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Vol. XLII No. 29; September 26, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Invitation to an open forum with President Kaler.
--State Relations Update.
--U launches record number of startup companies.
--Features: The social lives of plants; This Week @Minnesota.
--People: President Barack Obama will appoint civil engineering professor Efi Foufoula-Georgiou to the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board; and more.

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


PRESIDENT KALER WILL HOLD AN OPEN FORUM 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. Bring your lunch; refreshments will be provided. Oct. 2, noon–1 p.m., Coffman Union Theater. RSVP online if you plan to attend, or join the event live via UMConnect. For more information, see Campus Conversation.

STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: President Kaler recently presented his biennial budget request to the Board of Regents. A key component of the proposal is a base tuition freeze for Minnesota undergraduate students in 2014 and 2015. President Kaler also commits to reducing operating costs in 2014 and 2015 by $28 million and ties part of the U's request to achieving certain goals. The president also introduced a new initiative called MNDRIVE to invest in critical research areas to advance Minnesota's economy. For more information, see State Relations.

THE U LAUNCHED A RECORD NUMBER OF STARTUP COMPANIES IN FY2012. From promoting better driving skills to treating deadly brain tumors, discoveries by U researchers were used to launch 12 companies. Since 2006, the U has launched a total of 38 startup companies. For more information, see new companies.


FEATURE: One of the biggest joys of science comes when nature hands you a complete surprise. It happened recently to two of the U's most prominent ecologists and their research colleagues, who uncovered the functional equivalent of social networks in ordinary grassland plants. Those networks, destroyed when land is cleared for agriculture, hold hope for treating some of the world's biggest ecological ills. The two studies were led by Regents Professors David Tilman and Peter Reich. For more information, read "The social lives of plants."

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Sept 17–21. In this episode of the weekly video feature, we see how President Kaler's legislative budget proposal benefits Minnesota students, families, and the state. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: The White House announced that President Barack Obama will appoint civil engineering professor Efi Foufoula-Georgiou to the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board; the North Star STEM Alliance has been awarded an additional five-year, $2.5 million award from the National Science Foundation; Stephanie Valberg, professor and director of the U's Equine Center, has been inducted into the University of Kentucky Equine Research Hall of Fame, making her the first woman to receive the honor; 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 OFFICE OF HUMAN RESOURCES OPERATIONS CENTER IS RELOCATING TO WBOB as part of VP Brown's OHR strategic plan to consolidate operations and meet President Kaler's expectations for the highest standards of operational excellence. The move will consolidate OHR operations—including the Job Center, Graduate Assistant Employment Services, Classification and Compensation, Payroll, and HRMS—into one physical space. Offices will move from the Donhowe Building to 545 WBOB on Sept. 28. For more information about the relocation and the services affected, see OHR Relocation.

THE U OF M'S LATEST "DRIVEN TO DISCOVER" campaign launched Sept. 24. The campaign is created around the theme of illumination and it plays off of the power of light—the U's bright students, the shine of discovery, and the economic power the U provides to the state. It includes television spots supported by print ads, billboards, bus stop signage, and web content. The home page reflects related stories and encourages visitors to share their own stories, advocate for the University, or to make a gift. For more information, see

2012 MARKS THE CENTENNIAL OF THE UNIVERSITY SENATE AND FACULTY SENATE. The Senate will next meet Oct. 4, Coffman Theater. Panel discussions from 2–3:30 p.m. to kick off centennial events will include Senate history, the Economic Future of Public Research Universities, and Digital Education. Senate meetings follow at 3:30 p.m. For more information, see the full agenda at University Senate.

A GLOBAL OPERATIONS INITIATIVE has been launched by Global Programs and Strategy Alliance to increase access to information for faculty and staff undertaking research or other projects abroad. The initiative brings together experts in the areas of taxation, purchasing, law, human resources, and compliance to assess issues, provide advice, and reduce internal infrastructure barriers. The goal is for the Global Operations team to focus on cross-border compliance issues, so faculty and staff can focus on their academic activities. For more information, see Global Operations.

