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Home > Brief > Brief (3-21-2012)  Print

Vol. XLII No. 11; March 21, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Support the U Rally Day.
--State Relations update.
--Features: (Re-)Writing history; Title IX turning 40; Milkweed loss hurts monarchs; Digging vegetables; This Week @Minnesota.
--People: Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy will retire in December 2012; and more.

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


THE ANNUAL, STUDENT-ORGANIZED SUPPORT THE U RALLY DAY will be held Mar. 30. The systemwide event provides students with the opportunity to voice their support for the University at a Capitol rally and meetings with their elected officials. Faculty and staff are asked to inform students about and encourage them to attend the event. For registration and more information, see Support the U Rally Day.

STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: On Mar. 9, the Senate Capital Investment Committee visited the University's Twin Cities campus to tour the proposed future site of a combined heat and power plant. On Mar. 8, U leaders participated in a press conference to promote a bill that would establish a U of M center for research on aquatic invasive species. And on Mar. 6, President Kaler testified before the House Higher Education Committee regarding paid leave and severance pay
agreements. The Minnesota Management & Budget commissioner released the February budget forecast on Feb. 29. For more information, see State Relations.


FEATURE: U law professor Dale Carpenter's book Flagrant Conduct effectively rewrites the history of a court case that became one of most important constitutional decisions in the past half-century—and certainly one of the most important cases in the history of American civil rights. With the legal battle of gay marriage looming, Carpenter's book about the case that intensified the underlying cultural shift of gay rights could not be more timely. For more information, read "(Re-)Writing history."

FEATURE: On June 30, 1972, an amendment to the Civil Rights Act declared that institutions receiving federal funding cannot discriminate on the basis of gender in providing any educational program or activity. The legislation, known simply as "Title IX," drastically changed girls' and women's sports. Mary Jo Kane, director of the U's Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, says the legislation fundamentally and forever changed the landscape of women's sports. For more information, read "Title IX turning 40."

FEATURE: If you're a gardener, milkweed may not be at the top of your list. But if you love Minnesota's state insect—the monarch butterfly—maybe it should be. Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed, but the plant is disappearing from what used to be a prime reservoir: Midwestern farm fields. A new study by U monarch expert Karen Oberhauser and an Iowa State colleague ties a decade-long decline in monarch populations to the loss of milkweed from the corn and soybean fields that blanket the region. For more information, read "Milkweed loss hurts monarchs."

FEATURE: Young children aren't famous for filling up on vegetables. But last year U of M researchers found that by taping pictures of carrots and green beans in the compartments of elementary kids' lunch trays, they could get kids to take more. But that still didn't guarantee the kids would eat them. Food science professor Zata Vickers and researchers are now looking for similar strategies to prompt children to eat vegetables using what's called behavioral economics. For more information, read "Digging vegetables."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy will retire in December 2012; the Golden Gopher women's hockey team won its third NCAA Championship, defeating Wisconsin in the title game at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth; U in the News features U faculty and staff 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 and wellness plans since January 2011. Comment deadline is March 31. Anonymous summaries of comments are used in performance reviews of UPlan health plans. Enter comments online at Benefits Advisory.

Awards and funding opportunities

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Office of Information Technology (OIT) invites U faculty and professional and administrative (P&A) instructors to submit applications for the 2012–13 OIT Faculty Fellowship Program. The 18-month program fosters a multidisciplinary learning community that will focus on technology-rich innovation in teaching and learning through course (re)design and scholarly investigation. Application deadline is Apr. 23. For more information, see Faculty Fellowship Program.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE at the Carlson School of Management will be hosting the fourth Biennial Conference of the American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) June 10–13. This conference has become the premier health economics conference in the U.S. For registration and more information, see ASHEcon.


UMC IS ONE OF FIVE campuses in Minnesota named, "with Distinction," to President Obama's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2012. The campus has been named to the Honor Roll every year since 2006 with the exception of one, but this is the first time UMC has been recognized with distinction. Other Minnesota campuses honored with distinction include Augsburg College, the College of St. Benedict, Metropolitan State University, and Winona State University. For more information, see Honor Roll.

MINI-GRANTS FOR GARDENS: The Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership is offering mini-grants for community and school gardens. The grants can be used for gardening supplies, equipment and tools, and communication and outreach activities, up to a maximum award of $500. The application deadline is Mar. 26, 5 p.m. Grant awards will be determined by Mar. 30. For an application, see garden mini-grants.

WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH will include several events at UMC that spotlight the 2012 theme: Women's Education—Women's Empowerment. A Celebrating U Women's Expo will focus on empowering women in business, and takes place Mar. 23. Other events include Pilates and yoga during Women's Night in the Sports Center, Mar. 27; and a lecture, "Women taking the Lead," featuring Prairie Rose Seminole as the keynote speaker, Mar. 29. All area women are invited to attend the events, which are free. For more information, see Women's History.


PROFESSOR JOHN GOODGE IS FEATURED IN PYXIS MAGAZINE for his research about climate change and the effect that the diminishing ice in Antarctica is having on the planet. A professor of geological sciences, Goodge is also a contributing scientist for the New York Times' "Scientists at Work" feature. For more information, see climate change.

UMD NATURAL RESOURCES RESEARCH INSTITUTE (NRRI) is hosting two workshops Mar. 28: "How to Find and Pursue Federal Funding Opportunities," 8:30–11:30 a.m.; and "Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), 1–4 p.m. The first workshop will guide participants through the steps required to locate, qualify, and apply for federal R&D and grant funding opportunities. The second event will cover the SBIR and STTR program basics. The $30 registration fee includes lunch.


