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Vol. XLII No. 16; April 25, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents public forum.
--Features: Earth in 20 years; City-slicker plants; Eager for the challenge; This Week @Minnesota.
--People: Norwood Teague has been named the next director of Gopher Athletics; and more.

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


THE BOARD OF REGENTS WILL HOLD A PUBLIC FORUM May 11, 12:30–1:30 p.m., Boardroom, McNamara Alumni Center. The forum is open to individuals who wish to address the Board regarding the U's fiscal year 2013 budget and related issues. Information about the president's proposed budget will be available in the May docket materials one week prior to the forum. To speak, call the Board Office at 612-625-6300 or email (subject line: Public Forum) by May 7, 3 p.m. Include: name, email, phone number, group representing (if any), relationship to the University, and presentation topic. Speakers wishing to provide the Board with written information must submit the materials by May 7. For more information, see public forum.


FEATURE: The world will face many challenges over the coming decades, not least among them environmental challenges. On the heels of Earth Day, we asked three leading researchers at the U to answer three questions for us in their specialties of sustainable agriculture, environmental justice, and economics and ecology. For more information, read "Earth in 20 years."

FEATURE: It sounds like good news for city dwellers: Urban areas harbor more plant species than rural areas. But it's not. A new study, led in part by U ecologist Jeannine Cavender-Bares and published in the journal Ecology, documents how the makeup of plant communities changed as one moved north from Minneapolis to the U's Cedar Creek Natural History Area. It turns out that while there may be more plant species in urban areas, they have a narrower genetic base and so are less likely to thrive under environmental disturbances. For more information, read "City-slicker plants."

FEATURE: It has been a whirlwind couple of days for Norwood Teague. On Apr. 22, he was announced as the lone finalist to become the U’s new director of athletics. A day later he was providing sound bites to a gaggle of local media wanting to know everything about him, from his thoughts on the ideal number of Gopher sports to his tastes in television shows and music. Pending approval by the Board of Regents, Teague will begin July 1, succeeding Joel Maturi, who has overseen the U athletics department for 10 years. For more information, read "Eager for the challenge."

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Apr. 16–20. In this episode of the weekly video feature, see highlights from Beautiful U Day, the "Scrubbed into Fashion" fashion show, Agriculture Awareness Day, and the MnTap Program. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Norwood Teague has been named the next director of Gopher Athletics; the Office for Equity and Diversity has announced the 2012 winners of the Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Awards; the Office for Public Engagement has named the 2012 Outstanding Community Service Award winners; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

FACULTY AND STAFF ARE ENCOURAGED TO COMPLETE THE 2012 PULSE SURVEY measuring satisfaction and engagement with the University of Minnesota as an employer. This week, faculty and staff members received an email invitation with instructions and a unique link to the Pulse Survey. The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and feedback is critical to the University's ability to understand the work experiences of employees. Responses are confidential and participation is voluntary. The survey is open through May 11. To view unit-by-unit survey participation in real time, see Pulse Survey. For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions.

THE U HAS CREATED AN OPEN ACADEMICS TEXTBOOK CATALOG to help faculty find more affordable textbook options for students. The catalog, created in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), is a searchable online catalog of "open textbooks" that will be reviewed by U faculty. CEHD will support faculty who choose to review and adopt open textbooks with $500–$1,000 stipends. The catalog is the first of its kind hosted at a major research institution. It is available to faculty worldwide. The catalog currently lists 84 open textbooks that are in use in classrooms across the country. For more information, see Open Academics.

2013 COMPENSATION PLAN FOR UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES: The president is recommending a compensation plan to the Board of Regents as part of the overall University budget, to be reviewed at the board's May 10–11 meeting and considered for approval by the board at its June 7–8 meeting. If approved, salary increases for employee groups would be effective June 18, 2012, and will appear on paychecks beginning July 11. For more information, see FY'13 Compensation Plan for Faculty, P&A, and Civil Service.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE PROVOST'S SCHOLARSHIP GOLF TOURNAMENT. The event benefits U students by raising funds to endow student scholarships. The tournament is played in a 4-person scramble, shotgun start format. The entry fee of $105 includes a golf shirt, greens fee, cart, practice range balls, putting contest entry, and food at the post-event barbeque. Prizes will be awarded for first-, second-, and third-place teams and various field events throughout the day. Registration ends May 25. Open to the entire U community, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. June 1, 8:30 a.m., University of Minnesota Golf Course. For more information, see Provost's Open.


UMC's "MAN AND WOMAN OF THE YEAR" were chosen during the student awards program held Apr. 19. Honors for 2012 go to Man of the Year Austin Czichotzki, a senior from Barnesville, MN, majoring in communication; and Woman of the Year Kristine Neu, a senior from Pelican Rapids, MN, double-majoring in horticulture and communication. Czichotzki is the son of Terry and Sandi Czichotzki and Neu is the daughter of Mark and Karen Neu.

