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Home > Brief > Brief (9-19-2012)  Print

Vol. XLII No. 28; September 19, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

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

Inside This Issue
--Board of Regents meeting summary.
--Features: The serious side of gaming; 2012–14 McKnight Land-Grant Professor Melissa Gardner.
--People: Senior Vice President Robert Jones has been named the next president of the University at Albany; and more.

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


AT THE SEPTEMBER BOARD OF REGENTS MEETING, U President Eric Kaler proposed his first biennial budget request, for fiscal years 2014–15. The request is accompanied by policy options for state legislators to consider, representing a new approach and partnership with the State of Minnesota. Pending board action in October, the request to the state legislature will be pursued during the 2013 legislative session, which begins in January. The board was also presented with an overview of the 2012 University Plan, Performance, and Accountability Report. For more information, see Board of Regents.

PRESIDENT KALER WILL HOLD A CAMPUS CONVERSATION to share his priorities for the coming year, including new initiatives to hold down tuition costs and focus on key academic strengths. The talk will also cover progress made on operational excellence and ongoing "Op Ex" plans for the new academic year. Oct. 2, noon–1 p.m., Coffman Union Theater. RSVP online if you plan to attend, or join the event live online via UMConnect. For more information, see Campus Conversation.


FEATURE: In the world of medical education, there's a time and place for rigorous and serious classroom education. Looking ahead, there will increasingly be a time for that will also be serious. The School of Nursing, in collaboration with a medical technology company and the Minnesota Hospital Association, is developing and enhancing a suite of "serious games"—interactive, web-based games that will accelerate learning in real-life scenarios. For more information, read "The serious side of gaming."

FEATURE: Curiosity can pull scientists in any number of directions, and it's in their biological makeup to respond. Melissa Gardner, a 2012–14 McKnight Land-Grant professor who specializes in genetics and cell biology, surrendered to her curiosity as a graduate student and returned to academia after beginning her career in the medical device industry. Today, she uses mathematical and computational modeling to learn how cells divide and how that division is controlled. For more information, read "Figuring out the force: Melissa Gardner."

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Sept. 10–14. This episode of the weekly video series features low-cost options for students around the UMTC campus, such as discounted Gopher football tickets, money management tips, and an open textbook catalog. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Senior Vice President Robert Jones has been named the next president of the University at Albany; U scientists have received a grant from the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Innovation Program (NSF-PFI) to develop biotechnology to clean up hydraulic fracturing (fracking) water; 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 2012 DRIVEN TO DISCOVER MARKETING CAMPAIGN "DISCOVERY IS ILLUMINATION" will launch the week of Sept. 24 with a focus on the value of an education at a research university and the benefit of giving to scholarships. The objectives of the campaign are to show the public and the legislature the value of an education at the U and increase support for student scholarships. The campaign showcases how education and discovery at the U not only illuminate students, but the state and the world beyond. The home page will reflect these stories and encourage visitors to share their own stories, advocate for the University, or to make a gift.

APPLICATIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAVES: The Sept. 12 issue of Brief incorrectly listed a particular application process for leaves. Colleges and campuses determine their own deadlines and processes for professional development leaves. For more information, download the application (PDF) or see the development and leave policy online.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE FRONTIERS IN THE ENVIRONMENT LECTURE SERIES, a program of the Institute on the Environment (IonE), kicks off its fall 2012 programming on Sept. 19, with a talk by IonE's John Sheehan titled "Sustainable Development: What Would Aristotle Do?" Join IonE each Wednesday at noon for a presentation and Q&A session, followed by a casual get-together. R380 IonE seminar room, Learning and Environmental Sciences Bldg., St. Paul. The lectures also air live online via UMConnect. For more information, see frontier lectures.


UMC WAS RANKED SECOND in this year's U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings, in the category "Midwest Top Public Regional Colleges." The rankings for 2013 mark the 15th consecutive year the Crookston campus has appeared in the top four and is a move up from last year's placement at number three. For more information, see rankings.

A BIRD-FRIENDLY FOREST MANAGMENT WORKSHOP will address managing land to enhance wildlife, specifically birds. The workshop will include an optional birding walk. The workshop is open to the public as well as natural resource professionals and is under the coordination of John Loegering. Sept. 20, 7 a.m.–1 p.m., Forest History Center near Grand Rapids, MN. For more information, see bird-friendly.

