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

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Inside This Issue
--Amy Phenix named chief of staff.
--State Relations Update.
--Board of Regents will meet March 10–11.
--Features: From horse to human; Airing the issues; U of M Moment; This week @Minnesota.
--People: the Institute for Advanced Study announced Faculty Fellows for 2011–12; and more.

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


PRESIDENT-DESIGNATE ERIC W. KALER HAS NAMED AMY PHENIX AS CHIEF OF STAFF. Phenix is currently director of communications and public relations at Macalester College. Phenix was also director of news and public information at the University of Minnesota from 1999-2004. She will rejoin the University in mid-April and will work on transition issues to prepare for Kaler's assumption of the presidency on July 1. The appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Regents. For more information, see the news release.

THE BOARD OF REGENTS WILL MEET MARCH 10–11. Four newly elected Regents will be sworn in by the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Board will also hold a work session to hear 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. In addition, state economist and U faculty member Tom Stinson will provide an update on Minnesota's economic forecast. For more information, including live-streaming of the board meeting, see Board of Regents.

STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: On Feb. 28, Minnesota Management and Budget released the 2011 February budget forecast. The forecast includes a $264 million projected increase in the expected ending balance for the current biennium combined with an $896 million improvement in the budget forecast for the 2012–13 biennium, which reduces next biennium's projected budget deficit to just over $5 billion. The results will be the basis for the budget decisions that will be made this session for the 2012–13 biennium. The legislature set Mar. 25 as the deadline for all budget bills to pass out of finance divisions and committees, so activity at the Capitol will intensify greatly in the coming weeks. For more information, see state relations. For targeted information on the Minnesota budget and how it relates to the University, see Minnesota's Budget and the U.


FEATURE: Humans have bred horses to run hard and pull heavy loads, all on minimal feed. To do that, they must be able to store energy efficiently in their muscles. But storing energy too well can lead to diseases, some of which mirror human conditions. For researcher Molly McCue, that parallel makes her studies of equine metabolism all the more fascinating. McCue and her colleagues are in the thick of research that may help uncover the genetic underpinnings of human disorders linked to energy storage. For more information, read "From horse to human."

FEATURE: Suppose you were booked on a flight, and 97 of 100 mechanics said the plane would never make it to its destination. Would you board? Veteran Twin Cities news anchor Don Shelby told an audience of scientists, communicators, and the public that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the Earth is warming, yet much of the public remain skeptical, due in part to the lack of factual information in the media. Shelby told that story and many others about media coverage of climate change during "Frontiers in the Environment," a free Wednesday noon lecture series by the U's Institute on the Environment (IonE). For more information, read "Airing the issues."

U OF M MOMENT: President Robert Bruininks gave his ninth and final State of the U address on Mar. 3. Bruininks said the University is strong despite financial challenges. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: FEB. 28–MAR. 4. A new weekly video feature from the U News Service, "This Week @Minnesota" provides a snapshot "week in review" at the U of M. In this installment, viewers see a breakdown of the U's impact on Minnesota's economy, go behind the scenes at President Bruininks's final "State of the U" address, and check out the new Animal Trauma Center. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards and appointments

PEOPLE: The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) has announced Faculty Fellows for 2011–12; professor emeritus Forrest "Frosty" Moore, who was instrumental in developing the field of international education at the University, died Feb. 28 at the age of 95; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Funding opportunities

TEN MINI GRANTS HAVE BEEN AWARDED BY THE U'S INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT (IonE). The grants went to proposals from across the U system, including development of a sustainable farming certificate program or minor at UMD, support for community conversations on campus sustainability at Crookston, boosting the exploration of microbial contamination of the food supply on the Twin Cities campus, and more. For more information, see IonE Mini Grants.

Administrative information

2010 FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT (FSA) CLAIMS DEADLINE: Employees with a remaining balance in their health care and or dependent care FSAs for Plan Year 2010 must submit claims for Plan Year 2010 spending to Employee Benefits by Mar. 31, 2011. Claims must arrive by campus mail or be postmarked by Mar. 31. Qualifying Plan Year 2010 expenses are those incurred between Jan. 1, 2010, and Mar. 15, 2011. Pursuant to IRS regulations, any of these funds remaining in accounts after Mar. 31 will be forfeited. To view your account balance, see Flexible Spending. For more information, call the Employee Benefits Service Center at 612-624-9090 or 1-800-756-2363, option 3.

THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMITTEE (CSC) will hold a public hearing on several proposed amendments to Civil Service Rules. Some amendments are the result of the CSC's regular review of the rules, while others are necessary to accommodate the transition to a Civil Service Senate governance model. Final drafts of the proposed revisions are available online. The hearing takes place Mar. 9, 2:30 p.m.–4 p.m., and will be open for participation on each campus: 165 Peik Hall (UMTC); 105 Kiehle Hall (UMC); 173 Kirby Plaza (UMD); 7 Humanities and Fine Arts (UMC); and room 321 (UMR). The hearing will also be broadcast live online. To request disability accommodations for the hearing, email Lori Nicol. For more information, see CSC public hearing.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: THE CITY OF CROOKSTON IS PLANNING A SANDBAGGING EFFORT to reduce the impact of potential spring flooding. Vans will be transporting UMC student volunteers to the Mar. 9 event, starting at 8:30 a.m., from Parking Lot A, just outside the north entrance of the Sargeant Student Center. Transportation will be provided throughout the day. For more information, see volunteer sandbagging.

MORE THAN 400 HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS from regional schools will visit UMC for a career day to learn about different career options from approximately 40 local professionals. Sponsored by the Crookston Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. Mar. 15, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., multiple locations across campus. For more information, see career day.

FREE CONCERT: PERFORMER, COMPOSER, AND PRODUCER GEORGE MAURER will deliver a jazz combo performance at Mar. 9, 7 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium. For more information, see jazz combo.


FOR THOSE WITH UPPER BODY DISABILITIES, a simple canoe paddle can be a barrier that keeps them from enjoying Minnesota's abundant lakes, rivers, and streams. One woman set out to change that by inventing a paddle that is fully functional using one arm. UMD's Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) was able to help her move her idea forward with its rapid prototyping capabilities. For more information, see NRRI paddle.

GRANDMOTHERS FOR PEACE will provide an informational brown bag session as part of Women's History Month. Jan Provost from the local Grandmothers for Peace chapter will speak about her involvement with the movement and its work. Mar. 9, noon, 333 Kirby Student Center. For more information, see Grandmothers for Peace.

ALWORTH INTERNATIONAL LECTURE SERIES: "MY BIG FAT GREEK MUSEUM," Mar. 9, 7 p.m., Library, fourth floor Rotunda. Cultural heritage theorist and Greek tourist guide Smaragda Touloupa will speak about current economic instability and what limitations and opportunities exist for Greek state museums. For more information, see Greek museum lecture.

JULLIARD SCHOOL OF MUSIC FACULTY MEMBER MARGO GARRETT WILL lecture and perform Mar. 10. Garrett will present, "Collaboration at the Heart of Making Music," at noon, followed by a 2 p.m. master class. Both events are free and will be held in Weber Music Hall. For more information, see music.

MARSHALL W. ALWORTH PLANETARIUM PRESENTS "WHAT'S YOUR SIGN," Mar. 11 and 23, 7 p.m. The program focuses on the recent addition of a new horoscope sign, featuring several astronomical and historical reasons for this change. Great for ages 7 and up. For more information, see What's your sign?


A PRINT BY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF STUDIO ART Tracy Otten is on exhibit in Venice as part of the Tempus Fugit exhibition at the Scuola Internazionale di Graphica. Otten's piece, For the duration, is a combination lithograph and screenprint. For more information, see Venice exhibit.

THE CENTER FOR SMALL TOWNS (CST) AND THE OFFICE OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT are expanding their participation in Students In Service (SIS), an AmeriCorps program that encourages college students to enroll as part-time AmeriCorps members. CST alone increased the number of its SIS positions from 4 to 11 for spring semester and will have a total of 25 positions by the end of August. The purpose of the program is to meet the needs of the community while working to "foster within students an ethic of civic responsibility." For more information, see Students In Service.

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE 33rd ANNUAL JAZZ FESTIVAL, April 7–9. The 2011 festival will feature Eric Alexander, tenor saxophonist, and Todd Coolman, bassist, as well as student jazz ensembles and the Alumni Jazzers. For ticket information, email jazz fest or call 320-589-6080. For more information, see jazz fest.


