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Vol. XLII No. 24; August 8, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--U of M on a stick.
--Features: Microbes in the Mississippi; Extreme heat is not so hot; Why speak of human rights?; U finds big savings in purchasing.
--People: Christine Tschida has been named director of Northrop; and more.

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


UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA ON A STICK: The U of M promises to be among the largest attractions at this year's "Great Minnesota Get-Together," Aug. 23–Sept. 3. The U will have exhibition space in the U of M Building, located at the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street, Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul. Come out for Maroon and Gold Day, Aug. 26, and be treated to a performance from the Alumni Band and the U of M Marching Band in the parade through the State Fair grounds. President Eric Kaler and his wife, Karen, will visit the fair on Sept. 2, participating in experiments, visiting students with Goldy Gopher and the Rochester Raptor mascots, and playing U of M trivia. For a complete schedule and map of U events, see U at the State Fair.


FEATURE: The mercury is pushing 100, but professor Michael Sadowsky and two assistants leave the indoor coolness for the bank of the Mississippi River as it flows by the UMTC campus. The three men send a bucket splashing into the current and haul back a water sample. Information locked away in bacteria from the sample may tell them a great deal about how the river’s microbial communities change along its course through Minnesota and how they're affected by human activity. For more information, read "Microbes in the Mississippi."

FEATURE: The summer of 2012 is burning a mark in the record books. The heat hasn't been as extreme as the Dust Bowl year of 1936, but the prolonged heat (coupled with near tropical dew points) should keep everyone on guard about maintaining their health. Prolonged heat waves and/or intense heat naturally take a toll on our bodies, according to Daniel Duprez, a University cardiologist and professor of medicine. For more information, read "Extreme heat is not so hot."

FEATURE: International law is often framed in terms of human rights. Yet if one follows global news, one might ask: Does the project of human rights law actually make things worse? For the last two years graduate student Geoff Dancy has conducted research on human rights, and he's struggled to rigorously quantify the information. Dancy says international human rights treaties in states increase the information that we have on abusive practices. And that actually makes it seem as if things are getting worse. In fact, he says, such treaties destabilize repressive autocratic regimes, strengthen new democracies, and help temper the extremity of violence in civil wars. For more information, read "Why speak of human rights?"

FEATURE: By operating more efficiently, especially in common-good or shared-services areas, the U of M is putting more time and money back where it belongs—into academics. Over the last two years a strategic sourcing initiative examined where the U spends money and how it might be better spent. The result: $13 million in savings so far on expenses ranging from office and lab supplies to travel and more—and annual savings of $7.2 million. The sourcing initiative is one successful example of what President Kaler has called for more of: “operational excellence.” For more information, read "U finds big savings in purchasing."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Christine Tschida has been named director of Northrop; 2012 Award for Global Engagement Recipients are Kevin Dostal Dauer, Paul Glewwe, and Michael Houston; Katie Eichele has been selected as director for the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education; Professor Emeritus Glenn B. Morey passed away Aug. 2; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

YOUTUBE IS NOW AVAILABLE AT THE U OF M THROUGH GOOGLE APPS, making sharing content with individuals and/or distribution lists easy with contact list integration. The addition of YouTube also enables the Google Hangouts On Air broadcast feature. Accessed through Google+, Google Hangouts enable videoconferencing with up to nine other individuals. Hangouts On Air enable users to take that same conference and broadcast it to the world. For more information, see YouTube and Hangouts On Air.

IRB ADMINISTRATOR TRAINING will be offered by PRIM&R (Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research) Sept. 10–11, St. Paul Student Center Theater. The one-and-a-half-day program covers the primary duties of an IRB administrator, from record-keeping and advising to coordinating off-site administrative agreements, and is intended for those new to the job as well as seasoned professionals. For more information, see the PRIM&R website.

Awards and funding opportunities

APPLICATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED FOR THE FALL GRANT-IN-AID of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship Program in the Office of the Vice President for Research. The grants promote the scholarly and artistic activities of faculty and their graduate students. Proposals must be submitted electronically by Sept. 17. For more information, see grant applications.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: McKNIGHT LAND-GRANT PROFESSORSHIPS. The Office of the Vice President for Research has announced the competition for the 2013–15 McKnight Land-Grant Professorships, a program of career development awards for junior faculty. Faculty and staff are encouraged to nominate outstanding professors. Recipients of this endowed professorship will begin their appointments July 1, 2013, and will be awarded a research grant in each of the following two years. Nominations are due Oct. 1. For more information, see McKnight nominations.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

DISCOUNTS ON TICKETS AND T-SHIRTS FOR THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR are available from U of M Bookstores. Visit Bookstore locations at Coffman Union, the St. Paul Student Center, the UMC Bookstore in Crookston, the UMM Bookstore in Morris, or the M Gear Store in Rochester for special savings on admission. Special edition State Fair t-shirts are also available for $6.99. Maroon and Gold Day at the Fair will be Aug. 26. For discounts and more information, see State Fair.