THE NEW TEXTBOOK FOR STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SPEAKING at UMC is the result of years of teaching experience and research by associate professor Mark Huglen, who has been at the Crookston campus since 1996. Kevin Thompson, associate professor and a colleague in the Liberal Arts and Education Department, assisted Huglen with the book, Public Speaking: Strategies for Effective Public Speaking. For more information, see textbook.

UMC's CENTER FOR ADULT LEARNING (CAL) received a $25,000 grant from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation in support of the Achieve More Project. Achieve More emerged from the regional IMPACT 20/20 Education Task Force's priority initiative to increase high school graduation rates and encourage more students to consider attending college. Launched this fall, the project is a collaborative effort among CAL, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, and the Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce.


U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT BEST COLLEGES ranking has placed UMD first among Minnesota Regional Public Universities and seventh in the Top Midwest Regional Public Universities category. For more information, see rankings.

UMD'S MULTICULTURAL LEARNING COMMUNITY is an on-campus residential feature offered as one of many options for students. This year, 27 freshmen have chosen to experience living, learning, and socializing through the program. For more information, see learning community.

A LAND-GRANT HERITAGE presentation conducted by Michael Lalich, director of UMD's Natural Resources Research Institute, will be held Sept. 27, 7 p.m., Kirby Ballroom. "UMD & Mineral Resources: Challenges, Opportunities, and a Land-Grant Perspective" is an informative event connecting Minnesota mines with ongoing research at UMD. For more information, see NRRI event.


UMM HAS BEEN LISTED AMONG THE NATION'S TOP TEN Public Liberal Arts Colleges in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. This is the 14th consecutive year in which Morris has been included on this list. Morris was also ranked 161st in the top tier of the National Liberal Arts Colleges list. For more information, see rankings.

HOMECOMING FESTIVITIES will bring the Morris community together for a variety of exciting Homecoming events, which include sports competitions, reunions, concerts, performances, and networking opportunities for alumni and students. All are welcome at the celebration, Sept. 18–23. For more information, see Homecoming.

STERLING EVANS, Louise Welsh Chair of Oklahoma, Southern Plains, and Borderlands History at the University of Oklahoma, will be the featured speaker in this year's O. Truman Driggs Distinguished Lecture in History, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m., HFA Recital Hall. Evans's lecture, "Nothing New About NAFTA: Connecting the Northern Plains (and Minnesota) to a Greater North American History," will address North American grain production during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For more information, see Driggs Distinguished Lecture.


RENOWNED PHOTOGRAPHER AND LECTURER WING YOUNG HUIE will be featured by the Student Affairs and the Diversity Committee during the first week in October in a series of Chalk-talk Workshops for students, staff, and faculty. Huie's photography addresses socioeconomic and cultural realities of American society. The majority of the Chalk-Talk Workshops will be targeted towards first-year students, but Huie will also host a session for faculty and staff, Oct. 1, 3–4:30 p.m., 417 University Square.


Administrative information

AN INITIATIVE TO RE-ESTABLISH A BLACK FACULTY AND STAFF ASSOCIATION at the U will kick off with a "meet and greet" dessert reception for Black faculty and staff on the Twin Cities campus Sept. 19, 3:30–5:30 p.m., Coffman Union. Speakers will include President Kaler; Senior VP Robert Jones; chair of the African American and African Studies Department, Keith Mayes; and director of the Office of Diversity in Graduate Education, Patricia Jones Whyte. The purpose of the event is to create an opportunity for Black U of M employees to connect with one another and build a supportive community. For more information, email Alysia Lajun.

A RESILIENT COMMUNITIES PROJECT (RCP) will bring the expertise of hundreds of graduate students and the University to sustainability-related projects in Minnesota cities. The program will begin this fall, with students and faculty from 11 University courses working with the city of Minnetonka. Each academic year, RCP will choose a city partner through a competitive process, help identify potential projects, and match the city's needs with U courses. For more information, see Resilient Communities.

HOMECOMING 2012 COMMUNITY SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES are available during Homecoming week, Oct. 7–14. Opportunities include the Norman Borlaug Food and Hunger 5K, Oct. 6, which supports hunger relief in the Twin Cities; the American Red Cross Blood Drive, Oct. 10; and the Food Drive, with food donations accepted throughout Homecoming week. For registration and more information about various service projects, see community service.

"IT ALL ADDS UP" AND HOUSING & RESIDENTIAL LIFE are introducing the "Live Green Games" in residence halls this year. The new sustainability competition awards points for resident participation in monthly sustainability programming. The residence hall with the most points at the end of April will receive a catered "Sustainable Study Break" during finals. For more information, see live green.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR MINI MEDICAL SCHOOL's fall programming, "The Human Body: A Living Partnership," held on Mondays throughout October. Register today and discover how world-renowned experts in the Academic Health Center are researching and making discoveries about the human body—and translating those into ways to improve health around the world. Cost: $65 for U faculty, staff, and students. For more information, see Mini Medical School.

