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Vol. XLI No. 18; May 11, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Brief publication calendar: The last regular issue of Brief for the academic term will be May 18, after which Brief moves to an every-other-week schedule. Summer publication dates will be June 1, 15, and 29; July 13 and 27; Aug. 10 and 24; and Sept. 7. The weekly schedule returns Sept. 14.

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents meet May 12–13.
--A message from President Bruininks.
--Features: The light-rail trail begins; They do the math; Profile of Chengyan Yue, McKnight Land-Grant Professor; This week @Minnesota.
--People: Recipients of the 2011 President's Award for Outstanding Service; and more.

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


THE BOARD OF REGENTS WILL MEET MAY 12–13. The board will recognize and honor a range of University award winners, including Distinguished McKnight University Professors, the Academy of Distinguished Teachers inductees, the awardees of the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, winners of the Josie R. Johnson Award for Human Rights and Social Justice, and the Outstanding Community Service Award winners. In addition, the board will preview the budget for FY 2012, receive an update on the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line (CCLRT) project, and recognize the UMD men's hockey team, which won the NCAA Men's Division I Ice Hockey Championship title earlier this year. For more information and live streaming of the meeting, see Board of Regents.

PRESIDENT BRUININKS testified before the legislature's higher education budget conference committee on May 3. Bruininks updated faculty and staff in a letter dated May 5, in which he highlighted the steps the University is taking to balance the budget, including budget reductions, productivity gains, and a modest tuition increase. Bruininks urged faculty and staff to continue to speak out on behalf of the University through the online Legislative Action Center. For more information, see the President's May 5 letter.


FEATURE: Effective May 16, Washington Avenue will close for good to automobile traffic between Pleasant and Oak Streets as construction of the CCLRT line begins in earnest. This will mean different routes for both buses and cars, and new patterns to get accustomed to for faculty, staff, and students. When construction concludes in 2014, the CCLRT will link three of the greatest traffic generators in the region—downtown Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota, and downtown St. Paul. For more information, including resources to keep track of the changes and a virtual ride on the new train, see "The light-rail trail begins."

FEATURE: Numerous hi-tech firms around the state are contributing partners of the U's Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA). Through its "Industrial Postdocs" program, the IMA pairs newly minted math Ph.D.s—postdoctoral fellows, or "postdocs"—with companies that can use their expertise to improve their product lines—or their bottom lines. IMA director Fadil Santosa says that Ph.D. students help companies see through difficulties, which can lead to new or improved products. For more information, read "They do the math."

FEATURE: Assistant Professor Chengyan Yue's position spans two departments—horticulture and applied economics. Because of her leading research in the emerging intersection of these fields and its potential impact on plant, human, and economic health, Yue was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor for 2011–13. For more information, read a profile of Chengyan Yue.

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: May 2–6. This installment of the weekly video feature from the U's News Service looks at a unique toy design class at the U and the groundbreaking for the new Rec Center expansion. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards and appointments

PEOPLE: Recipients of the 2011 President's Award for Outstanding Service; John Bryson was awarded the 2011 Dwight Waldo Award from the American Society for Public Administration; Riv-Ellen Prell has been selected for the 2011 Marshall Sklare Memorial Award; Moin Syed and Steven Yussen are the recipients of this year's Faculty Interactive Research Program grants from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs; U.S. Department of State has selected artwork by U of M professor David Feinberg for display in Kinshasa; School of Dentistry dean Patrick Lloyd has been named dean of the College of Dentistry at Ohio State University; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

A RECEPTION TO HONOR VP CAROL CARRIER for her leadership and service to the University will be held May 24, 3–4:30 p.m., A. I. Johnson Room, McNamara Alumni Center. The reception is open to members of the University community.

THE WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE is accepting applications for its 2011–12 program. The institute offers University women an opportunity to grow as leaders. Participants meet monthly throughout the year to encourage self-reflection and learn from each others' skills and experiences. The application deadline is May 27. For more information, see Women's Leadership Institute.

THE UPPER MIDWEST HIGHER EDUCATION RECRUITMENT CONSORTIUM (HERC) will meet June 6. JoAnn Moody, a national specialist in campus diversity and faculty development, will lead a workshop on identifying cognitive biases in faculty recruitment and evaluation processes. For more information, see consortium or email Mary Everley, director of the U's relocation assistance program and HERC.

Funding opportunities

A $3 MILLION GRANT from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will expand the National Academies Summer Institute for Undergraduate Education in Biology from a single location in Madison to a total of nine regional centers over the next five years. The award offers funding to enable science faculty to receive intensive professional development aimed at improving undergraduate biology education. Interested faculty can apply for summer institutes online. For more information, see undergraduate biology.


AN OPEN HOUSE sponsored by the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and the Liberal Arts and Education Department will honor Harouna Maiga, associate professor and recipient of the 2010 University of Minnesota Award for Global Engagement; and Soo-Yin Lim-Thompson, associate professor and recipient of the 2010-2011 Horace T. Morse Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education and inductee into the U of M Academy of Distinguished Teachers. May 12, 10–11:30 a.m., Bede Ballroom.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR TWYLA TREANOR was awarded an Honorary State Future Farmers of America (FFA) Degree at the FFA convention in early May for her longtime, exceptional service and support for FFA and agricultural education. Treanor teaches in the Math, Science, and Technology Department. For more information, see Treanor.