THE LIBERAL ARTS AND EDUCATION DEPARTMENT has added new emphases to the communication major offering students three distinct areas of study: communication studies, organizational communication/public relations, and writing. The UMC campus also offers a minor in communication which serves as a complement to any major. For more information, see communication

THE ANNUAL UMC ICE CREAM SOCIAL will kick off the 2012 Ox Cart Days celebration, Aug. 15, 2–4:30 p.m., Campus Mall. The social will feature a reading and book signing by author Brenda Child at 3 p.m. Child is chair of American Indian Studies and associate professor of American Studies and American Indian Studies. For more information, see ice cream social


PRESIDENT ERIC KALER visited the UMD campus Aug. 6, receiving an update on vital Lake Superior research. Kaler led a group of U scholars and legislators in a research demonstration aboard the Blue Heron, the research vessel of UMD’s Large Lakes Observatory. While on board, Kaler and legislators heard from a U physicist, chemist, and three geologists who are researching ways to protect Minnesota’s water resources, the planet’s fresh water supply, and aquatic life. The group is also studying Lake Superior’s response to the June 20 flooding. For more information, see the news release.

THE RESEARCH FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER is holding a kickoff event, "Building Partnerships Between Tribal Communities and Researchers for Improving American Indian Health Symposium," Aug. 13, 8 a.m.–9 p.m., U of M Cloquet Forestry Center. The series of events is free, but RSVPs are required. For more information, see building partnerships.

THE UMD BAGLEY NATURE AREA HAS BEEN RESTORED by a collaboration of volunteers, including the City of Duluth and MNDOT. In June, the heavy rains and floods that destroyed many homes, neighborhoods, roads, and bridges, also washed away hiking trails within the Bagley Nature Area. For more information, see restoration.


UMM has been included in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 based on a broad range of campus data, including student body, academics, social life, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food, and extracurricular activities. The Fiske Guide profiles more than 300 colleges and universities, seeking to characterize the personality of each institution. For more information, see Fiske Guide


THE NEXT UMR CONNECTS will feature George Spangler, chairman of the National Trout Center, speaking on "Is Recreation an Amusement, or Something Else? And What Do Trout Have to Do With It?" Aug. 21. For more information, see UMR Connects.


Administrative information

FACULTY AND STAFF VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to assist with Welcome Week 2012. Opportunities include helping with New Student Move-In (Aug. 27–29), Parent Receptions (Aug. 27–29), New Student Convocation (Aug. 30), the Class of 2016 Cookout (Aug. 31), and Respect-U (Aug. 31). 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 specific volunteer opportunities or see Welcome Week.

COURSE RESERVES FOR Fall 2012: University Libraries can assist instructors in providing ebooks, online articles, streaming videos, images, primary sources, tutorials, and other course materials to students online and/or in the libraries. All materials are accessible from Moodle, via the Library Course Pages on the Libraries homepage, and through the "My Courses" tab in myU. In addition to course reserves, the Library Course Pages bring together academic research tools tailored to an instructor's course. For more information, see instructor support

COPYRIGHT PERMISSION REQUESTS FOR FALL 2012 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 Building, or submitted online at For more information, email Jackie Pitts or Dale Mossestad, or call 612-624-8258.

HOW ENERGY EFFICIENT IS YOUR BUILDING? Facilities Management recently added a Building Energy Report Card (PDF) to the Energy Dashboards page on its website. The report card allows Twin Cities Campus building occupants to compare their annual energy consumption to a State of Minnesota target. Buildings consuming less than 95 percent of their target energy consumption rate as "excellent"; those between 95 percent and 110 percent are labeled "good"; and facilities consuming more then 110 percent receive a "poor" grade. For more information, see Energy Dashboards.

PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION SERVICES has automated more parking locations on campus, including the East River Road Garage and University Avenue Ramp. The Washington Avenue Ramp and Church Street Garage are scheduled to be automated in late August. For more information, see PTS online.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE DISTINGUISHED VISITING SCHOLARS SERIES on Health Disparities Research continues with Augustus White III, professor of Medical Education and Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. White will present on "Seeing Patients: Unconscious Bias in Health Care," Aug. 15, noon–1 p.m., 2-690 Moos Tower, and live online the day of the event. Lunch will be provided for the first 75 guests. To attend the event, RSVP to The visit also includes the special community event, "What is Health Care Bias?" Aug. 15, 3–4:30 p.m., University Research and Outreach-Engagement Center. To attend this event, RSVP to Neely Snyder.

MINNPOST ASKS LECTURE SERIES will present Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, MinnPost journalist Beth Hawkins, and U of M law professor Dale Carpenter as they discuss the secretary of state's position and powers, and how those powers play out in the amendment battles, recounts, and the overall contentious state of state elections. Aug. 22, 7 p.m., Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul. Tickets are $25 ($15 for Headliners participants, and MinnPost and Learning Circle members). Purchase tickets online or by calling 612-624-4000.

THE CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE INSTITUTE (CTSI) will host the first annual CTSI Research Conference: "Translating Discoveries into Better Health." Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how translational science is improving the health of communities, connect with investigators and research teams from across the University, meet CTSI expert consultants, and more. Sept. 12, 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. For more information and to RSVP, see CTSI conference.

MORE EVENTS include A Process of Transformation (Aug. 9); MBSR info session (Aug. 10); The Vampire! (Aug. 14); University of Minnesota Farmers Market (Aug. 15); Music Theatre at Minnesota (Aug. 18); 2012 Celebrate U! (Aug. 22). 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.

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