2012 ELECTION INFORMATION: The University is committed to ensuring faculty, staff, and students have timely, accurate information about voting. Government Relations staff are coordinating voter education communications to the University community and have compiled election and voting related resources, including a Voter Guide as well as the U's "Vote for the U" campaign information. Both are available in print and alternative formats. For more information, see Voter Guide.

POSTDOCS AND JUNIOR FACULTY WHO ANTICIPATE DEALING WITH THE MEDIA during their careers may appreciate the perspectives shared by Institute on the Environment forest ecologist Emily Peters after her research drew attention from Minnesota Public Radio, the Star Tribune, and more. For more information, see Lessons Learned: My First Press Release.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

TEDxUMN 2012: "The end of the world as we know it" will host discussions around the many contexts in which our world might never be the same. The next event takes place Nov. 10 (registration to begin in mid-Oct.), Coffman Union. The series is currently looking for faculty, graduate, and undergraduate speakers. To volunteer or suggest a speaker for this or future events in the series, see TEDxUMN or email Dylan Verden.

Awards and funding opportunities

DOCTORAL STUDENTS APPLYING FOR THE INTERDISCIPLINARY DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP (IDF) program offered by the Graduate School must include a letter of support from the interdisciplinary research center or institute where they propose to take the fellowship. The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) has served as an IDF host institution since the program's inception. Doctoral students who are interested in applying for an IDF at the IAS in 2013–14 must submit a preliminary application to the IAS by Oct. 19. For more information, see Doctoral Fellowship.


TWO TRAINING SESSIONS ON INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION and internationalizing the classroom with emphasis on integrating international students will be offered by the UMC Office of International Programs, the International Student and Scholar Services Office (UMTC), the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance. Sept. 26, 8:30–10:30 a.m., and 3–4:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom, C/D/E Sargeant Student Center. Free but registration is required. For more information, see intercultural workshops.

A LUNCHTIME PRESENTATION that is part of Disability Employment Awareness Month will feature Terri Krake discussing how her life was abruptly changed. As an ambassador for Can Do Canines, Krake will speak about her work with an organization that has literally 'gone to the dogs' to give their human companions real opportunities for independence. Oct. 2, 12:15 p.m., Bede Ballroom. RSVP to Laurie Wilson in advance for the complementary lunch. For more information, see Can Do Canines.

MEMBERS OF THE CROOKSTON CHAMBER AMBASSADORS visited campus Sept. 20 to welcome Chancellor Fred Wood and to acknowledge Erbert & Gerbert's and Caribou Coffee as new business endeavors at UMC's Eagle's Nest.


THE ALWORTH INSTITUTE'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY will be commemorated Sept. 26, 7–9 p.m., 90 Bohannon Hall. Author T.R. Reid will present One Shoulder, Ten Countries: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. For more information, see Alworth anniversary.


AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST MICHELE NORRIS will speak at UMM Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m., Edson Auditorium. Her lecture, "Race, Gender, Inclusion, and the Future of Leadership in America," is co-sponsored by the Commission on Women; the Equity, Diversity, and Intercultural Program; and CAC Convocations. Norris, a graduate of the U's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has more than two decades of experience interviewing world leaders, Nobel laureates, military leaders, and influential newsmakers. For more information, see Michele Norris.

G.I. JOBS HAS RECOGNIZED UMM AS A MILITARY FRIENDLY SCHOOL for the second consecutive year. The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that are working to embrace America's service members, veterans, and spouses as students, and to ensure their success on campus. For more information, see military friendly.

BRADLEY DEANE, associate professor of English, will be honored for his scholarship at the annual conference of the North American Victorian Studies Association. His article "Imperial Boyhood: Piracy and the Play Ethic" was awarded Honorable Mention for the Donald Gray Prize, which is given for the best essay published in the field of Victorian studies. For more information, see Bradley Deane.


THE UMR CONNECTS WEEKLY TUESDAY LECTURE SERIES will focus on public policy during the month of October. The next event, "How Policy Impacts My Life: Stories about the Marriage Amendment," will feature members of the greater Rochester community sharing stories reflecting different perspectives on marriage and the marriage amendment, followed by a moderated discussion open to the audience. Oct. 2, 7 p.m., 417 University Square. For more information, see UMR Connects.


