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Vol. XLI No. 29; Sept. 28, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--President Kaler's inaugural speech.
--Federal Relations update.
--Features: From bench to business; This Week @Minnesota; U of M Moment.
--People: President Kaler has announced a comprehensive search to fill the position of special assistant to the president for government relations; and more.

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


THE INAUGURAL SPEECH OF PRESIDENT ERIC W. KALER is available online. In addition, video of the inaugural ceremony in its entirety is available for viewing. A shorter summary of the speech can be read at "Fulfilling a promise."

FEDERAL RELATIONS UPDATE: Congress is currently considering FY 2012 spending bills and a resolution that will allow the debate to continue past Oct. 1, the start of the fiscal year. Research and education programs are expected to be squeezed in FY 2012 (although the Pell Grant should be protected from cuts). Those programs may also be affected by the work of the supercommittee that is now considering deficit reduction. Additionally, a U.S. patent reform bill signed by President Obama is expected to help technology commercialization efforts by universities. For more information, see federal relations.


FEATURE: Industries have a long history of collaborating with University researchers and supporting research in areas that interest them. In fiscal year 2010 that support totaled $35.4 million. At a Sept. 20 event with business leaders, President Eric Kaler underscored the importance of maintaining and extending close ties between the U and businesses. For more information, read "From bench to business."

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Sept. 19–23. This installment of the weekly video feature from the U's News Service celebrates the inauguration of the University of Minnesota's 16th President, Eric W. Kaler. The week leading up to his inauguration included community visits and college tours. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

U OF M MOMENT: "Kids and social media, Part 1." Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by now are well known to most Americans, including many children. Shayla Thiel-Stern, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, says parents should think hard about what is an appropriate age for their kids to participate on social media sites. Social media does have benefits for kids, Thiel-Stern says. Part 2 will feature cyberbullying. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: President Kaler announced a comprehensive search to fill the position of special assistant to the president for government relations; assistant professor of neurology Fareed Suri has received a Research Project Grant Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

THE ACADEMIC HEALTH CENTER REVIEW COMMENT PERIOD HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO OCT. 14 (midnight), at the request of faculty governance groups, in order to provide additional time for faculty, staff, and students to submit comments. Given how important feedback is to the review process, the executive steering committee co-chairs agreed to extend the deadline in order to provide more time for discussion and consideration of the draft report. Comments can be submitted online.

CALL FOR CONFERENCE PROPOSALS: Proposals for sessions and posters for the third annual Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus conference are due Oct. 28. The conference takes place March 23. Sponsors include Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, Center for Teaching and Learning, University Libraries, Office of Information Technology, and Instructional Development Service (UMD). For registration and more information, see conference proposals.

Funding awards and opportunities

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR RETIREES: The Office of the Vice President for Research and the U Retirees Association announced a fourth cycle of awards to help U retirees pursue projects related to their research, instructional, or other work history. Faculty, P&A, and civil service retirees from Twin Cities and coordinate campuses are eligible to apply. Application deadline is Dec. 9. For more information, see development grants, email John Howe, or call 651-645-2584.

THE INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY (IAS) IS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for Faculty Fellowships for 2012–13. Faculty from all campuses are eligible to apply for single-semester residential fellowships. Applications are due Oct. 21. For more information and application instructions, see IAS fellowship.

MEDICAL SCHOOL RESEARCHERS HAVE BEEN AWARDED a three-year, $11 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to lead a consortium that will define the future training of combat medics. The end goal is to ensure and maintain combat readiness for military first responders. U of M urologic surgeon and simulation expert Robert Sweet is the principal investigator on the grant. For more information, see the news release.


SUSTAINABILITY SUPPER: Faculty and staff are invited to discuss systemwide efforts in sustainability as well as goals for the Crookston campus at the first Sustainability Supper of the fall semester. Sept. 29, 5:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom. A meal is provided but reservations should be made by emailing Ben Williams by Sept. 28. For more information, see sustainability.

FACULTY ASSEMBLY will meet Sept. 30, 207 Dowell Hall. For more information, see the upcoming meeting schedule.

THE OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AND ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME RECOGNITION event will be held Sept. 30, 6 p.m. with a social followed by dinner and a program. The 2011 Outstanding Alumni are Ann Bailey '79, Kevin Fee '80, and Eric Klindt ex. '99. Luther Huggins '84, Nathan Pitt '97, and Ed Odland will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. Reservations are required and available by emailing Rose Ulseth in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations or by calling 218-281-8439.