A RACE TO RAISE FUNDS to benefit academic co-curricular programs at Crookston High School took place in mid-April on the UMC campus. Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society president Heather Donati-Lewis, a 2011 UMC graduate, presented the proceeds to Wayne Gilman, superintendent of the Crookston Public Schools and Lon Jorgenson, principal at Crookston High School. For more information, see race funds.


A UMD STRATEGIC PLAN WAS APPROVED on May 3 by Chancellor Black. The plan will guide UMD's development over the next five years. Recommended by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee on Apr. 11 and endorsed by the Campus Assembly on Apr. 26, the strategic plan is the culmination of seven months of work and input from more than 2,000 people from the University and the community. For information, see strategic planning.

FACULTY AWARD RECIPIENTS FOR 2010–11 were honored at a May 4 awards ceremony for excellence in research and teaching, commitment to public service and community engagement, and dedication to quality education. For more information about the recipients and the ceremony, see faculty award recipients.


CONSUMERS DIGEST HAS RANKED 100 colleges and universities as "top values" from among more than 2,000 U.S. institutions that offer four-year degrees. Among 50 public institutions cited, UMM scored second in the nation. For more information, see top value.

STUDENT NAOMI WENTE HAS BEEN HONORED AS A NEWMAN CIVIC FELLOW, an award that recognizes inspiring student leaders. Wente has been integral in bringing the campus and community together in the movement toward more sustainable food production in the Morris community. She leads "One Toilet at a Time," an effort she began at age 14, to provide Cambodian girls with access to sanitation and water. For more information, see Newman Civic Fellow.

MORE THAN 300 SENIORS WILL RECEIVE BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREES at the 48th commencement ceremony on May 14. The celebration begins with division receptions from 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m., followed by the ceremony on the mall at 1:30 p.m. Two special events will be held on May 13, prior to Commencement: the Honoring Ceremony for American Indian graduates will be held in the afternoon, and the Honors and Awards ceremony recognizing the accomplishments of Morris students will be held in the evening. For more information, see 48th commencement.


INNOVATIONS AT UMR have caught the attention of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. For more information, see a recent article about UMR.

A NEW WEBSITE PROMOTING INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH COLLABORATION in Nietzsche studies was launched by UMR philosopher Rebecca Bamford. The site was developed in collaboration with Linda Dick, webmaster for UMR's Information Technology department, and with hosting provided by UMR. Support for the research initiative was made possible by Claudia Neuhauser, vice chancellor and director of the Center for Learning Innovation, who made the decision to designate UMRIT as an academic unit at UMR. The site is available at Nietzsche studies.


Administrative information

BIOMEDICAL DISCOVERY DISTRICT ROAD CONSTRUCTION will shut down portions of 6th St. S.E. beginning May 17 because of utility work to support the new Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building. This will impact those who visit and work in the Lions Research Building/McGuire Translational Research Facility, the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, and Wallin Medical Biosciences Building. The work is divided into three phases and is expected to last until Aug. 24. For details, maps, and timeline, see road construction.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION, Expanding Our Horizons, will address the education of teachers of all languages, at all instructional and institutional levels, and in all the many national and international contexts in which this takes place. These contexts include English as a second or foreign language instruction, foreign/modern/world language teaching, bilingual education, immersion education, indigenous and minority language education, and the teaching of less commonly taught languages. May 19–21, Radisson University Hotel. For more information, see language conference or register online.

THE FINAL MOMENTUM 2011 PRESENTATION "Sustainable Seas: The Vision, the Reality" featuring National Geographic explorer-in-residence, oceanographer, author, and deep-sea diver Sylvia Earle, will take place May 12, 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. The event includes a performance by musician Mason Jennings and will be hosted by Robyne Robinson. For tickets and more information, see Momentum 2011.

THE 20TH ANNUAL RUTH STRICKER MIND-BODY LECTURE, "The Neuroscience of Play," with Stuart Brown, will take place May 16, noon–1:30 p.m., Mayo Memorial Auditorium. Brown will take a close look at the evolution, neurobiology, and characteristics of play behaviors and the growing data on the relationship of play to performance, emotional regulation, and overall well-being. For more information, see mind-body lecture.

"SHATTERED HEARTS: THE COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION OF AMERICAN INDIAN GIRLS AND WOMEN" will feature Suzanne Koepplinger, executive director, Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center. Koepplinger is of European and Canadian Mohawk ancestry and holds a master's degree in the Art of Leadership from Augsburg College. She serves on the steering committee of the Sheila Wellstone Institute and the FBI Civil Rights Advisory Group. May 27, 11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m., Hubert H. Humphrey Center Atrium. For more information, see the School of Public Health.

SUMMER AT THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC: Rekindle a passion for music with the U's School of Music this summer by joining Summer Orchestra, Summer Chorus, Music Theatre at Minnesota, Bravo!, The Art of Wind Band Teaching Symposium, and the All State Choir Summer Workshop. For more information, see the School of Music.

MORE EVENTS include Common Myths in Sex Therapy (May 11); Grading Retreat (May 12); Bog Bash (May 15); Evening with Richard Louv (May 16); World Languages Day 2011 (May 17). 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. All Twin Cities event submissions are handled through the events calendar at

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