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Vol. XLIII No. 22; June 19, 2013
Editor: Adam Overland,

For additional news and information, see the Faculty and Staff views of the U homepage.

Brief publication calendar: Summer publication dates will be June 19, July 10 and 24, and Aug. 7 and 21. The weekly schedule returns Sept. 11.

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents meeting summary.
--Findings of admin services benchmarking and diagnostic study.
--Features: Mind over mechanics; Support for spatial research; Food science pilot plant; At home in her environment.
--People: The Office of the Vice President for Research has announced the recipients of the Research Infrastructure Investment Program awards; and more.

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


AT ITS JUNE 14 MEETING, THE U OF M BOARD OF REGENTS approved a fiscal year 2014 operating budget that freezes resident undergraduate tuition and reduces administrative expenses. The budget also includes $26 million for faculty hires, classroom and lab upgrades, and infrastructure maintenance, as well as a compensation pool increase of 2.5 percent; $17.8 million for the Minnesota Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) program; and $19.7 million in reallocations and resource adjustments to support teaching, research, and outreach. For more information, see Board of Regents.

THE FINDINGS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES BENCHMARKING AND DIAGNOSTIC STUDY conducted by Huron Consulting Services LLC were presented to the Board of Regents. The report came at the request of Senator Terri Bonoff and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and is the second of two reports on the University's administrative structures. For more information, see the executive summary (PDF) and the full report (PDF).


FEATURE: It's a staple of science fiction: people who can control objects with their minds. At the University of Minnesota, a new technology is turning that fiction into reality. In the lab of biomedical engineering professor Bin He, several young people have learned to use their thoughts to steer a flying robot around a gym, making it turn, rise, dip, and even sail through a ring. For more information, read "Mind over mechanics" and watch the related video.

FEATURE: Research universities create mountains of data, and more and more, that data is tethered to a place in the world. The technology and field behind that spatial data are called Geographical Information Sciences, and the U of M has embarked on a visionary endeavor, called U-Spatial, to develop a network to support such research across the University. For more information, read "Support for spatial research."

FEATURE: You may never have heard of a twin screw extruder, but here's a hint: You can make your own Cheetos with one. It's a key piece of equipment in the food industry, and also one of many tools at the U's Joseph J. Warthesen Food Processing Center on the St. Paul campus. The unique workshop bustles with students, faculty, and industry developers working out new ideas. For more information, read "Food science pilot plant."

FEATURE: Kate Knuth served three terms as a state legislator, and earlier this year, Gov. Mark Dayton appointed her a citizen member of the state's Environmental Quality Board. Knuth is currently finishing a Ph.D. in conservation biology at the U's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and she directs the Boreas Leadership Program—a unique offering from the U's Institute on the Environment. For more information, read "At home in her environment."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: The Office of the Vice President for Research has announced the recipients of the Research Infrastructure Investment Program awards; the U has received $12.3 million from the estate of South Dakota farmer Millicent Atkins; Laura Bloomberg has been appointed associate dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs; U in the news includes highlights of Today's News, which features U faculty and staff cited in the media daily. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

THE U'S NEW SUPPLY PURCHASING WEBSITE, U MARKET, will be the topic of the next Campus Conversation, June 27, noon–1 p.m., 402 Walter Library. U Market will launch in July and will provide a single place to buy common supplies at contract prices, consolidating U Stores, U Mart, and many new vendors in one convenient, online location. This Campus Conversation is a chance to learn more about the tool and how you can save time and money by using it. RSVP if you plan to attend, or join online via UMConnect the day of the event.

ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY: The Board of Regents has voiced the importance of protecting and providing a safe environment for children at the U in a new Board policy. Safety of Minors serves to best ensure the safety of children in U facilities and programs. The policy extends responsibilities for all University community members to report suspected child physical or sexual abuse to local law enforcement. New requirements of program registration, background checks, and online training will be communicated when the program launches this fall. This policy is open for a 30-day comment period.

Awards and funding opportunities

THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES has invited the U of M to submit two nominees for NEH Summer Stipends. Faculty interested in applying must submit a preliminary proposal to the Office of the Vice President for Research by June 30. Staff may apply to the NEH directly. For application instructions and more information, see NEH stipends.

APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2013 JURAN FELLOWSHIP AWARD are due Aug. 5. Any doctoral candidate intending to apply for a Juran Fellowship must inform the Juran Research Center by July 8. The $10,000 fellowship will be awarded to a doctoral student whose thesis research contributes to the study of process excellence and quality in their chosen field. Statements of intent should be emailed to For more information, see Juran Fellowship.

THE MELLON FOUNDATION has invited the U of M to submit one nomination for the Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship for faculty in the humanities who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest. The deadline is Sept. 10. For application instructions and more information, see Mellon Foundation.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT'S sustainability studies minor invites those who are teaching a course or conducting programs or activities related to sustainability or the environment to share information at the fall "Sustainability Action!" open house, Aug. 30, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Some 2,500 incoming freshmen are expected to visit the open house. Email Molly Buss or call 612-626-9553 for more information.


JEFF BUMGARNER has been appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to the Minnesota Board of Judicial Standards. The board is an independent state agency that receives and acts upon complaints about Minnesota judges for judicial misconduct or wrongdoing. The board also handles judicial disability matters, issues advisory opinions, and seeks to educate judges and others about judicial ethics. Bumgarner is an associate professor in the Liberal Arts and Education Department, teaching in the area of criminal justice.