SENIOR SEMINAR STUDENTS will hold a poster presentation session on their topics in Agriculture and Natural Resources Apr. 26, 4–6 p.m., Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center. For more information, see seminar students.

THE FACULTY ASSEMBLY will meet Apr. 27, 3 p.m., 207 Dowell Hall. For more information, see the meeting schedule online.

STUDENTS WILL HOST A RETIREMENT RECEPTION for Chancellor Charles Casey and Barbara Muesing Apr. 30, 3–5 p.m., Prairie Room. This reception is an opportunity for students to take a break from finals studies to say farewell and extend best wishes. For more information, see retirement reception.


20TH ANNUAL JOEL LABOVITZ ENTREPRENEURIAL AWARDS will take place Apr. 25, 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The awards recognize and celebrate the economical and entrepreneurial contributions of local and regional businesses to the Twin Ports and Arrowhead Region. For more information, see Labovitz Awards.

TWIN CITIES GAY MEN'S CHORUS will perform May 3, 8 p.m., Weber Music Hall. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor in conjunction with the GLBT Services office. For more information, see Gay Men's Chorus.

A UMD AWARDS CEREMONY will recognize 2011–12 faculty award winners during a special campus reception May 1, 2:30 p.m., Griggs Center. For more information, see faculty awards.


UMM WAS NAMED ONE OF JUST 31 INSTITUTIONS to achieve an Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's gold certification in its Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS). STARS is a comprehensive sustainability survey that looks at efforts across campuses, including education and research, operations, planning, administration, and engagement. For more information, see sustainability.

THE MEININGENS STUDENT THEATRE GROUP will close out the 2011–12 "Public Enemy #1" season with Euripides' Medea Apr. 26–28, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Fine Arts Black Box Theatre. This classical Greek piece, in a haunting translation by Frederic Raphael and Kenneth McLeish, explores the nuances of love and hatred in the search for justice. For more information, see theatre.

GEOLOGY PROFESSOR KEITH BRUGGER spent three weeks at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden as a visiting professor in a program established to bring in researchers and scholars from outside Sweden to collaborate on research with geology faculty. Paired with friend and colleague Mark Johnson, formerly of Gustavus Adolphus College, Brugger proposed a research project on the catastrophic drainage of Glacial Lake Grantsburg, which occurred in northeast Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin during the last ice age. Brugger expects the research to increase understanding of climate, climate change, and the impact on landscape evolution in the region. For more information, see Brugger.

A PAPER BY DAN SEIDENKRANZ '13, Woodbury, MN, has been published in the recent issue of the organic chemistry journal Heterocycles. His solar cell research with Ted Pappenfus, associate professor of chemistry, sought to find more efficient means of synthesizing molecules in benzodithiophines, a family of promising compounds in the emerging field of organic solar cells. Among their achievements was experimenting with a compound previously unreported in the literature and more efficient synthesis of other organic compounds that can be integrated into inks and paints, eliminating the need for bulky panels made by energy intensive processes. The work was funded by the U's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment. For more information, see solar research.


UMR CONNECTS: 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring, the landmark book in which Rachel Carson sounded the alarm to an unsuspecting public about the detrimental effects of pesticides on eagles, fish, and many other forms of wildlife. The weekly series "UMR Connects" will feature speakers Joe Marchesani and Renay Leone, who will facilitate a discussion on the continued importance of bringing environmental issues into the public forum—even 50 years later. May 1, 7 p.m., 4th floor, University Square. For more information, see UMR Connects.


Administrative information

PUBLIC MISSION, URBAN CHALLENGES: THE 21ST-CENTURY UNIVERSITY. President Kaler will host Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor for a discussion about the role of the 21st-century university in meeting urban challenges during a special Great Conversations Presidential Forum May 2, 4 p.m., Coffman Union Theater, and via live-streaming. The event is part of UMN Land Grant 150, a yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act of 1862. Free and open to the public, although registration is required. For more information, see Great Conversations.

SIGMA PI FRATERNITY RECENTLY HOSTED ITS FIFTH ANNUAL UNSUNG HEROES DINNER. Created to show appreciation for UMTC's custodial staff, the event is part of the fraternity's A.C.E. Project (Altruistic Campus Experience). The Sigma Pi brothers welcomed approximately 300 Facilities Management staff into their house, served them a great meal, played games, and thanked them for their service. For more information, including a photo gallery, read "Unsung Heroes."

UNIVERSITY STORES WILL HOST LABFEST 2012 to showcase the wide variety of laboratory products available through University Stores and U-Wide scientific contracts. The event is an opportunity for researchers, lab technicians, and procurement specialists to learn about products and interact with the vendor representatives. May 2, University Hotel, 615 Washington Ave SE; and May 3, North Star Ballroom, St. Paul Student Center. Both events run from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. For more information, see LabFest 2012.