THE TECHNOLOGICAL LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE has announced a new speaker series titled, "Technically Speaking: Leadership in Action." The series features presentations by leading experts in the public and private sectors on topics at the intersection of technology, business, science, and engineering. The first of these free events, "Entrepreneurship: Grow Your Idea," will take place Sept. 20, 6 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. For registration and more information, see Technically Speaking.

THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC'S FALL CONVOCATION will feature a conversation on Creativity for Music Careers: Leveraging Talent, Technic, and Tenacity with Grammy winning composer, arranger, big band leader, and School of Music alumna Maria Schneider; internationally renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw; producer David Frost; engineer Tim Martyn; with School of Music director David Myers as moderator. U Jazz Ensemble I will perform works by Schneider at the event, and Regents will confer upon her an honorary degree. Sept. 24, 10 a.m., Ted Mann. For more information, see convocation.

KILLING WITH POWERPOINT! HOW TO AVOID DEATH BY POWERPOINT WITH POWERPOINT will provide a basic overview of designing slides and presentations that engage audiences, facilitate learning, and increase retention. Sept. 25, noon–1 p.m. For registration and more information, see the Center for Teaching and Learning's Just in Time Teaching series.

A START-UP SEMINAR featuring Artiman Ventures from Silicon Valley will share insights about how to pursue venture capital for early stage startup companies. U researchers, including faculty, graduate students, and postdocs, are invited to the session, hosted by the Office for Technology Commercialization. Sept. 27, 4–6 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. RSVP online by Sept. 25.

A CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS ABOUT DIVERSITY AND JUSTICE series, sponsored by the Office for Equity and Diversity, starts Sept. 28 and runs through April 2013. All events in the series will take place on a Friday, from 1:30–3 p.m., 120 Elmer Andersen Library. Conversation topics range from the marriage amendment and invisible disabilities to race issues and immigration, and will feature knowledgeable panelists from both the University and the broader community. Free and open to the public. For more information, see critical conversations.

NORTHROP CONCERTS AND LECTURES will present "SOLO—McKnight Dance Fellows" featuring world premieres from six of Minnesota's finest dancers and recipients of the 2010 and 2011 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Dancers. As part of their fellowship, the fellows also receive a commission for a new solo work created expressly for them. Sept. 21 and 22, 8 p.m., Ted Mann. Cost: $25. A companion screening of the acclaimed documentary film Solo: 1x2, will be shown Oct. 1, 7 p.m., Bell Museum.

CYBER SECURITY SUMMIT: Join national cyber security experts and technology business leaders for the second annual Cyber Security Summit, Oct. 9–10, Minneapolis Convention Center. Speakers include high-ranking officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and State of Minnesota, as well as technology business leaders from companies such as Medtronic, Verizon, and Delta Air Lines. Registration discounts for faculty, staff, and students end Sept. 21. The U of M Technological Leadership Institute is one of the summit's presenting sponsors. For more information, see security summit.

"TAX REFORM: Lessons from Economics Theory and Prospects for the Future" will be presented by The Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute (HHEI), Oct. 15, 5:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. The events will feature Joel Slemrod, professor with the Ross School of Business, U of Michigan; and VV Chari, director of HHEI. For registration and more information, see tax reform.

THE JAMES A. HAMILTON SYMPOSIUM will address big issues facing the U.S. healthcare system today, including health reform, cost, and system integration. At the event, a panel of experts will respond to opinions gathered from interviews with health system CEOs from around the country. The symposium will be moderated by Daniel Zismer, Master's in Healthcare Administration program director. Oct. 16, 5–8 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. For registration and more information, see Hamilton Symposium.

"VIEWS FROM THE U: The Political Science of Election 2012" will feature the expertise of five leading political science researchers and U professors, moderated by Kathryn Sikkink. The last hour of the program will be open for an audience Q&A. Oct. 16, 5:30 p.m., Coffman Union Theater. For registration and more information, see political science.

MORE EVENTS include Film Screening: Second Nature (Sept. 19); Super Fantastic Week (Sept. 17–21); professor Therese Zink discusses her new books (Sept. 20); Mountain Biking Day Trip (Sept. 21); How Alaska's Salmon Became Wild (Sept. 27); 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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