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Home > Brief > Brief (9-14-2011)  Print

Vol. XLI No. 27; Sept. 14, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Presidential Inauguration preview.
--Public forums for candidates for provost.
--Board of Regents meeting summary.
--Features: A net profit for students...and the community; Of possums and pit vipers: an evolutionary duel; This Week @Minnesota; U of M Moment.
--People: Provost Tom Sullivan and vice president for health sciences Aaron Friedman have launched a national search for the dean of the School of Dentistry; and more.

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


PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION PREVIEW: President Eric Kaler has had a busy eleven-plus weeks since taking the reins as sixteenth president of the University of Minnesota on July 1, but the sixteenth president of the U isn’t the sixteenth president of the U without a proper inauguration. The U will celebrate the inauguration of Eric W. Kaler Sept. 19–24, with the formal ceremony to be held Sept. 22, in Ted Mann Concert Hall. The week consists of a series of activities on and off campus. For more information, see Inauguration preview.

PUBLIC FORUMS FOR CANDIDATES for the position of senior vice president for academic affairs and provost continue through Sept. 20. The search committee has invited five candidates to meet with key stakeholder groups on campus during the next two weeks. To respect the confidentiality of the candidates, their individual names will be released the day before each of them visits campus. The entire University is invited to meet each candidate, review his/her curriculum vitae, and provide input to the search committee. For more information, see VP and Provost candidate public forums.

BOARD OF REGENTS SEPTEMBER MEETING SUMMARY: At the Sept. 9 Board of Regents meeting, President Eric Kaler outlined his proposal for allocating an additional $25 million annually that the University received during the special legislative session. The replacement funds put the total reduction of state funding at 7.8 percent—a cut of $520.3 million (versus $545.3 million). The board heard a presentation on the U’s planned 2012 capital budget request, which will be considered for action at the board’s October meeting. For more information, see Board of Regents.

FEATURE: Roy Gaddey knows the importance of tangible professional and business experience. He has plenty himself, having been a VP for a Fortune 500 company, the owner of a sports marketing firm, and a real estate developer. So when he returned to the classroom he devised a way to take student learning beyond textbooks. His brainchild is a yearlong course that enables students to start up and operate their own nonprofit corporation. For more information, read "A net profit for students...and the community."

FEATURE: Rattlesnakes strike with lightning speed; yet certain opossums not only survive, but go on to eat the snakes. How do they do it? In a new study, U researcher Sharon Jansa and a colleague show that rapid evolution of a blood protein keeps the Virginia opossum and related species one step ahead of evolutionary "upgrades" in the potency of the viper's venom. The work injects a new element into the story of the perpetual "arms race" between predators and prey. For more information, read "Of possums and pit vipers: an evolutionary duel."

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Sept. 6–9. This installment of the weekly video feature from the U's News Service talks to some students about what they are most excited about on the first day of school, shows a sneak peek of Goldy's training routine, and visits the grand reopening ceremony for the newly-renovated Folwell Hall. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

U OF M MOMENT: A new school year kicks off at the U of M’s Twin Cities campus this week, with thousands of students studying things from anthropology to statistics. Paul Timmins, career services director in the College of Liberal Arts, says choosing the right major requires careful consideration. When it then comes to landing that first job, it’s all about the skills, Timmins says. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

Awards, appointments, and other announcements
PEOPLE: Provost Tom Sullivan and vice president for health sciences Aaron Friedman have launched a national search for the dean of the School of Dentistry; the Institute on the Environment has named 14 new resident fellows; U researcher Michael Kyba has received a $375,000 grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

UMCal IS SCHEDULED TO BE DECOMMISSIONED SEPT. 30. Effective Oct. 1, UMCal will no longer be available, and Google Calendar will become the U's official calendar. Users who have migrated to Google already and only use UMCal in order to collaborate with other UMCal users may disregard the migration instructions. Academic Health Center and other Health Care Component-related accounts will NOT be eligible for Google email accounts at this time, and those users will receive additional information about transitioning to Google Calendar. For more information, see UMCal.

INTERNATIONALIZING TEACHING AND LEARNING COHORT PROGRAM: All faculty are invited to participate in a cohort program to internationalize courses. Proposals due Oct. 14. Sponsors: Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, Center for Teaching and Learning, Office of Information Technology, and Instructional Development Service (UMD). For more information, see internationalization.

GLOBAL SPOTLIGHT INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH GRANTS: The Global Programs and Strategy Alliance has announced a U-wide grant program for faculty and graduate and professional students to promote major international research and scholarly initiatives with global visibility. The focus of the program in the 2010–12 biennium is the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, or the impact of urbanization in a global context. Letters of intent for major grants are due Oct. 14; all other applications are due Dec. 2. For more information, see grant program.