THE SECOND ANNUAL PRAIRIE GATE LITERARY FESTIVAL will be held on the evenings of Mar. 29–30, and all day Mar. 31. The festival offers participants the opportunity to learn from writers, editors, and other literary arts professionals through author readings, workshops, and panel discussions. Presenters include award-winning poets Ilya Kaminsky and Simone Muench; award-winning author Susan Power; author, humorist, and indie-country musician Michael Perry; and graphic novelists Brittany Sabo and Anna Bratton. All events are free except for the Saturday workshops, which cost $20 each or $30 for two. Scholarships are available. For more information, see literary festival.

THE MORRIS FREETHINKERS STUDENT ORGANIZATION will hold the Midwest Science of Origins Conference (MSOC) Mar. 30–Apr. 1. The conference, featuring a diverse panel of experts, seeks "to inspire the rural communities of the Midwest—its students, its parents, and community leaders—to contemplate the scientific origins of the universe, of life, of humans and what it means to be human." The conference kicks off Friday evening with a presentation by UMM professor PZ Myers, and concludes with a community service project led by Chris Stedman, the Interfaith and Community Service Fellow for the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University. Free and open to the public, but registration is required.


UMR CONNECTS is celebrating its one-year anniversary during March. More than 50 lecture events have been held in the past year, with over 1,700 participants. Special cakes are being served each week during the month of March to celebrate the success of the series, which is focused on public engagement and outreach. For more information, see UMR Connects.


Administrative information

A FACILITIES MANAGEMENT (FM) RIDING EQUIPMENT PROGRAM has enabled FM's reduced workforce to clean more space in less time, and to do it safely and with less environmental impact. The program was implemented in light of last year's state budget cuts. For more information, see FM riding equipment.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE 2012 NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH (SAAM) CAMPAIGN encourages communities and individuals to join the conversation about how to connect and respect one another in order to prevent sexual violence. The U's Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education (TAC) will host a "Girls Like Us" panel discussion on issues of privilege and race related to domestic trafficking. Mar. 26, 7–8:30 p.m., Great Hall, Coffman Union. Free and open to the public. For more information, see sexual assault awareness.

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY EXPERT Thomas Burke will speak on "Science under Siege: Balancing Science and Politics in Managing Chemical Risks." Burke is associate dean for public health practice and training at Johns Hopkins University and author of the landmark 2008 National Academy of Sciences' "Silver Book" report, which recommended changes to the EPA's risk assessment practices. The event is hosted by the School of Public Health and Humphrey School's Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy. Mar. 27, 3 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. For registration and more information, see balancing science and politics.

THE FUTURE OF GREEN JOBS, a free presentation encompassing regional and international perspectives, features industry leaders Dave Kolsrud, president of DAK Renewable Energy, and Jeff Howe, Dovetail Partners Inc. The two will discuss the current and future outlook, realities, myths, and opportunities in renewable energy and other environmentally and technologically-advanced "green" industries, technologies, and jobs. Mar. 29, 5–7 p.m., 230 STSS. For more information, see Green Jobs.

DESIGN INTERSECTIONS 2012: The College of Design and Larsen invite professionals working with business, government, education, health care, nonprofits, and other organizations to attend Design Intersections Mar. 29. A free follow-up cocreation event focused on the University community will be held on Mar. 30 at the Weisman Art Museum to discuss the future of education, creativity, and innovation. For registration and more information, see follow-up workshop.

WOMEN'S FACULTY CABINET SPRING SYMPOSIUM: Professor Mary Blair-Loy, UC San Diego, will present "The Subtleties of Cumulative Disadvantage among Women and Men Faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics." A reception will follow the lecture. Apr. 3, 3–4:15 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. RSVP or see symposium for more information.

A "CAREERS IN AGING WEEK" will include two events. The first, an informal discussion on the opportunities in nursing focused on the care of older adults, will include practicing nurses, faculty, and graduate student panelists. Apr. 4, 3–5 p.m., 4-180 Weaver-Densford Hall and via videolink to the School of Nursing's Rochester campus, 419 University Square. The second event is an interdisciplinary informational and networking event featuring a panel of professionals working in a diverse range of aging-related fields including policy, advocacy, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, housing and design, social work, and more. Apr. 5, 5–6:45 p.m., 1-425 Moos Tower. Register by Mar. 30 and Apr. 2, respectively. For more information, see the Center on Aging.

THE U REUSE PROGRAM WILL CO-HOST THE GREAT REUSE RACE along with members of the Minnesota chapter of Reuse Alliance. The race is the first ever two-week-long scavenger hunt through the local Twin Cities reuse community. Participants will physically and virtually visit these organizations to become eligible for prizes such as a refurbished Apple iPad, Lenovo laptop with Windows 7, and a custom-built bike. April 9–22. For registration and more information, see Reuse Race.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE 2012 GOPHER ADVENTURE RACE, to be held on the UMTC campuses Oct. 5. Participants race in teams of two, traveling by foot and campus transportation to take on physical and mental challenges while deciphering clues. All faculty, staff, alumni, and students are invited to participate. The event will include top prizes provided by North Face, Nice Ride, and Midwest Mountaineering. Cost: $25. Sponsored by the Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies program. For more information, see Gopher Adventure Race.

MORE EVENTS include Coffee and Donuts with the Cops (Mar. 21–22); Mapping Water—Pat Nunnally and Mary deLaittre (Mar. 22); "The Gates Foundation's Agricultural Policy Portfolio" by Prabhu Pingali (Mar. 23); Minnesota Cup Kickoff (Mar. 26). 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.

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