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Vol. XLII No. 9; March 7, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--State Relations update.
--Federal Relations update.
--Board of Regents meet Mar. 8–9.
--Features: State of the U: 'Balances'; Bringing medical devices to life; This Week @Minnesota.
--People: President Kaler has been appointed to the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council; and more.

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


STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: On Feb. 22, President Kaler presented the U's capital request to the House Capital Investment Committee. At the hearing, which was the last of four University capital request presentations to the legislature, the president provided background on the U's process for determining its legislative request and explained how each of the five projects contributes to the University's mission. In addition, separate committees considered a bill that would provide a tax credit to businesses in greater Minnesota that hire students for internships, and another that would eliminate the funding that the U's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment receives from a Renewable Development Fund. For more information, see State Relations.

FEDERAL RELATIONS UPDATE: In his fourth budget proposal, President Obama continued his support of research and education proposals important to research universities like the University of Minnesota, despite a severely crimped overall budget environment. Only in the area of biomedical research, where the administration proposed to flat fund the National Institutes of Health, is the budget proposal a disappointment. Although it kicks off the appropriations process in Congress by giving lawmakers something to react to, the President's Budget Proposal is by no means the last word on how federal agencies and programs will fare in their eventual funding for FY 2013. For more information, see Federal Relations.

THE BOARD OF REGENTS will meet March 8–9. The agenda includes the report of the president, a resolution related to the Ambulatory Care Center, action on the U's 2012 Six-Year Capital Plan, and a presentation on the University's Land Grant Mission. The board will also consider the conflict of interest matter regarding Regent Steve Sviggum. For more information, see Board of Regents.


FEATURE: From the first wearable pacemaker to the latest advances in surgical robotics, Minnesota has always been a leader in medical device development, and the U has played a key role in the growth of the industry. As director of the Medical Devices Center, mechanical engineer Art Erdman oversees the designing, prototyping, and testing of leading-edge medical devices at the U. In a Q&A, Erdman shares his thoughts on the past, present, and future of the field. For more information, read "Bringing medical devices to life."

FEATURE: President Kaler outlined his vision for the U and introduced some exciting new initiatives during his State of the University Address. Kaler outlined the budget battles that the U faces, his plans for a new model of operational excellence, and a half dozen new initiatives that touch on each aspect of the University's mission—teaching and learning, research, and outreach and engagement. For more information, read a summary of the address or the complete text of the speech.

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Feb. 27–Mar. 2. This installment of the weekly video feature takes a look at the new Salsa Rueda Passion student group, highlights President Kaler's State of the University Address, and a watches as 75 people become citizens of the United States during a naturalization ceremony at the U. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: President Kaler has been appointed to the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council; the Bush Foundation board of directors has named U President Emeritus Robert Bruininks to act as the Foundation's interim president; the U has named recipients of the Morse-Alumni Award for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education, and recipients of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education; the U has also named recipients of the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT (FSA) CLAIMS DEADLINE IS MARCH 31. Employees with a remaining balance in their health care and/or dependent daycare FSA for plan year 2011 must send claims for expenses incurred through March 15, 2012 to Employee Benefits (via campus or U.S. mail) by March 31 for payment. Pursuant to IRS regulations, any funds remaining in accounts after March 31, 2012 will be forfeited. To view your account balance, see FSA balance. For more information, call Employee Benefits at 612-624-9090 or 1-800-756-2363, option 3.

A STATEWIDE ALUMNI SUPPORT CAMPAIGN was recently launched featuring recognizable alumni in regions across the state. In St. Cloud, Moorhead, and Crookston local alumni shared the stories of their U-driven success in print and radio ads. Ads in four more markets will launch later this month. For more information, see alumni support campaign.

SUSTAINABILITY ACROSS THE CURRICULUM, a hands-on workshop for college and university faculty from all disciplines throughout the region, will take place June 7–8, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. Individual faculty members and departmental and interdisciplinary faculty teams are encouraged to use the workshop as a chance to start the work of integrating sustainability themes into their teaching. For more information, see sustainability workshop.

Awards and funding opportunities

NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2012 OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS are due by March 21. Awards recognize faculty, staff, students, and University-affiliated community members who—by devoting their time, talents, and expertise to serve the public good through research, teaching, and/or public service—have made significant, demonstrable contributions to society's well-being. For more information and a nomination packet, see outstanding service awards.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

A CANCER DISPARITIES GRAND ROUNDS with K. "Vish" Viswanath of the Harvard School of Public Health will take place March 27, noon–1 p.m., Mayo Auditorium. Viswanath will present on "The Communication Revolution and Health Inequalities in the 21st Century: Promises and Pitfalls." The presentation also will be broadcast to the UMD campus. Food will be provided for the first 60 attendees. Cosponsored by the Minnesota Center for Cancer Collaborations and the U's Masonic Cancer Center.


THE UMC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS will meet March 14, 6:30 p.m., 116 Kiehle. The agenda will include outstanding alumni nominations and graduation dance planning. For more information, see the board meeting.

A STATEWIDE UNIVERSITY ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN highlighting prominent U of M alumni features UMC graduate David Genereux '80. Genereux, Crookston's current mayor, will be featured in print and radio ads scheduled to run in the Grand Forks Herald and the Crookston Times, and on radio stations KJKJ 107.5 FM, KQHT 96.1 FM, and KROX 1260 AM. For more information, see alumni stories.

