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Preview/Review (Jan. 25 to Feb. 8)

A review and previews of some fun and informative U events and lectures occurring through Feb. 8

Compiled by Adam Overland

State Capitol

January 24, 2012

Connecting with Government: Public Talks by Prominent Government Leaders
The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs hosted its latest event in the ongoing series, Connecting with Government, featuring public talks by prominent government leaders. On Jan. 19, the Humphrey School's Larry Jacobs introduced Minnesota House Speaker (Rep.) Kurt Zellers to an audience at Cowles Auditorium.

Zellers used the opportunity to talk about the GOP's Reform 2.0 legislation, introduced earlier in the day during a GOP press conference. The crux of the plan involves using advanced technology to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. Zellers said Minnesota's government cannot be, as it currently is, "the land that time forgot." He cited as symbolic the now infamous beer licensing snafu that occurred during the Minnesota government shutdown, where red tape and paperwork nearly created a Minnesota beer drought. The state's cumbersome liquor licensing renewal process got in the way of business, said Zellers.

"Reform 2.0" would modernize government infrastructure and ease regulatory burdens on businesses, he said. The legislation also includes plans to reform education (including mayoral control of school systems) and health care programs in the state. "Our government is a paper business. We can't process an electronic payment," Zellers said. You can learn more about the legislation and its more than three-dozen individual reform proposals at Reform 2.0.

The conversation then shifted to the U of M, as an audience member asked Zellers about the U's place in the bonding bill, and how the U can go about being a priority.

Zellers responded that he has so far been impressed with President Kaler's initiative to move U research into the private sector—and such moves are a start. Zellers noted that the very first bonding project he and Governor Dayton finalized was the Physics and Nanotechnology building.

But, he said, the reality is that in any given year, the bonding bill request might be for $2–3 billion dollars. "Of that, maybe $700 million is granted. So, two-thirds of the people are going to be left behind."

Governor Dayton's proposed bonding bill includes $107 million of the U's $209 million request. Learn more about U advocacy at Support the U.

CSPG's Connecting with Government series allows Minnesota's elected officials the opportunity to rise above the talking points and fractious back-and-forth of the legislative process to make substantive statements about issues of importance for Minnesotans. The events are free and open to the public.

Next in the series
Representative Tim Walz, Feb. 22
Representative Keith Ellison, April 9.

For more information, see the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.
--Review by Adam Overland

Previews are the editor's choice, selected for variety, uniqueness, oddness, impact, and whimsy. Submit your events to Events that feature U faculty and staff are preferred. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free. Follow us on Twitter @UFacultyStaff, where each morning we post a featured event of the day at the U.

One & Three Arts: A Feast of Words Featuring Professor Michael Hancher. Jan. 26, 5–7 p.m., Campus Club, Coffman Union. Cost: $25.99 adults; $12.99 students. Includes a dinner buffet. Reservations required at 612-626-7788. Are you the kind of person who sits down and reads the dictionary cover-to-cover? Well now you don't have to. Michael Hancher has the CliffsNotes. Hancher is a University of Minnesota professor of English and past president of the Dictionary Society of North America. Taking a cue from Joseph Kosuth's One and Three Chairs, Hancher will riff on questions that have long puzzled dictionary makers and dictionary users—the relationship of things, names of things, and pictures of things—and explore ways in which these puzzles just may become solvable with the migration of dictionaries from print to cyberspace.

Mosaic Part 2: U of M Women Staff and Faculty Art Exhibit Opening. Jan. 27, noon–1 p.m., Appleby Hall art gallery. The U of M Women's Center will present the opening of Mosaic Part 2: Women Staff and Faculty Art, featuring the work of Jo Ann Hendricks, Irene Kawalec-Menasco, and Christine A. Vincent, three staff/faculty artists from the U. The Mosaic exhibit is a combination of diverse works submitted by several artists of all mediums forming a coherent whole. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments served.