Administrative information

UMTC STUDENTS CAN REGISTER TO VOTE in the upcoming election at any campus library. Registration forms are available at all major service points and completed forms will be delivered to the Secretary of State's office. Answers to common questions about how to register, where to vote, proof of residence needed at the polling place, and voting absentee, can be found at U of M Libraries.

TOOLS AND SERVICES FOR RESEARCH PAPERS FROM U LIBRARIES: The updated Assignment Calculator helps students plan out assignments including papers, speeches, video projects, and more. Instructors can customize an assignment for specific due dates and students can receive email reminders. In addition, Peer Research Consultants offer one-on-one tutoring on academic research and are available by drop-in hours or appointment. For more information, see the Course Resources tab at U Libraries.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE INSTITUTE (CTSI) will host an Education, Training, and Research Career Development (EdTRCD) open house where new requests for applications will be released. EdTRCD focuses on research training and career development, both for investigators and research support staff. Pastries and refreshments will be served. Oct. 1, 8–9 a.m., room 105, 717 Delaware. RSVP by Sept. 27 to For more information, see CTSI open house.

PURDUE UNIVERSITY'S CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH CENTER director, Otto Doering, will present the lecture "Looking Back to the Coming Farm Bill: The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same," Oct. 4, 2 p.m., 380 Learning and Environmental Sciences Building, St. Paul Campus. Doering is co-author of multiple U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Bills and has advised the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service on the design of national conservation programs. Doering will also speak on "Excess Nitrogen..." at 7 p.m. that evening in the St. Paul Student Center Theater. For more information, see Doering lectures.

THE THIRD ANNUAL GOPHER ADVENTURE RACE will take place Oct. 5. Participants race in teams of two, traveling by foot and campus transportation to take on physical and mental challenges while deciphering clues to experience the U in "Amazing Race style." Open to students, staff, faculty, and alumni. For registration and more information, see Gopher Adventure Race.

A DESIGN THINKING FOR HIGHER EDUCATION INNOVATION WORKSHOP will teach participants about the design process and apply it to creating more equitable, affordable, and high quality higher education. The workshop is free, but registration is required. Sponsored by the Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education, the College of Design, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, and the Center for Integrative Leadership. Oct. 11, 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. For registration and more information, see Design Thinking workshop.

THE HOMECOMING 2012 PARADE will feature former chief executive officer of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Margaret Sughrue Carlson as Grand Marshal. Oct. 12, 7 p.m., University Avenue, beginning at 15th Avenue. For more information, see

ST. ANTHONY FALLS LABORATORY SEMINAR: "Gravity and Turbidity Currents Interacting with Submarine Topography" will feature Lorenz G. Straub Award Ceremony Distinguished Speaker Eckart Meiburg, professor and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Fluids, University of Santa Barbara; and Jorge Abad, professor, University of Pittsburgh, who received the Lorenz G. Straub Award for his 2008 dissertation, "Hydrodynamics and Morphodynamics in Kinoshita Meandering Channels." Oct. 19, 3:30 p.m., 210 Civil Engineering Building. For more information, see Lorenz G. Straub Award.

A WOMEN IMPACTING HEALTH CARE CONFERENCE will feature some of the strong female voices in health care today. Participants will develop their own personal leadership approach through a series of collaborative discussions and group learning activities. Nov. 9, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. For registration and more information, see healthcare conference.

MORE EVENTS include "The Big Blank Spot on the Map: Exploring Alaska's Wild Frontier" (Sept. 26); Civil Conversations: Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Pro-Dialogue (Sept 26); P & A Women's Reception (Sept. 27); Food Stories: Growing, Eating, Thinking about Food in Southwest Minnesota—Discussion with Peter Shea and Valentine Cadieux (Sept. 28); Fly Fishing Day Trip (Sept. 29): Weekends with the Weisguides—Pop-Up WAM (Sept. 30); A Discussion with Maria Schneider (Oct. 1); Mini Medical School, Fall 2012 (Oct. 1); Google Scholar and Web of Science: Complementary Tools for Finding Academic Content (Oct. 2); Celebrating 120 Years of the College of Pharmacy (Oct. 12); 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.

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