myU OneStop

What's Inside

Related Links

Home > Brief > Brief (7-11-2012)  Print

Vol. XLII No. 22; July 11, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Brief summer publication calendar: July 25, Aug. 8 and 22, and Sept. 5. The weekly schedule returns Sept. 12.

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents meet July 11.
--Features: The medium is the message; Helping to write history; Gecko feet don't stick around; Something brewing; The future of urban planning: 2012–14 McKnight Land-Grant Professor Yingling Fan.
--People: U of M Associate VP Andrew Furco has received the 2012 Thomas Ehrlich Civic Engagement Faculty Award for contributions to the public good; and more.

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

THE BOARD OF REGENTS will meet July 11. Regents will consider a resolution and plans to allow beer or beer and wine sales and service at TCF Bank Stadium and in the premium seating areas of Williams and Mariucci arenas during intercollegiate athletic events. Other agenda items include a review of a capital budget amendment proposal for replacing the roof of Eastcliff, action on the recommendations of the Special Committee on Executive Compensation, a resolution authorizing the U to move forward with the proposed Enterprise System Upgrade Project, and findings from the Itasca Project Higher Education Task Force. For more information, see the news release.

FEATURE:  A new e-book developed by 130 U of M faculty, staff, and students showcases the shifting landscape of academic technology. The book, titled "Cultivating Change in the Academy: 50 Stories from the Digital Frontlines at the University of Minnesota in 2012," moved fast—much in line with the way technology is changing today. For more information, read "The medium is the message."

FEATURE: Kathleen O’Brien retired as vice president for University Services on June 30. On her second-to-last day in Morrill Hall, O’Brien sat down and allowed herself some time to reflect on what it’s been like to oversee the U’s entire non-academic enterprise for a decade. For more information, read "Helping to write history."

FEATURE: Who wouldn't envy the little gecko as it dashes up a smooth wall or hangs from a ceiling by a toe? Would-be designers of a technology that could duplicate gecko feet should note a new study of geckos' evolutionary history that could simplify their task immensely. In that study, researchers at the U of M and other universities compared DNA sequences from 244 gecko species to draw up the most comprehensive gecko family tree ever. The findings, reported in the journal PLoS ONE, have astonished scientists. For more information, read "Gecko feet don't stick around."

FEATURE: Could the University of Minnesota do for hop farming and the craft beer brewing industry what it has done for cold-hardy grapes and winemaking in Minnesota? If horticultural science professor Vince Fritz and research associate Charlie Rohwer have anything to say about it, 30 years from now the hop industry in Minnesota and the Midwest might just be, well…hopping. For more information, read "Something brewing."

FEATURE: In Minneapolis today, change is everywhere: the city is expanding its light rail system, widening highways, and building bridges. What will these infrastructure changes mean for the health and well-being of residents in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota? That’s the kind of question central to the research of Yingling Fan, a McKnight Land-Grant professor who studies the health and social impacts of urban land use, growth management, and transit improvement. She hopes creating better parks will lead to stronger families and unite struggling communities. For more information, read "The future of urban planning."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: U of M Associate VP Andrew Furco has received the 2012 Thomas Ehrlich Civic Engagement Faculty Award for contributions to the public good; pending approval by the Board of Regents July 11, Brian Steeves will be appointed executive director and corporate secretary of the board; the OIT Faculty Fellowship Program has announced its 2012–13 cohort; the Institute for Advanced Study has selected 12 research and creative collaboratives to receive funding for projects in 2012-13; professor Massoud Amin has been elected president of the International Association for Management of Technology; professor Albert “Bud” Markhart III passed away on June 26; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information
THE U'S RESEARCH INTEGRITY AND OVERSIGHT PROGRAM (RIOP) has been renamed Research Education and Oversight (REO)—and with this change comes an all-new website. The offices of Oversight, Analysis and Reporting (OAR) and Fostering Integrity in Research, Scholarship and Teaching (FIRST) are now integrated in the new site. For more information, see the new REO website.

Awards and funding opportunities
RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCH GRANTS: The Institute on the Environment's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment invites researchers from across the University of Minnesota to apply for renewable energy research grants of up to $750,000. Successful proposals will focus on new projects and initiatives with an integrated systems approach and potential for big impact at the intersection of energy and the environment. Submit letters of interest by Aug. 15.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events
U OF M COMMUNICATORS FORUM CONFERENCE: "Go for the Maroon and Gold" will feature NPR’s Michele Norris, host of "All Things Considered," who will deliver the keynote address “The Grace of Silence and the Power of Words.” July 26, 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., St. Paul Continuing Education and Conference Center. Registration is open through July 13. For more information, see Communicators Forum.

THE U OF M LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM will host its yearly Toast and Taste in the Gardens event featuring fresh, local flavors from Minnesota eateries and wineries, July 26. The party starts at 6 p.m. for the early-admission patron event ($125); general admission begins at 7 p.m. ($75). All proceeds benefit the arboretum. For reservations and more information, call 612-625-9875 or see Toast and Taste.

