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Vol. XLII No. 12; March 28, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--State Relations update.
--Features: Consolidating assets; Populist Science; This Week @Minnesota.
--People: Marla Spivak will receive an Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Kansas; and more.

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


STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: On Mar. 19, the House Capital Investment Committee released its 2012 bonding bill recommendations. The bill totals $280 million, $495 million less than the governor's proposal. The committee recommends $39.1 million for the University: $35 million for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) and $4.1 million for Itasca Facilities Improvements. The bill does not include funding for the Combined Heat and Power Plant, as included in the governor's proposal. A comparison of the proposals is available online. The Senate is expected to release its bonding bill recommendations Mar. 28. For the most up-to-date information, see State Relations.


FEATURE: The University of Minnesota Duluth is a leader in education for and about American Indians. It was one of the first universities in the United States to recognize American Indian studies as a discipline, and it boasts one of the largest Native student populations (about 125) in the country. To unite the campus's more than 20 different American Indian programs and services and to provide better support for UMD's students, both Native and non-Native, the University is proposing a new four-story American Indian Learning Resource Center located at the southwest corner of campus. It's part of the U's 2012 Capital Request. For more information, read "Consolidating assets."

FEATURE: Bob Zink drives a late model Chevy Silverado to work from his home in Grant Township. His best friend is a garbage collector. In his free time, he bow-hunts, raises two teen-aged boys, and spends time fishing and bird hunting with the family's dogs. The professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior is also a world-renowned expert on the study of speciation in birds, and the Breckenridge Chair in Ornithology at the Bell Museum. But his contribution extends well beyond the classroom and the lab. For more information, read "Populist science."

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Mar. 19–23. This installment of the weekly video features highlights from the Women's Hockey NCAA Championship game against the Badgers and safety lessons from the University of Minnesota Police Department and President Kaler. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: President Kaler has appointed a search committee to fill the position of VP for University Services upon Kathleen O'Brien's June 30 retirement; Marla Spivak will receive an Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas; student Grant Remmen has received the Hertz Fellowship Award; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

U OF M GRADUATE ASSISTANTS CHOSE TO MAINTAIN N0N-UNION STATUS, voting down union representation by United Auto Workers of America. The election, which took place Mar. 19–23, affects more than 4,000 graduate assistants on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. For more information, see Graduate Assistants.

Awards and funding opportunities

THE MINNESOTA CUP COMPETITION, a program of the Carlson School's Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, is seeking the best breakthrough ideas from across the state. The largest statewide new venture competition in the country, the Minnesota Cup will award $200,000 in cash prizes, and other prizes, in six divisions this year: Clean Tech and Renewable Energy; BioScience and Health Information Technology; and Student, General, High Tech, and Social Entrepreneur. Anything from an idea to a new venture generating less than $1 million in revenue is eligible to enter. Registration deadline is May 18. For more information, see Minnesota Cup.


UMC MUSIC AND THEATER STUDENTS will perform the musical Oklahoma! under the direction of associate professor George French. Mar. 29–31, 7:30 p.m., with a special matinee performance Apr. 1, 3:30 p.m. For more information, see Oklahoma!

THE CAMPUS ASSEMBLY spring semester 2012 meeting will be held Mar. 29, 12:30–2 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The agenda and minutes from previous meetings are available online. For more information, see Campus Assembly.

ARTICULATION AGREEMENTS recently completed by UMC's Business Department will help provide a smooth transition for students interested in pursuing baccalaureate degrees. The Crookston campus has implemented several new articulation agreements with Alexandria Technical and Community College, Alexandria, MN; and Northland Community and Technical College, Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks, MN. For more information, see articulation agreements.


JOHN DAY has been appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to the State Guardian Ad Litem Board. Day is program director for American Indian Projects and also serves as an adjunct faculty in the Department of Social Work. The Guardian Ad Litem Board is charged with the creating and administering a statewide, independent guardian ad litem program to advocate for the best interests of children, minor parents, and adults in juvenile and family court cases.

UMD WILL HOST THE LAKE SUPERIOR SERVICE-LEARNING REGIONAL CONFERENCE 2012 Mar. 29–30. The conference provides the opportunity to learn about and acquire hands-on skills to apply and integrate service-learning as a teaching strategy. For more information, see service-learning.


THE THEATRE DISCIPLINE'S 2011–12 "Public Enemy #1" season will feature the children's fable The Emperor's New Clothes Mar. 30, 7 p.m.; and Mar. 31, 1 p.m., Humanities Fine Arts. School matinees will begin Mar. 28 and run through Apr. 5. This version of the classic fairy tale telling the story of King Eric, the vain emperor of Sylvania, who thinks of little more than his personal appearance and attire, was written by Blanche Marvin and directed by guest artist Shaune Wunder, working with a skilled young crew and talented cast of student actors. Tickets are $3. For more information, see theatre.

THE ANNUAL JURIED STUDENT ART EXHIBITION, featuring work by both art and non-art majors, will be on view in the Humanities Fine Arts Gallery, Mar. 22–Apr. 14. An opening reception will be held Mar. 22, 7–9 p.m. This year's student show features a comprehensive assortment of media, with a particular emphasis on ceramic works. Clay sculptor Anne Meyer '04, guest juror, reviewed this year's exhibition, selecting 48 works of art by 29 students. For more information, see student art exhibition.