STAFF FROM THE OFFICE OF EQUITY AND DIVERSITY on the Twin Cities campus, including assistant vice president Ricky Hall, will be on the Crookston campus to lead a thought-provoking discussion on diversity. The discussion is a part of the Thursday Commons series. Sept. 15, 12:15–1:45 p.m., Bede Ballroom. For more information, see equity and diversity.

KEVIN THOMPSON AND JINGPENG TANG were each promoted to associate professor with tenure, effective Aug. 15. Thompson teaches in the Liberal Arts and Education Department and Tang teaches in the Math, Science, and Technology Department. For more information, see tenure.

FINAL CONCEPTS FOR NATURE-BASED PLAY SPACES for the cities of Crookston and Warren, MN, have been completed and approved. The children's play space for Crookston was designed for Castle Park, located off Castle Street, west of the Crookston hospital complex. For more information, see play spaces.


CHANCELLOR BLACK AND THE UMD DIVERSITY COMMISSION invite UMD faculty, staff, administrators, and students to participate in the 2011–12 campus theme, "How Did You Come to Be Here?" For more information, see campus theme.

THE MARSHALL W. ALWORTH PLANETARIUM has reopened after an extensive renovation. Howard Mooers, professor of geological sciences, and the Swenson College of Science and Engineering faculty and staff launched a fundraiser that covered the cost of new seats, as well as other remodeling expenses. The theater now features full-dome video, surround sound, and digital lighting. For more information, see planetarium reopens.

CHANCELLOR BLACK WILL THROW THE FIRST PITCH at the Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals game at Target Field on Sept. 28. Alumni, family, and friends are welcome to attend a pregame party at 5:30 p.m. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. For more information, see first pitch.


UMM HAS BEEN NAMED A TOP 200 INSTITUTION IN THE NATION IN SUPPORT OF AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS by Winds of Change, a quarterly publication by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Winds of Change is the leading nationally distributed magazine published with a single-minded focus on career and educational advancement for American Indian and Alaska Native peoples with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). For more information, see top 200.

JACK ZIPES, U professor emeritus of comparative literature and German, will deliver the inaugural UMM Honors Lecture. His talk, "De-Disneyfying the Fairy-Tale Film," is based on his newest book, The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films. Sept. 14, 4 p.m., Recital Hall.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE UPPER MIDWEST ASSOCIATION FOR CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY CONFERENCE to be held at UMM Sept. 23–24. The conference, "Creating Change Together," highlights community engagement. Keynote speakers are Julian Keniry, National Wildlife Federation, and Patrick Moore, Clean Up the River Environment. Renewable energy tours will be offered, as well as healthy and local foods tours. For more information, register online.


THE BOARD OF REGENTS approved the addition of a UMR student representative to the board at its Sept. 9 meeting. Board chair Linda Cohen called the addition another sign of the growth and strength of the UMR campus.


Administrative information

THE SURVEY PEER NETWORK, a platform to connect faculty, staff, and students with survey resources and each other, is kicking off its fall series Sept. 21 with "Protecting Participants and Ourselves: IRB and Privacy Issues in Survey Research." The session will focus on IRB, HRPP, privacy, and data security with regard to planning, administering, and analyzing survey research; and is geared toward general survey practitioners and those involved in social sciences research. October’s session will be directed towards the health sciences. For more information and to RSVP, see Survey Peer Network.

ENCORE TRANSITIONS: PREPARING FOR A POST-CAREER LIFE, a University-created retirement preparation course, will be offered for the second time this fall. The course is designed for faculty and staff nearing retirement age or eligibility. The four-day course will help employees prepare for a successful post-career life by focusing on personal, professional, and social satisfaction, as well as timely financial questions. The course begins Oct. 22. Cost is $500, and units are invited to support their employees’ participation to the fullest extent possible. For more information, including eligibility requirements, see Encore Transitions.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE LAW SCHOOL WILL HOST A CONSTITUTION DAY PROGRAM commemorating the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 16, 12:15–1:15 p.m., 25 Lockhart Hall, Law School. The program will also be presented as a live webcast. For more information, see Constitution Day.

THE URBAN RESEARCH AND OUTREACH CENTER (UROC) will host an open house celebrating the center’s programs and partnerships. Activities include building tours, a sneak peek at a University/TPT documentary on North Minneapolis, and a short program and reception beginning at 1 p.m. with President Kaler, who will visit UROC as part of inauguration week activities. UROC is an initiative of the Office of the Senior Vice President for System Academic Administration. Sept. 20, noon–6 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, see UROC.

THE 2011 MISEL FAMILY LECTURE SERIES will feature Roger Blandford of Stanford University with a lecture titled, "The Dark Side of the Universe." Free and open to the public. Sept. 20, 7 p.m., Memorial Hall, McNamara Alumni Center. For more information, see Misel Lecture.