PRESIDENT KALER will participate in a live online chat with the Star Tribune July 25 at noon, to mark his one-year anniversary as the U's leader. Get your questions ready. The chat will take place at


CHANCELLOR FRED WOOD began his tenure at UMC July 2. The campus hosted "Coffee with the Chancellor" July 3 for faculty, staff, and students to have an opportunity to meet the new chancellor. To learn more about him, see Chancellor Fred Wood.

UNIVERSITY RELATIONS will sponsor a booth at the Polk County Fair July 12–15, in Fertile, MN.  Individuals from University Relations and Development and Alumni Relations will assist with the booth.  Additional faculty, staff, and alumni volunteers are welcome to help staff this booth over the four days.

MICHAEL T. VIVION, a six-time Master and Society of Aviation and Flight Education member, recently renewed his Master CFI accreditation. Vivion is a check airman and teaching specialist in UMC's aviation program. The 1998 National Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year, he also serves as a FAASTeam representative in the FAA's Minneapolis FSDO area. For more information, see accreditation.

THE REGIONAL EXTENSION OFFICE of Crookston, which includes the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, has moved to the Valley Technology Park, just north of the UMC campus. All staff phone numbers and emails remain the same. The new address for the Regional Extension Office of Crookston is 510 Country Road 71, Crookston, MN 56716. The phone number is 888-241-0781. For more information, see new location.


TRAP INVASIVE SPECIES at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth through a digital display called "Repel the Invaders." Designed by UMD students and Lisa Fitzpatrick, director of UMD’s Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab, the exhibit teaches about invasive species in Lake Superior with an interactive twist. For more information, see invasive species.

ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION was the way to go in late June when UMD staff and faculty biked or walked a cumulative 170 miles. The UMD Bike/Walk to Work Day successfully ended with campus employees preventing 150 pounds of CO2-equivalent emissions from being released into the atmosphere. This statistic is based on a calculation from the Cool Air Clean Planet Calculator. For more information about UMD sustainability and transportation options, see sustainability.


WEST CENTRAL SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE ALUMNI will gather at a July 21 reunion to recall and celebrate their Morris experiences. The annual event takes place on the Morris campus, the high school boarding school's home from 1910 until 1963. For more information, see reunion.


UMR is partnering with IBM, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Bell Museum of Natural History to offer "All SySTEMs Go at UMR." More than 200 youth in grades K-6 will attend. This event is filled with hands-on experiments that will inspire and stimulate students, exposing them to fascinating technologies that they may not yet have encountered, as well as real-world problem-solving applications in the various STEM fields. July 11, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.


Administrative information
UPGRADE YOUR DEPARTMENT REFRIGERATOR: Energy Management will replace the most inefficient refrigerator or freezer it finds on campus with a brand new Energy Star rated model. Register your department’s "energy hog" on the It All Adds Up website by July 31 for a chance to upgrade.

DISCOUNTED PARKING has expanded to the East River Road Garage. Drivers entering the garage before 7 a.m. and exiting before midnight pay just $6. For more information, see Parking and Transportation Services.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events
THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA FARMERS MARKET WILL RETURN TO CHURCH STREET for its eighth summer season Wednesday, July 11, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Church Street pedestrian mall. It continues every Wednesday, rain or shine, through Oct. 10. For more information, see Farmers Market.

LAND GRANT 150 ICE CREAM SOCIAL. This July marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act, which created the land-grant universities—and Minnesota's one and only land-grant research university. To celebrate on the Twin Cities campus, join President Kaler, Abe Lincoln, and Goldy for an ice cream social July 20, 1–2 p.m., Northrop Plaza. Learn more about what it means to be land-grant institution and watch the video at

A CENTURY OF IDEAS: To celebrate the College of Continuing Education's 100-year history—10 decades of innovation and education—LearningLife’s summer programming will feature "A Century of Ideas," a series of seminars examining the defining moments and movements that made our society what it is today. For registration and more information, see LearningLife.

DISCOUNT VALLEYFAIR TICKETS (up to $10.99) are available at the Coffman Union and St. Paul Student Center information desks. For more information, see discounts.

DRUM CORPS INTERNATIONAL 2012 will feature more than 3,000 young musicians and performers competing in a display of artistry and musicianship, July 14, 1:30 p.m.–10 p.m., TCF Bank Stadium. A $15 admission is available using the coupon at DCI Minnesota and includes one adult ticket and two kids under 12 in premium and super level seating.

MORE EVENTS include The Vampire! (July 12); Tchaikovsky Spectacular! (July 13); Arboretum Auxiliary Private Garden Tours  (July 15); OED Certificate Workshop 4: Communicating on Issues of Equity and Diversity (July 17); University of Minnesota Farmers Market (July 18); Medical Industry Leadership Institute, "Lunch and Learn" (July 23); International Social Entrepreneurship—Update on Efforts for Sustainability (July 24). 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.

Brief is published by email and on the web. Subscribe to Brief.