2012 Tucker Center Film Festival Featuring Salaam Dunk. Jan. 30, 7–9 a.m. DQ Club, TCF Bank Salaam Dunk poster 165Stadium. Cost: $5-$10. Celebrate the 26th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) with the U's Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport. Together with U Athletics, the center will hold its second annual Film Festival, featuring Salaam Dunk, a stirring documentary about an Iraqi women's basketball team at the American University of Iraq–Sulaimani in Kurdistan (watch the trailer). The festival will also be showing the locally produced short film, Grappling Girls, about women's competitive wrestling; and a sneak peak of Ready to Fly, about World Champion ski jumper Lindsey Van.

BIG Thursday Night at the Bell. Feb. 2, 5–9 p.m., Bell Museum. Free with admission (which is free for U students, faculty, staff, and kids under 3). You can tell by the BIG capital letters that the Bell Museum is not messing around with this one. The first Thursday of each month, the Bell stays up past its bedtime, and so should you. February's BIG Thursday will feature a special tour of photographer Jim Brandenburg's "Chased by the Light" exhibit with U forestry researcher Lee Frelich. Visitors can also take part in Sketch Night with a focus on invertebrates, along with guest artist Ralph Hozenthal. This particular Thursday will also mark the start of the Bell's 2012 Sustainability Film Series.

Music and Sound Studies Colloquium Series: The Fox and the Cowbell. Feb. 4, 8:15–9:30 a.m., 280 Cowbell 165Ferguson Hall. On campus on a Saturday? Then what you need is more cowbell. Take part in a conversation facilitated by the Music and Sound Studies Interdisciplinary Student Group about the deployment of the cowbell in concert and popular music throughout the twentieth century. British composer Christopher Fox will join via video chat to discuss his piece, KK, composed for alto saxophone and cowbells.

Social Media's Impact in the Workplace. Feb. 7, 7:30 a.m.–9 a.m., Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul. Social media has become ubiquitous in the workplace and beyond. It serves a role both internally and externally, and can be used in everything from recruiting and branding to employee morale, training, and discipline. But with its rise in popularity come new risks and problems. For example, if abused, social media can take away from employee productivity or create a potential loss of proprietary information. Learn more about how social media can affect your organization, both internally and externally, as well as how to manage it effectively and curb employee abuse. 

IonE Frontiers in the Environment Wednesday Lectures: "Can Democracy Survive the Age of Science?" Feb. 8, noon–1 p.m., R380 IonE seminar room, VoTech Bldg., St. Paul campus or via UMConnect. Mark your calendar for IonE's spring Frontiers in the Environment speaker series. This season's topics include democracy and science, indoor air pollution in developing countries, trends in agricultural water use, cradle-to-cradle design, and putting the "fun" back in energy infrastructure. Held Wednesdays at noon in St. Paul, the talks are free and open to the public. They also are available live online and archived for future viewing. The Feb. 8 event will feature Shawn Otto, CEO and cofounder of and author of Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America.

"Wild Green Things: The Art of Anne Ophelia Dowden." Continuing through May 2, Andersen Horticultural Library, U of M Landscape Arboretum. Hungering for a little greenery to brighten your winter landscape? Take a stroll to the Andersen Horticultural Library at the U's Landscape Arboretum to see "Wild Green Things," an exhibit of works by acclaimed botanical artist Anne Ophelia Dowden. The exhibit includes original artwork and sketches, pre-publication mock-ups, and enlarged scans of her work. The library also will host an "Inside the Collection" series of noontime presentations on various highlights of the library collection.

The largest horticultural research library in the Upper Midwest, the Andersen library is a non-lending reference library specializing in plants, gardening, botanical art, landscape design, horticulture, and natural history.

Find more Twin Cities events using the U's events calendar.

University events and lectures preview/review is a periodic column (about every two weeks) highlighting events and lectures recently past and soon-to-come on or near the UMTC campus. Faculty and staff are invited to contribute. Reviews should be no more than 500 words, previews 200 or fewer. Both are subject to review by the Brief editor.