academic and administrative units across the U's campuses are eligible to apply; proposal applications are due Mar. 31. For an application and more information, see equity and diversity awards.

Administrative information

ACADEMIC HEALTH CENTER (AHC) REVIEW: A website with information about the review of the Academic Health Center is now available. Information on the website includes an outline of the overall purpose and goals of the review, composition of the Executive Steering Committee and subcommittees, reference materials and background documents being used by the subcommittees, and other resources. Visitors may post comments. For more information, see AHC Review.


ALBERT SIMS, associate professor and director of operations at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, was awarded the Meritorious Service Award from the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists at the organization's 36th annual awards banquet in March. For more information, see award.

UMC RECEIVED NEARLY $80,000 in rebates and reimbursements for results achieved through Otter Tail Power Company's Campus Energy Challenge. The campus earned rebates for savings generated by lighting upgrades ($33,109) and for variable-frequency drives with an automated control system ($26,518). These technologies enable the campus to reduce its electricity use by 655,300 kilowatt-hours per year. The third payment of $20,000 reimbursed UMC for expenses related to the ReDirect program, another component of the challenge. For more information, see campus energy challenge.


DIANA PURCEL, CFO OF FAMOUS DAVE’S OF AMERICA, WILL SPEAK ON BUSINESS AND CORPORATE OPERATIONS Mar. 22, 11 a.m., Weber Music Hall. Sponsored by the UMD's Labovitz School of Business and Economics. For more information, see CFO of Famous Dave's.

UMD RESEARCHERS HAVE CONTRIBUTED AN ARTICLE TO THE JOURNAL, NATURE. The piece discusses climate changes, phases, and the future of the southwestern United States. Professor Erik Brown (geological sciences), associate professor Joseph Werne (chemistry and biochemistry), and graduate student/research assistant Melissa Burke, with a team of experts and affiliates, researched, compiled, and reviewed the article "Extended megadroughts in the southwestern United States during Pleistocene interglacials." For more information, see the synopsis or the full article.


CHANCELLOR JACQUELINE JOHNSON WILL DELIVER A KEYNOTE ADDRESS at the Faculty Leadership in Sustainability Midwest Regional Workshop Mar. 23–24, University of Wisconsin, River Falls. Johnson is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Board of Directors. For more information, see sustainability keynote.

SENIOR POLICY ANALYST FOR THE UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS and Twin Cities alumna Barbara Freese will speak on campus April 4. Freese is author of Coal: A Human History, a New York Times Notable Book. From 1986–99, she served as Minnesota's assistant attorney general. Her public address, "Power Struggle: Slowing Global Warming and Building Clean Energy in a Shifting Political Landscape," is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program. For more information, see clean energy address.


UMR IS SEEKING NOMINATIONS FOR THE CHANCELLOR'S AWARDS FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT. Chancellor's Award recipients will be announced in April and honored at a special awards ceremony during the Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit on June 14 in St. Paul. For more information, see Chancellor's Awards.


Lectures, exhibits, and other events

"BUILDING BRIDGES ACROSS THE PROFESSIONS: PROMOTING SUCCESSFUL INTRAPROFESSIONAL COLLABORATIONS," Mar. 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.

PEACE CORPS 5OTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: A special exhibit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps and former vice president Hubert Humphrey’s role in its development will run through the end of April. "50 Years of Service: Minnesota Peace Corps Volunteers" opens with a reception, Mar. 21, 5–7 p.m., Humphrey Center Atrium, with keynote speaker Robert Klein (Ghana, 1961–63), who is working on a project to archive the stories of Peace Corps volunteers for the United States Library of Congress. Free and open to the public, the exhibit consists of training materials, personal objects, and cultural artifacts. For more information, see Peace Corps anniversary exhibit.

DEALS AND DISCOUNTS: Faculty and staff receive 10 percent off reservations for events occurring Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.¬–5 p.m., at the Gopher Spot Gameroom. For more information, see discount.

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR COMEDIAN SARAH SILVERMAN. Silverman will perform Mar. 23, 8 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. For more information, see Silverman.

MORE EVENTS include Francene Christianson's Passing View Exhibit (through June 3); Ghost Bird Screening (Mar. 17); Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies Reading Discussion Group (Mar. 22); First Books (Mar. 24). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

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

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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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