LEARNING ABROAD FAIR: Faculty and staff are asked to encourage students to attend the Learning Abroad Fair, where staff and study abroad representatives will answer questions. Faculty and staff are also invited to stop by to learn about the opportunities available to students, as well as other initiatives organized by the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance. Sept. 21, 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m., West Bank Plaza. In the event of rain, the fair will be held in the enclosed walkway of the Washington Avenue bridge. For more information, email Mandi (Miller) Allers.

THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH (SPH) Alumni and Friends Scholarship Gala will feature Michael Specter, a staff writer for The New Yorker. Specter is a frank, dynamic speaker and the author of Denialism, an investigation of the causes and consequences of the growing mistrust of science. Sept. 22, 5:30 p.m., TCF Bank Stadium's DQ Club Room. Event tickets are available for purchase until Sept. 14. For tickets and more information, see SPH gala.

THE RAPTOR CENTER’S FALL RAPTOR RELEASE will feature the release of rehabilitated birds of prey along with educational exhibits and children’s activities. Karen Kaler, the wife of U president Eric Kaler, will release a raptor during the morning event. Sept. 24, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Carpenter St. Croix Nature Center, Hastings, MN. Free and open to the public. For more information, see raptor release.

INTEGRATING PUBLIC HEALTH AND CLINICAL CARE USING ELECTRONIC HEALTH INFORMATION, an Institute for Health Informatics Distinguished Lectureship Series, will feature William Yasnoff, professor in the U’s Institute for Health Informatics, and adjunct professor, Division of Health Sciences Informatics, John Hopkins University. Yasnoff will address the innovation and challenges of using health record banks to make a health information infrastructure possible. Sept. 28, 3:30–4:30 p.m. Mayo Auditorium.

THE WEISMAN ART MUSEUM will hold a special open house for faculty, staff, and students on Sept. 27, 4–6 p.m., before opening to the general public on Oct. 2. Opening exhibitions focus on displaying unseen treasures from the collection. The Weisman’s 8,100-square-foot expansion is devoted to WAM's collection of ceramics, photography, and prints; and American paintings and sculptures. Also debuting will be the first exhibit in the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration and two installations by contemporary artists inspired by WAM's collection. For more information, see WAM open house.

NANODIAGNOSTICS AND NANOTHERAPEUTICS: BUILDING RESEARCH ETHICS AND OVERSIGHT is a conference intended for those involved in human subjects research and oversight. Sept. 26, 8:30 a.m.–4:45 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Center. Cost: $50 ($25 for students). For more information, see ethics and oversight.

THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S STUDY SPEAKERS SERIES will next present Mark Bergeron, associate director of Neonatal Medicine, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota (St. Paul campus). Bergeron will discuss the topic of Post Traumatic Stress in the NICU Parent. Sept. 28, 3–4:30 p.m., Wilder Center, St. Paul. For registration and more information, see children’s study.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE 2011 GOPHER ADVENTURE RACE, to be held on the UMTC campuses on Oct. 7. Participants race in teams of two, traveling by foot and campus transportation to take on physical and mental challenges while deciphering clues. All faculty, staff, alumni, and students are invited to participate. The event will include top prizes provided by North Face, drawings, food, and more. Cost: $30. Sponsored by the Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies program. For more information, see 2011 Gopher Adventure Race.

"MY LETTER TO THE WORLD: NARRATING HUMAN RIGHTS" will feature talks and panel discussions on the personal narrative voice and human rights. Among the presenters and panelists are CLA Winton Chair and novelist Nuruddin Farah and three Regents Professors: Patricia Hampl (English), Kathryn Sikkink (Political Science), and Elaine Tyler May (American Studies). The evening speaker is Philip Gourevitch, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award for his book about the Rwandan Genocide. Oct. 10, Coffman Union. For more information, see human rights.

THE 27th ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON POLICY ANALYSIS, "Defining the Public Good: What Is the Role of Government in Minnesota?" will address what will be defined as the public good in the face of budget challenges, changing demographics, and an evolving national and international landscape. Oct. 12, Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul. For registration and more information see policy analysis conference.

SUPER FANTASTIC WEEK events will take place at the St. Paul Student Center Sept. 19–23. Enjoy live music, free food, prize drawings, free films, bowling, and more. For more information, see super fantastic.

MORE EVENTS include Better Data Searching (Sept. 15); UMCF Expert Insights: Amy Phenix (Sept. 15); CSCL Welcome Back Screening of Attack of the 50ft Woman (Sept. 16); "The Politics of Famine and Displacement in the Horn of Africa" (Sept. 19); How it All Began—TWINS (Sept. 20). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

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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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