RICHARD CONNELL has been named director of facilities and operations on the Crookston campus. Connell has been director of facilities at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, IA, since 1988. His responsibilities have included facilities master planning, recycling programing, environmental health and safety, central purchasing, facilities planning and design, energy efficiency program, emergency response, and other areas.


THE DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS SERIES will present "Skate Where the Puck is Going to Be" by UMD alumni Dan Fishback ('83), CEO of DemandTec Inc., and former men's hockey player. Oct. 4, 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Weber Music Hall. Refreshments will be served prior to the lecture at 10:30 a.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, see Fishback lecture.

VEHICLE-TO-VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY created by a UMD research team fulfills the transportation-communication criteria set by the U.S. Department of Transportation for data retrieval between moving vehicles, and from vehicles to transportation infrastructure. Electrical and chemical engineering professor Imran Hayee and a group of graduate students conducted the research and proof-of-concept phases of the potentially life-saving technology. For more information, see vehicle research.

UMD HAS RANKED AMONG THE TOP 15 PERCENT OF MILITARY FRIENDLY higher education institutions in the nation. UMD's Veterans Resource Center assists eligible student veterans, current military members, reservists, National Guard members, and eligible dependents with questions about G.I. Bill benefits and state and federal benefits programs. For more information, see military friendly.

SUSAN BANOVETZ joined UMD's leadership team as the director of external affairs on Sept. 26. Banovetz was most recently the mayor of Vadnais Heights, a position she held since 1997. She served on the Duluth School Board from 1981–87, and has held public relations leadership positions at the U's College of Liberal Arts (UMTC), William Mitchell College of Law, Saint Paul Area Red Cross, Century College, and the Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating Board. For more information, see Banovetz.


HOMECOMING 2011, Sept. 28 through Oct. 2, will include both traditional and first-time events. The UMM Alumni Association is sponsoring the first annual Alumni and Students Networking Event and will host the annual Distinguished Alumni Award and Networking Banquet. The 2011 award recipients are David Eckmann '78, Gary McGrath '68, the late Thomas McRoberts '68, and John Tavis '85. For more information, see homecoming.

THE 2011 PROJECT ART FOR NATURE exhibition at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI, features the work of Michael Eble, associate professor of studio art. The project consists of approximately 27 artists and illustrators from around Minnesota and Wisconsin. For more information, see exhibit.

THE 2011–12 BARBER LECTURE will be presented by Ofelia Ferrán, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese (UMTC). Ferrán's lecture, "Mass Graves, Stolen Children, and other Specters of the Past Haunting Contemporary Spain," reflects her research on memory and trauma studies within the context of contemporary Spanish literature and culture, as well as literature and culture of exile after the Spanish Civil War. Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Humanities Fine Arts. For more information, see Barber Lecture.

THE FESTIVAL OF SPANISH LANGUAGE CINEMA, coordinated by the Spanish Discipline, will bring films from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Spain to west central Minnesota for the campus and community at no charge. The fourth annual festival begins with Biutiful on Oct. 2. For more information, see film festival.

WASHINGTON MONTHLY'S 2011 national ranking of liberal arts colleges includes Morris. Using different criteria than other well-known college rankings, the magazine highlights colleges whose students, faculty, and alumni provide "contributions to public good." For more information, see college rankings.


BEST SELLING AUTHORS Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant will be at UMR to discuss their journey to becoming authors and writing together. Oct. 4, 6–7:30 p.m., 417 University Square. For more information, see author event.


Administrative information

HOMECOMING 2011 COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENTS offer opportunities to give back to the community during Homecoming week, Oct. 16–22. Homecoming 2011 will be partnering with Emergency Foodshelf Network to collect canned goods all week at Coffman Union and the St. Paul Student Center information desks. On Oct. 16, faculty, staff, and students are invited to take part in Thank U, an event where participants perform various service projects within the U community. The American Red Cross Blood Drive will take place Oct. 17 and Oct. 19. For more information, see

EASY ACCESS TO STUDENT DATA: The Office of Institutional Research has launched a new website that provides current and interactive information related to student data and survey results. The information is available to all faculty, staff, and students in an effort to create a more data-driven culture. For more information, see data driven.

EARLY TERM TEACHING AND LEARNING ASSESSMENT options are available through the Center for Teaching and Learning. Instructors can improve the educational environment for students by using an early term teaching and learning assessment tool designed for use between weeks three and eight to effectively evaluate teaching and learning. Four options are provided for University instructors, each adhering to the recommended formative approaches for improving the educational environment for students. For more information, see assessments.

SUPERVISORS OF STUDENT EMPLOYEES are asked to encourage undergraduate student employees to complement their on-campus employment experiences by participating in workshops and activities focused on leadership and workplace topics through the Student Employment Leadership Program (SELP). The program is open to any student employee currently enrolled as an undergraduate. For more information, see SELP.