THE UMR BALLROOM DANCE TEAM will be performing at "Dancing for the Arts," an evening of dining, dessert, and dancing, Apr. 14. Rochester celebrities will go toe-to-toe to raise money for youth arts education while paired with professional dancers from Dahl Dance Center and Blue Moon Ballroom. For tickets and more information, see Dancing for the Arts.

SAVE THE DATE: Respiratory Care Commencement 2012 will be held May 11, 4 p.m., Geffen Auditorium, Mayo Clinic Gonda Building.


Administrative information

AN EARLY TRANSITION FROM HEATING TO COOLING systems brought about by an unusually warm March has begun in UMTC campus buildings. Despite Facilities Management's best efforts to minimize exposure, some spaces may experience uncomfortable temperatures between now and mid-April when the transition should be complete. Each campus district has created a transition schedule that is available online.

BEAUTIFUL U DAY 2012 will take place Apr. 17, featuring a campus-wide building cleanout event (complete with cookies for cleaners) and the first-ever ReUse-A-Palooza, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Northrop Plaza. More than 100 gently used bikes will be available for $50 or less, along with a selection of quality surplus items collected by the ReUse Program. Departments can register online for the building cleanout by Apr. 6 to have up to two hampers and a supply of cookies delivered to their location. Individuals can volunteer online by Apr. 6 to help out with hamper delivery/retrieval and the ReUse-A-Palooza event. For more information, see Beautiful U Day.

THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE IN THE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY (SERU) SURVEY is open now through mid-June. UMTC faculty and staff are asked to encourage their undergraduates to take the survey. Developed at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, the survey provides staff, faculty, and administrators with insights that influence student learning and educational outcomes. The Office of Institutional Research administers the survey. For more information and promotional materials, see SERU survey.

CALL FOR HOMECOMING ROYALTY NOMINATIONS: Faculty and staff are encouraged to nominate undergraduate (with at least 60 credits) and graduate/professional students to be the 2012 Homecoming king and queen. Student nominees should work closely with faculty or staff, possess strong leadership skills, and maintain high academic standards. The application deadline is Apr. 16. To nominate a student, email

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH FILM FEST, in conjunction with National Public Health Week, will take place Apr. 2–6. The films will cover timely health issues, including the farm-to-school food movement, health as a human right, the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, end-of-life decisions, and sexual education. Showings begin each evening at 5:30 p.m. with an introduction by a public health expert, and conclude with a Q&A session. Free and open to the public. For film schedule and locations, event sponsors, and a list of food and other complimentary items for guests, see film fest.

THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN RESHAPING POLITICS AND GLOBAL GEOPOLITICS will be the subject of the next U of M Headliners event, featuring U associate professor and social media expert Heather LaMarre. Apr. 5, 7 p.m., Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul. For tickets ($15) and more information, see Headliners.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHER PAUL NICKLEN will kick off the Institute on the Environment's Momentum 2012 event series with his presentation, "From Pole to Pole: Diary of a National Geographic Photojournalist." Emcee for the evening will be Paul Douglas, with featured entertainment by Mu Daiko Drumming. Apr. 5, 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann. Special ticket prices are available for faculty, staff, alumni, and students. For more information, see Momentum 2012.

INNOVATIVE IDEAS TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE IN MINNESOTA will be the topic at a Clinical and Translational Science Institute discussion about "The State of Triple Aim Innovation in Minnesota." The conversation will center around the nearly 40 Minnesota submissions to the $1 billion Health Care Innovation Challenge sponsored by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Apr. 10, 9 a.m.–noon. Free, but registration is required. For registration and more information, see health care in Minnesota.

NORTHROP DANCE will present Ballet Preljocaj in a contemporary retelling of Snow White, based on the Grimm brothers' original fairy tale. This lush, full-length story ballet features massive sets, 26 dancers, and an all-star roster of French artists and designers. Apr. 13–14, 8 p.m., Orpheum Theatre. Rush tickets for U students ($10), and U faculty, staff, and general students ($20) are available starting at 5 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre box office on the day of the show. For tickets and more information, see Snow White.

THE FIFTH ANNUAL DOCTORAL RESEARCH SHOWCASE will feature more than 60 of this year's top doctoral students and candidates talking about their work in more than 40 fields. The showcase is designed for students to develop their ability to talk about their work to non-specialists, to raise the visibility of doctoral research, to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs and leaders to talk to the next generation of researchers and thinkers, and to encourage undergraduates to consider graduate education. Free and open to the public. Apr. 17, noon–2 p.m., Great Hall, Coffman Union. For more information, including a list of participants, see doctoral research showcase.

MORE EVENTS include Frontiers In the Environment ( Mar. 28); The Future of Green Jobs (Mar. 29); Biocultural Diversity, Language, and Environmental Endangerment—Panel discussion with Winona LaDuke, Luisa Maffi, and K. David Harrison (Mar. 29); CURA Housing Forum—Hennepin County Housing First Partnership (Mar. 30); In Cod We Trust: Norwegian Culture and Cuisine (Apr. 2); Leadership in the Context of Equity and Diversity (Apr. 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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