By Pauline Oo and Gayla Marty
Stephen Lehmkuhle, trained as an experimental psychologist, is UMR's new chancellor.
From M, winter 2008
After four decades of planning, the University of Minnesota finally left the building it shared with three other colleges for its very own digs in the heart of Rochester. It now occupies the third and fourth floors of University Square, formerly the Galleria Mall. Later this year, University Bookstores will open on the ground level. Now an official campus of the University of Minnesota, the move marks UMR's most significant accomplishment since the Minnesota Legislature appropriated $5 million for each of the next three years to help it develop programs in the fields of biogenomics, health sciences, and business. Four hundred students learn in wireless, semi-traditional settings and UMR plans to admit more. In the works are 10 new academic programs, including two doctoral programs and three master's programs. UMR chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle (LEM-cool) says the University's move to downtown Rochester was necessary, not only because it was outgrowing the previous location, but because the University wanted to attract a different student base-namely, working professionals-and to be closer to its partners. The Mayo Clinic, for instance, is now a stone's throw away. In fact, Lehmkuhle's floor-to-ceiling windows look out toward the clinic's award-winning Gonda Building. "The landscape of higher education is changing and institutions can't do it all alone," he says. "How successful we are depends on our ability to partner, and location is critical."
And we need to be involved in economic development issues for Rochester, southeast Minnesota, and even the state. I particularly would like to explore ways to develop entrepreneurship programs [and keep people here.] We really want the full economic impact of our new knowledge to reside here in Minnesota. Outside of your work, what do you do for enjoyment? I have two ways to relax--I run and I golf. When I run, I think about problems--my best ideas I get when I'm running. I enjoy golf for the exact opposite reason--you cannot think of anything but hitting a golf ball, so it's a break from everything else.
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