THE UMC CAMPUS is on spring break Mar. 12–16. Classes are not in session, but the campus will be open during regular hours.


WELLS FARGO HAS ANNOUNCED A $75,000 GIFT to support the Wells Fargo Financial Markets Lab in the UMD Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE). The gift maintains the strong relationship between Wells Fargo Duluth, UMD and LSBE, and the lab. For more information, see Wells Fargo gift.

THE BOULDER LAKE ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER engaged 224 UMD participants in 2011 through internships, May-term classes, field trips, undergraduate research projects, workshops, presentations, and organized recreational events. For more information, see Environmental Learning Center.


CYRUS BINA, distinguished research professor of economics, was a featured presenter at a recent conference in Santa Barbara, Calif., entitled "Constitutional Politics in Modern Iran: A Re-Examination and Implications for the Future." Within the context of Iran's history, speakers examined the challenges of a transition from Iran's current theocratic constitution to a more democratic mode of governance, and proposed recommendations that could meet the needs of the Iranian people in the 21st century. Bina, a well-known expert on the political economy of Iran and on the economics of oil, energy, and globalization, also addressed the role of oil and its alleged connection with dictatorship. For more information, see conference on Iran.

TIMOTHY CLEARY '92 has been commissioned by the Northland Veteran Services Committee in Duluth to construct a statue of Joe Gomer to commemorate the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces. Gomer, a 92-year-old Duluth resident, is perhaps the last member in Minnesota and one of fewer than 100 of the pilots alive today. Cleary is an active artist and an assistant professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The statue will be placed in the Duluth International Airport upon completion, slated for Gomer's birthday in June. For more information, see Tuskegee Airmen.

CHRISTINE HOFFMAN '13, a mathematics and Spanish major from Alexandria, was awarded a scholarship from the Council on International Education Exchange and the Korea Foundation to travel to South Korea over spring break to learn more about the country's language, culture, and history. While there, she will attend academic lectures at Yonsei University in Seoul, go on excursions to ancient places, and visit the National Museum of Korea and the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. For more information, see Hoffman.


THE COMMUNITY EVENT "SEASONS OF ROCHESTER" will bring together local photographers and artists to showcase "4 Seasons of Rochester," Mar. 16, 6–10 p.m., Rochester Art Center. For tickets and more information, see Seasons.


Administrative information

A STRENGTHS AT LUNCH series will offer an opportunity for faculty and staff to discuss their work with StrengthsFinder, the online assessment that identifies an individual's top five talents and provides resources for setting goals that put those talents into meaningful action. Attendees are invited to talk with fellow colleagues from across campus about their use of Strengths in their work, to share stories and ideas, and to network with other colleagues interested in Strengths approaches. For more information, see Strengths at Lunch.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE BUCKMAN FELLOWSHIP for leadership in philanthropy will present John Sweeney of the Brave New Workshop in the event "Take a Risk! Be a Leader!" Free and open to the public, but registration via email is requested. March 21, 4:30 p.m., North Star Ballroom, St. Paul Student Center. For more information, see Buckman Fellowship.

INTERNATIONALIZING THE CURRICULUM AND CAMPUS CONFERENCE registration is free and open to all interested U faculty and staff. The conference will be held March 23, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Carlson School. For registration and more information, see internationalization conference.

NORTHROP DANCE will present the Houston Ballet in two evenings of repertoire, featuring the best of both classic and contemporary ballet. The ballet company is the fourth largest in the U.S. For each regular-priced ticket purchased, receive one free kid's ticket (up to age 17) for either performance by using promo code KIDSFREE. Mar 23 and 24, 8 p.m., Orpheum Theatre. For tickets and more information, see Houston Ballet.

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 Intersection on Mar. 29. Speakers for the day include global creatives Knowmads (Amsterdam), KasPilots (Aarhus, Denmark), and 4FRONT (Minneapolis/St. Paul). Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on design thinking workshop to create an inspired future with a local context. For more information, see Design Intersections.

AUTHOR AND ACTIVIST WINONA LaDUKE will deliver the lecture "Honoring the Earth, Transforming Our Communities: Winona LaDuke on Environmental Justice," March 29, 6:30 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. Free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by the U Women's Center as part of its Women's History Month events. For more information and to RSVP for the event, see LaDuke lecture.

CLASSES WITHOUT QUIZZES will feature nine mini-seminars this year with nationally recognized experts from the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. The classes feature everyday science and are designed for the general public, including students of all ages. Topics include climate change, winemaking, healthy eating, invasive species, and more. March 31, 8 a.m.–12:30 p.m., McNeal Hall, St. Paul campus. For more information, see "Classes Without Quizzes."

SAVE THE DATE: The Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute will present "Globalization: The Promise and The Challenge." The event will feature Ernesto Zedillo, director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and former president of Mexico, and Timothy Kehoe, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and adviser to the Federal Bank of Minneapolis. Apr. 10, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. Free and open to the public. For registration and more information, see Heller-Hurwicz Institute.

MORE EVENTS include Frontiers In the Environment (Mar. 7); OED Certificate Workshop 4: Communicating on Issues of Equity and Diversity (Mar. 9); 18th Annual Horticulture Day (Mar. 10); Sip of Science: Seeing Through the Mud: Exploring the Long-Term History of Wild Rice Lakes (and Some Other Lakes Too) (Mar. 14). 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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