"LIKE" CONSERVATION? PROVE IT AND YOU COULD WIN AN IPAD. Monthly prize drawings will be held for anyone who "Likes" the It All Adds Up conservation campaign's facebook page through August, with weekly prizes awarded through Nov. 6. The iPad grand prize will be awarded after the presidential election. The contest is part of a new campaign utilizing posters and sidewalk clings that feature a fresh twist on past political slogans to promote conservation of campus resources. View and order posters for offices/buildings online. For contest details and more information, see It All Adds Up.

PARTICIPATE IN THE 2012 HOMECOMING PARADE! Student groups and departments can sign up now for the 2012 Homecoming Parade, scheduled for Oct. 12, 7 p.m., on University Avenue. The parade promotes unity among students, staff, faculty, alumni, and the surrounding community during Homecoming Week, Oct. 7–13. For registration and more information, see Homecoming Parade.

Awards and funding opportunities

THE U HAS BEEN AWARDED funding from the Fogarty International Center to help foster the next generation of global health scientists by providing significant mentored research experiences in developing countries. Ph.D. students and post-doctoral students in the health sciences are encouraged to apply for an 11-month fellowship at U research sites in Kenya and Uganda, or consortium partner sites in Thailand, China, Peru, and Ghana. For an application and more information, see mentored research or email Molly McCoy.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

DRIVERS OF LARGE VEHICLES AND BICYCLISTS share the road every day but rarely get an opportunity to see the road through each other's eyes. At a "Behind the Big Wheel" event, bicyclists and pedestrians will be able experience what it's like to sit in the driver's seat of a big-rig or bus and check blind spots while bikes and pedestrians pass by in the street below. Apr. 26, 12:15–1 p.m., 6th St. SE, west of 25th Ave. For more information, see Behind the Big Wheel.

WOMEN'S FACULTY CABINET DIVERSITY RETREAT: The Women's Faculty Cabinet Diversity Committee is holding a retreat for women faculty of color to discuss issues of equity and diversity on the Twin Cities campus. This retreat will serve as a follow-up to the Culture and Climate Survey conducted by the committee earlier this semester. Apr. 26, 3–6 p.m., Woman's Club of Minneapolis. Light hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served. RSVP at retreat. For more information, see diversity retreat (PDF).

A DIVERSITY THROUGH THE DISCIPLINES SYMPOSIUM presented by the Office for Equity and Diversity's Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA) will showcase research conducted by current recipients of IDEA Multicultural Research Awards. IDEA grants encourage and support transformative scholarship by faculty on issues related to communities of color in the United States. Apr. 27, 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m., 303 Coffman Union. For more information, see diversity symposium.

THE MIDWEST CENTER FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY EDUCATION AND RESEARCH CENTER will host the 2012 NORA Symposium, "Bully-Free and Violence-Free at Work: Inspiring a Respectful Workplace," May 1, 2–5 p.m., University Hotel. Free, but registration is requested. For more information, see bully-free or email Chris Western.

CHALLENGES AND RESEARCH DIRECTIONS IN MEDICAL CYBER-PHYSICAL SYSTEMS, a Digital Technology Center Science and Technology Innovators lecture by Professor Insup Lee, Cecilia Fitler Moore Professor of Computer and Information Science and director of PRECISE Center at the University of Pennsylvania, will take place May 1, 4:30 p.m. (reception at 4 p.m.), 401 Walter Library. For more information, see Medical Cyber-Physical Systems.

NORTHROP DANCE will present the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in two evenings of different repertoire May 1–2. Ailey's return to Minnesota marks the first tour with new artistic director Robert Battle (succeeding Judith Jamison), honored as one of the "Masters of African American Choreography" by the Kennedy Center. U faculty, staff, and students are eligible for discounted tickets. For tickets and more information, see Northrop.

FINNISH RAPPER SIGNMARK will perform May 2 and 3 at the University of Minnesota. Signmark is the first deaf person to sign with a major international record label (Warner Music). The Office for Equity and Diversity and its Disability Services unit invite staff and faculty members to learn more about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community through the two performances: a Silent Shout (similar to a flash mob, with American Sign Language, music, and lyrics) May 2, noon, Northrop Plaza; and a free concert May 3, 7:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. Both events are part of Disability Services' May 3 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Day, an event for high school students and their teachers and parents.

THE CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY will host a symposium on "The Political Psychology of Protest and Collective Action." May 4, 2:30–5 p.m., 230 Anderson Hall. Free and open to the public. For more information, see political psychology.

ENVIRONMENTALIST PAUL HAWKEN will give the keynote address at Minnesota Solutions Summit 2012, a gathering of sustainability practitioners and researchers from around the world convened by the NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Development. Hawken is an internationally renowned environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author. May 22, 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (Hawken will speak at 1 p.m.), McNamara Alumni Center. For more information, see Solutions Summit.

MORE EVENTS include Frontiers In the Environment (Apr. 25); Peter Adolphsen discusses his book, Machine (Apr. 26); Spring Fling! (Apr. 28); Tail of the Ouroboros (May 1). 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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