UNIVERSITY SERVICES IS ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR ITS STAR PERFORMER AWARDS. Star Performers are U Services employees who deliver excellent customer service, use creative problem solving, and show commitment to the U of M. Nominate an employee or team of employees who go above and beyond to provide exceptional service at Star Performer. Submission deadline is Oct. 14.

IT ALL ADDS UP conservation campaign has added two more prize giveaways to the Maroon and Gold and Green contest, which rewards students, faculty, and staff with weekly prize drawings through Oct. 7 for wearing their green "Save Energy" wristbands on Fridays. For more information, including contest rules, check-in locations, and prizes, see It All Adds Up.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

PREVIEW/REVIEW: UNIVERSITY EVENTS AND LECTURES is a periodic column highlighting events and lectures recently past and soon to come on the TC campus. This issue features a review of President Kaler's inauguration speech. Previews include a lecture featuring the attorney for Julian Assange, the IonE Frontiers in the Environment Wednesday lectures, a fall art tour, and more. For more information, see Preview/Review.

A U OF M BIKE CENTER GRAND OPENING event will take place Sept. 29, noon-2 p.m., at its location in the Oak Street Ramp. The event will include building tours, refreshments, prizes, and more. The Bike Center will offer a range of services from repairs and accessories to showers and educational classes. For more information, see bike center opening.

SCHOOL OF MUSIC FALL CONVOCATION will feature keynote speaker Helena Gaunt (Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London) on "Becoming a Musician in the 21st Century." At the event, the School of Music will confer an honorary degree on internationally renowned conductor and VocalEssence artistic director Philip Brunelle. Oct. 6, 10 a.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. For more information, see convocation.

THE EXTENSION CENTER FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT will present "Beyond academic measures: The value of measuring other aspects of thriving." The public symposium will focus on how to assess the impact of after-school programs on youth learning and socio-emotional development, and other academic and non-academic outcomes. Oct. 7, 9 a.m.–noon, McNamara Alumni Center. Free, but registration is required. For more information, see youth development.

THE INSTITUTE FOR MATHEMATICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS public lecture "Flocks and Fleets: Collective Motion in Nature and Robotics" will feature Naomi Ehrich Leonard of Princeton University. Oct. 11, 7 p.m., 175 Willey Hall. For more information, see mathematics lecture.

GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL DAY will showcase more than 100 graduate and professional programs from throughout the country. The free event provides students the opportunity to speak with representatives from a variety of graduate and professional programs, as well as workshops like "How to Apply" and "Funding Graduate and Professional School." Oct. 12, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Great Hall, Coffman Union. For more information, see grad and pro day.

THE HEALTHY FOOD, HEALTHY LIVES initiative will host Food Day Oct. 24, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Coffman Union. Food Day will be both a comprehensive "food expo" showcasing University affiliated and community-led food and health programming, as well as a series of short presentations and in-depth conversations on topics ranging from Nutrition 101 to sustainable food system advocacy. All organizations that do work related to food, nutrition, health, and sustainability are invited to host a booth at the event. For more information, see food day.

THE U WOMEN OF COLOR (UWOC) FALL WELCOME theme will be "Women of Color Leadership in Times of Transition." Applications for the UWOC Tapestry Award will be accepted until Oct. 7. The award will be presented at the event, Oct. 27, 9–11 a.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. For more information, email UWOC.

FACULTY AND STAFF RECEIVE A 10 PERCENT DISCOUNT ON LEARNINGLIFE'S fall short courses. Subjects range from genealogy, to music history, to the Minnesota economy. For more information, see LearningLife or call 612-624-4000.

SAVE-THE-DATE: Faculty, staff, and graduate students are invited to explore new approaches to program evaluation in a workshop hosted by the Graduate School. Nov. 10, 2:30–4:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. Registration and program information will be available in October.

STRESS BUSTERS, an informal hour of meditation and light stretching, is open to all faculty, staff, and students throughout the semester. Held Tuesdays, noon–1 p.m., Mayo Meditation space, 3rd floor, Mayo Building. For more information, see meditation.

MORE EVENTS include Known Unknowns: The Problem with GMO Research - A talk with Glenn Davis Stone (Sept. 29); CURA Housing Forum - Frogtown Square: A New Case Study of Mixed-Use, TOD Development (Sept. 30); Women Faculty of Color Fall Luncheon (Oct. 4); Is There Really a Financial Crisis at the University of Minnesota? (Oct. 7). 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. All Twin Cities event submissions are handled through the events calendar at

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