BARBARA KEINATH has been named vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Minnesota Crookston. Keinath holds a Ph.D. in educational administration, with a focus on higher education and policy from the University of Minnesota. She has served as vice provost and dean of graduate studies and, prior to that, as director of online learning at Metropolitan State University in the Twin Cities. She begins vice chancellor responsibilities July 1.

THE UMC COLLEGE IN THE HIGH SCHOOL (CIHS) WORKSHOP held June 3 brought to campus more than 100 high school teachers, faculty, counselors, and administrators from 42 school districts across northern Minnesota. More than 1,000 students take part in CIHS annually.


PAULA PEDERSEN, assistant professor, Department of Psychology, has been selected to serve in the new cabinet-level position of Faculty Fellow for Intercultural Initiatives. Pedersen is a licensed psychologist and earned the Intercultural Development Inventory Administration and Interpretation Certificate. She has served on the Campus Climate Change Team, Diversity Commission, GLBT Advisory Board, and University of Minnesota Intercultural Competence Work Group. For more information, see Paula Pedersen.

STANLEY WOLD, professor of music and director of choral activities, Department of Music, is the recipient of this year's Arrowhead Regional Arts Council (ARAC) Maddie Simons Advocate Award. In their statement, ARAC said, "Through his many years of conducting and performing music, he has made extraordinary choral music accessible to people throughout the Arrowhead Region, the state, and around the world." For more information, see Stanley Wold.

CONTINUING EDUCATION AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT have partnered to create Introduction to Construction Project Management from an Owner's Perspective, an online certificate designed for building owners interested in learning more about the design and construction process. For more information, see Construction.

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST-AID TRAINING SESSIONS for youth and for adults are being offered through Continuing Education. This training helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. For more information, see Mental Health.


A GROUP OF FARMERS AND AGRICULTURE ADVISORS from France visited UMM to learn more about sustainable farming research on June 3. The group toured the biomass gasifier facility, as well as the West Central Research and Outreach Center. This visit provided the group an opportunity to learn about new farming techniques and future developments. For more information, see Farmers.

EIGHT UMM PROFESSORS received awards in the latest round of the University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship Program. Funds are awarded in the belief that scholarship is a determinant in the vitality of an institution. UMM recipients are Sheri Breen, Stephen Crabtree, Michael Lackey, Jessica Larson, Ted Pappenfus, Jennifer Rothchild, Dennis Stewart, and James Wojtaszek. For more information, see Grant-in-Aid.

LEAH HOYT '13 spent the spring semester student teaching with Katie Graham LaPointe '01, an English and reading teacher at Brooklyn Junior High School in Brooklyn Park. With the common ground of a UMM education, the two were able to build their lesson plans on similar concepts and strategies. For more information, see Leah Hoyt '13.


UMR CONNECTS will be held outside on the Peace Plaza over the summer, Tuesday nights, 7 p.m. Upcoming themes are Journeys: Remarkable Life Stories—July; Spirituality and World Religion—August; and International and World Affairs—September. For weekly event details, see UMR CONNECTS.


Administrative information

THE U IS OFFERING SUMMER WORK OPPORTUNITIES TO MINNEAPOLIS YOUTH in the STEP-UP Achieve summer jobs program. University departments and programs can put underrepresented youth to work for as little as $700 and help the U meet its goals as a leading employer in this citywide AchieveMpls program. A modest pool of matching resources is available to defray costs. Staff will help match students with departments and provide ongoing support. For more information, email U of M STEP-UP liaison Tex Ostvig, or call 612-624-3958.

STRENGTHSQUEST: Faculty and staff can learn more about the strengths-based philosophy, their own "Top 5," and how to use the StrengthsQuest program in a Strengths Educator for Higher Education seminar on the Twin Cities campus, July 30. For registration and more information, see StrengthsQuest.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

SPONSOR A TURTLE IN THE "TURTLEY AWESOME" TURTLE DERBY, a fundraiser for kids at the U's Amplatz Children's Hospital featuring turtle races, food, games, and more. Departments and individuals can sponsor a turtle. June 27, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Amplatz Children's Hospital. The event raises money for child and family programs at the hospital. For more information, see Turtle Derby.

A U LIBRARIES EXHIBIT highlights prints and illustrated books produced during the period of scientific activity in Latin America in the 18th century and the Age of Enlightenment. The kings of Spain funded dozens of scientific expeditions in their American domains to identify and classify native plants and animals, illustrated in drawings, watercolors, and etchings. On display through June 28, 4th floor, Wilson Library. For more information, see art and science exhibit.

THE U AND BREW, a summer beer event at the Campus Club, will take place June 27, 4–7 p.m. Meet local brewers who are also U of M alums. Brewers will include representatives from Lucid Brewing, Fulton Brewing, Indeed Brewing, and several others. Sample beer, learn about the U's barley and hops research, enjoy appetizers, win a raffle prize, and more. Cost: $25. Co-sponsored by the Office of Business Relations, The Growler magazine, and the Beer Dabbler. For more information, see U and Brew.

GET ACTIVE THIS SUMMER. The University of Minnesota Department of Recreational Sports' Center for Outdoor Adventure rents kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, mountain bikes, and more to faculty, staff, students, and the public. For more information, see rental.

MORE EVENTS include A Celebration of New Orleans Food and Music (June 20); Northrop Summer Music Festival Presents Chastity Brown with Southwire and The Ericksons (June 21); Forest Trails and Forest Tales (June 22); "Instructions for Peace" (June 25); Birds and DNA: Biodiversity and Mountain Islands (June 29); 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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