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Vol. XLIII No. 25; August 7, 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 Aug. 7 and 21. The weekly schedule returns Sept. 11.

Inside This Issue
--UMTC emergency training exercise Aug. 14.
--Features: Winds of change; New twist in electronics; Tackling fracking.
--People: A $13.5 million grant will create the National Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for African American Men's Health; and more.


UMTC WILL HOST AN EMERGENCY TRAINING EXERCISE ON THE WEST BANK beginning at 9 a.m. Aug. 14. The exercise will be held in the Regis Center for Art. It is an exercise only and not an actual emergency. Nearby residents and those coming to campus should expect extra law enforcement and emergency activity on campus, including emergency sirens and announcements on the U's emergency sound system, as well as certain street and parking ramp closures. For more information, see beginning Aug. 12.


FEATURE: In mid-July, the U's West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris officially launched a process believed to be one-of-a-kind, which takes the energy from wind, converts it to hydrogen, and then to ammonia that can be used as fertilizer on surrounding farmlands. The processing plant is part of the center's larger efforts to reduce fossil-fuel consumption in agriculture over the next 5 to 10 years. For more information, read "Winds of change."

FEATURE: In one of professor of mechanical engineering Uwe Kortshagen's dreams, cheap electronic inks result in touchpad devices that cost barely a dollar, and every schoolchild in Africa learns to read and do math with one. Kortshagen and colleagues have come up with a technology that may make those dreams come true. For more information, read "New twist in electronics."

FEATURE: In humans' eternal quest for more energy, a relatively new oil and natural gas mining technique targets deposits locked in pockets of rock. Called hydrofracturing, or fracking, the technique uses lots of water, which goes in clean and comes out contaminated. Microbiologists Larry Wackett and Michael Sadowsky are working toward purifying fracking water through development of a silica sponge stuffed with oil-eating bacteria. For more information, read "Tackling fracking."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: A $13.5 million grant will create the National Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for African American Men's Health; the U of M launched a record number of start-up companies in FY 2013; the photographs of retired faculty member Vic Bloomfield are the subject of an upcoming exhibition at the Minnesota Museum of American Art; 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 STUDENT RECORDS WORK GROUP OF THE ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS UPGRADE PROGRAM (ESUP) will host a town hall meeting to provide a status update on the progress of the team and an overview of the business processes that have been approved within ESUP governance. Aug. 9, 8:30–10 a.m., with locations on each campus as well as an online option. For more information, see ESUP Student Records.

CONSTRUCTION OF THE ITASCA BIOLOGICAL STATION AND LABORATORIES' new campus center has begun. Funding for the project was included in the 2012 legislative bonding bill. A blog called Under Construction @ Itasca includes images and updates on its progress. For more information about the project, see Rebuild Itasca.

CALL FOR CONFERENCE PROPOSALS: Sessions and posters for the 4th Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference are due Oct. 25. The conference will take place Apr. 11, Coffman Union. For registration and more information about conference proposals, see Internationalizing Conference.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

AUGUST OFFERINGS AT THE U OF M LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM include classes for adults, kids, and families ranging from gardening and cooking to botanical illustration. For registration and more information, see August at the Arboretum.


TWO FACULTY MEMBERS HAVE BEEN APPOINTED INTERIM DEPARTMENT HEADS. Professor Bill Peterson will serve as interim head of the Math, Science, and Technology Department, and associate professor Soo-Yin Lim-Thompson will serve as interim head of the Liberal Arts and Education Department.

ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT was the focus of the executive committee retreat led by Chancellor Fred Wood July 24–25. Discussions revolved around recruitment and retention, on-campus and online enrollment, learning assessment, graduation rates, and other related areas of importance to the future of the campus. The retreat marked the one-year anniversary for Wood as chancellor of the Crookston campus.

OX CART DAYS ICE CREAM SOCIAL will be hosted by UMC University Relations Aug. 14, 2–4 p.m., Peterson Gazebo, Campus Mall (rain site: Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center). Members of the campus and the Crookston community are invited to enjoy free ice cream courtesy of Sodexo/Dining Services. For more information, see Ox Cart Days.


OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS, THE UMD FARM has known seasons of bounty and years of neglect. Now it's enjoying a rebirth as society's focus shifts to local and sustainably grown produce. Partnerships with UMD Dining Services, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Natural Resources Research Institute, to name just a few, are helping the enterprise thrive. For more information, see UMD Farm.

A NEW MASTER OF LIBERAL STUDIES (MLS) DEGREE will launch this fall. Students will focus their work in one of four areas: the history of ideas, global indigenous studies, media studies, and sustainability studies. Studies include literature, philosophy, sociology, art, communication, languages, and more. For more information, see MLS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF AMERICAN INDIAN STUDIES is holding a series of consultation sessions with tribal members and educators in order to gain insights into what types of certificate programs are needed on reservations for the tribal work force. They will also explore the best way to set up an institute for the study, preservation, and protection of tribal sovereignty and decide what type of research the institute would conduct. For more information, see Tribal Consultation Sessions.


THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT PROGRAM has welcomed 29 incoming international students for the 2013 Summer Transition for English Language and Liberal Arts Readiness (STELLAR) program. The goal of the program is to give international students a strong foundation in academic English and to familiarize them with the liberal arts, campus, and community. For more information, see STELLAR Program.

MICHAEL CEBALLOS, assistant professor of biology, received a Project SEED award from the American Chemical Society, which provides funding for area high-school students to conduct summer research with University science and math faculty members. The program provides students who historically lack exposure to scientific careers the chance to spend eight weeks conducting hands-on research. For more information, see Ceballos.

UMM HAS AGAIN BEEN INCLUDED in Forbes magazine's "America's Top Colleges." According to the Forbes ranking, UMM ranked eighth lowest in overall cost of institutions sampled, fourth lowest in the Midwest, and the lowest in the state among non-military institutions for which figures were reported. In overall rankings, UMM placed 89th in the Midwest and 386th in the nation. For more information, see "America's Top Colleges."


SAMANTHA DUKE, capstone and community engagement program manager, has been selected to represent UMR in the next cohort of Leadership Greater Rochester, a 10-month leadership development course created by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. The program's mission is to develop emerging leaders through participation in personal, professional, and community activities designed to encourage individual responsibility for taking a leadership role in the future vitality of the greater Rochester area. For more information, see Leadership Greater Rochester.


Administrative information

FACULTY AND STAFF VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to assist with Welcome Week 2013. Opportunities include helping with New Student Move-In (Aug. 26–27), Parent Receptions (Aug. 26–27), New Student Convocation (Aug. 29), and the Class of 2017 Cookout (Aug. 30). Each year, more than 5,000 first-year students participate in Welcome Week, which is designed to prepare them for the start of their academic careers. For more information, see Welcome Week volunteer opportunities.

COMPUTER RECYCLING SERVICES has selected a new vendor, Dynamic Recycling, for University of Minnesota computer and electronics recycling. This change will foster continued excellent service and reduce costs to the University by approximately $75,000 annually. To schedule a pickup, call Dynamic Recycling at 608-781-4030. For more information, see computer recycling.

COPYRIGHT PERMISSION REQUESTS FOR FALL 2013 course materials should be submitted to the Copyright Permissions Center as soon as possible. Source information may be dropped off at any Printing Services location, faxed to 612-626-9810, mailed to 102 Printing Services, or submitted online. For more information, email Dale Mossestad or call 612-624-8258.

UMTC HAS SELECTED HOURCAR TO PROVIDE CAR-SHARING SERVICES ON CAMPUS. Service began Aug. 1 with 10 new vehicles. Special membership plans are available for University students, faculty, staff, and departments. Zipcar is no longer available on campus. Remember: Zipcar memberships renew automatically on anniversary dates; individuals must contact Zipcar directly to cancel. For more information, see car sharing.

DEPARTMENTS THAT EMPLOY GRADUATE OR UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTS for whom English is a secondary language should check UM Reports to ensure those students have attained the proper English Language Proficiency (ELP) rating to hold a TA position. For more information, see ELP rating.

STUDENT UNIONS AND ACTIVITIES EVENTS AND CONFERENCES OFFICE has introduced inclusive room rates for faculty and staff. Basic AV will be included in the reservation rate, making the event planning and billing experience smoother. Basic AV includes the projector, computer audio, and lectern with microphone in all event spaces. Additional AV is available. For a full list of Coffman Union and St. Paul Student Center event spaces and rates, see Student Unions.

THE COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE has begun a veterinary education "twinning" project with Chiang Mai University of Thailand under the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Veterinary Education Twinning Program. Twinning is an approach that enables peer-to-peer exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experience between two universities. It is part of a broader OIE initiative to improve the capacity of veterinary services in developing countries. For more information, see twinning project.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE MINNESOTA CENTENNIAL SHOWBOAT is offering a special on tickets for faculty and staff. Tickets will be $12 for shows on Aug. 7 and 14. Use code W12 when ordering to receive the discount. Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 651-227-1100.

HAPPY HOUR AT THE CAMPUS CLUB continues on weekdays through Aug. 30, 3–6 p.m., for all U faculty and staff. Club membership is not required. Food and beverage specials are available, in addition to an updated bar menu. For more information, see Campus Club.

NPR AND NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD GURU WILL SHORTZ will present "An Evening with the Puzzle Master," Sept. 12, 7 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 for faculty and staff, $5 for students. For tickets and more information, see Will Shortz.

MORE EVENTS include Scenes From The Telescreen' Short Film Marathon (Aug. 10); Cafe Scientifique Summer Series (Aug. 14); Sexual Assault Policies Under Scrutiny (Aug. 15); Yoga Rocks the Park (Aug. 18); The Other Side of Poverty in Schools (Aug. 23). 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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