UMR PROFESSOR MARK TSCHAEPE WILL PRESENT his paper, "What We Might Talk About When We Talk About Love: Scientific Language and Pragmatic Identity," on Mar. 12 at the annual conference for the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy in Spokane, WA. Tschaepe is responsible, in tandem with Rebecca Bamford, for teaching Humanities, Ethics, Philosophy of Science, and Technology Studies.


Administrative information

THE U HAS JOINED IN AN EFFORT to support businesses impacted during Light Rail Transit construction. The Discover Central Corridor campaign will encourage consumers to support neighborhood restaurants, stores, and service providers. For every $100 spent in locally owned small businesses, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. Many businesses are offering deals and discounts through a Central Corridor Perks loyalty card program. For more information, see Discover Central Corridor or connect on Facebook.

THE NATION'S FIRST ANIMAL TRAUMA CENTER was launched by the U's Veterinary Medical Center (VMC). Based on the human model for clinical trauma care, the center was created to leverage the expertise and capabilities of the VMC's specialists and to provide the comprehensive, team-based care important in treating dog and cat trauma and other serious emergency cases. Veterinary criticalist Kelly Hall says the hope is that the U's new model will be adopted by other large veterinary medical centers and teaching hospitals across the country. For more information, see Animal Trauma Center.

THE OFFICE FOR EQUITY AND DIVERSITY (OED) is co-sponsoring this year's national White Privilege Conference, a gathering that examines concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team-building strategies to work toward a more equitable world. OED encourages faculty, staff, and students to attend. Early registration deadline is Mar. 15. U faculty, staff, and students receive an additional 20 percent discount (enter "20" at checkout). April 13–16, Sheraton Hotel, Bloomington. For more information, see White Privilege.

MARCH TECHNOLOGY TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES: The Office of Information Technology offers a number of free technology training courses for faculty and staff. Upcoming courses include Collaborating with Web-Based Tools; Moodle 1.9: Creating Basic Course Web Sites; Google Calendar: Effectively Managing your Calendar; UMConnect 7: Web Conferencing for Meetings; Moodle 1.9: Collaboration; Wikis: Collaborative Content Development; Web Development: Dreamweaver CS5 Basics; and more. For a complete listing of courses, see technology training.

THE CENTER FOR URBAN AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS (CURA) WILL HOLD A MARCH HOUSING FORUM featuring CURA's director, Ed Goetz, talking about his article "Housing Careers of Very Low Income Persons." Mar. 25, noon–1:30 p.m., Honeywell Auditorium, Carlson School. For more information, see CURA housing forum.

CENTENNIAL TEA AND HISTORICAL FASHION SHOW: It's a centennial year for both the Campus Club and the U Women's Club, and they're celebrating in style. The Campus Club will serve a traditional English tea with a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, cake, pastries, and tea. The program will include a fashion show of dresses, suits, coats, and accessories from each decade that the Campus Club and the Women's Club have been in operation, from 1911 to present. Open to the U community, but reservations are required with payment ($18) in advance. For more information, call 612-626-7788.

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 a review of the President's State of the U address in the form of selected "tweets" from Twitter coverage of the event. Previews include Girlfriends Night Out and Expo at the Arboretum, a screening of the film, Ghost Bird, a gourmet beer dinner, "Socialized Medicine in Bee Colonies," and more. For more information, see Preview/Review.

DRAWING THE HUMAN FIGURE, an exhibit of large-scale drawings in a variety of media including video, is on display through Mar. 24, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Regis Center for Art. Curated by Rochelle Woldorsky. A special installation is dedicated to the model Cynthia Amendt who lost her battle with cancer last spring. For more information, see Nash Gallery.

SAVE THE DATE: Center on Aging 2011 Distinguished Lecture: "Beyond Bingo: Training Interdisciplinary Staff to Enhance Activities for Nursing Home Residents with Dementia." April 13, 4–5 p.m., Mayo Memorial Auditorium. For more information, call 612-624-1185.

MORE EVENTS include Expeditions Into Extreme Affordability (Mar. 11); 17th Annual Horticulture Day (Mar. 12); Religious Accommodation at the University of Minnesota (Mar. 15). 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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