U of M Brief - December 17, 2014
Board of Regents meeting highlights
During its December meeting, U of M Regents discussed the U's annual research report (Related: Ten reasons our research enterprise is thriving), which showed that researchers are doing about twice as well as expected in competing for federal funds, and that a record number of start-up companies were launched in FY 2014. Additionally, regents were presented with a report on undergraduate education showing that four-year graduation and first-year retention rates are at record high levels. News that the U exceeded all five legislative performance measures for FY2014 and supporting data were also highlighted during the board's final meeting of 2014.
New Open Access policy
The University of Minnesota has a new Open Access to Scholarly Articles policy that takes effect Jan. 1. The policy creates new options for University authors who wish to make their research more accessible to the public, via the grant of a limited right to the University to make the work available solely for open access purposes. The policy, initiated by faculty members and approved by the Faculty Senate, also provides that any author may undo the grant of that right to the University, for any reason. The policy applies to articles finished after Dec. 31, 2014. Faculty members need not take any action unless they want to make their work public. Learn more at Open Access FAQ.
Powering vehicles with renewable electricity could save lives
Driving vehicles that use electricity from renewable energy instead of gasoline could reduce the resulting deaths due to air pollution by 70 percent, according to a new study by U researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study also shows that switching to vehicles powered by electricity made using natural gas yields large health benefits. Conversely, vehicles running on corn ethanol or vehicles powered by coal-based or "grid average" electricity are worse for health.
Taking Flight Through Her Research
The McNair Scholars program prepares students like JaLeesa Wright to enter graduate programs. Wright collaborated with her McNair adviser, assistant professor of pediatrics Rebecca Shlafer, to study—in samples of children with jailed parents—children's exposure to incarcerated-related events, such as witnessing their parents' arrests, and their common emotional reactions to those events.
Administrative Policies for review
Evaluation of teaching is a critical set of activities designed to give instructors constructive feedback about ways to assess and improve teaching and learning. The Evaluation of Teaching policy includes revisions to the Student Rating of Teaching (SRT) assessment that are intended to provide students with releasable data from end-of-semester SRT results. The new policy on Research Data Management clarifies ownership and stewardship of research data, establishes high-level guidance for coordinating research data management, and provides a procedure for transfer of research data to other institutions. Policy drafts are now available for comment.
The Upgrade: Faculty Features in the New MyU
When the U launches the upgrade of three PeopleSoft systems in spring semester, it will also implement a new, personalized MyU portal for faculty, staff, and students. View some of the new features and changes for faculty in the MyU Faculty Walkthrough, including easier access to teaching and advising information, consolidated grade entry, the Reporting Center, and MyU tabs for research and faculty career information.
ExactTarget project update
The ExactTarget mass email project remains on schedule to provide access to ExactTarget for all current Lyris users by the end of 2014. Several colleges, schools, centers, and units have already begun using or will soon have access to ExactTarget.
Nominations: Regents Professorship
The Regents Professorship is the highest honor the University of Minnesota bestows on its faculty. It recognizes faculty who have made unique contributions to the U through exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research, and scholarship or creative work, and contributions to the public good. Nominations are due by March 4.
Nominations: President's Award for Outstanding Service
The President's Award for Outstanding Service recognizes faculty and staff who have provided exceptional service to the University. The award is presented each year in the spring and honors up to 12 active or retired faculty or staff who have gone beyond their regular duties and who have demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University community. Nominations are due by March 2.
Dady named head of Government and Community Relations
Erin Dady has been named as the new special assistant to the president for government and community relations, effective Jan. 5. As special assistant, Dady will lead the Office of Government and Community Relations and work to advance the interests of the University system, including all five campuses, at the capitol in St. Paul, in Washington, D.C., and among our community partners and neighbors.
Dady has more than 14 years of experience in government relations, management, advocacy, public policy, coalition building, community outreach, fundraising, marketing, and communications. Serving as St. Paul Mayor Coleman's chief of staff since 2010, she oversees all Mayor's Office staff, operations, and initiatives, and advises the mayor on the city's $500-million annual budget and its 3,000 employees.
Ross named Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Ed
The Program in Human Sexuality has named Michael Ross the Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education. This endowed chair is the first of its kind in the nation to focus on sexuality education.
Ross was most recently a behavioral science professor in the Center of Health Promotion and Prevention Research at the University of Texas. He was born in New Zealand and educated in Australia, England, and Sweden. He completed doctoral training in health psychology; medical training in venereology; and degrees in public health, criminology, and health education.
Termuhlen named regional campus dean of UMD Med School
Paula Termuhlen has been named the new regional campus dean of the Medical School's Duluth campus.
Termuhlen comes to the University of Minnesota from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she led the Community Medical Education Program, working to establish regional campuses to help address workforce issues in smaller, rural communities in Wisconsin. It's a role that prepared her well for her next challenge, helping the Duluth campus fulfill its mission supporting rural medicine and Native American communities.
Cancer researcher Lee Wattenberg has died
Lee Wattenberg, the man known the "father of chemoprevention." Lee was a professor of lab medicine and pathology at the Medical School and a Masonic Cancer Center researcher. He died on Dec. 9, at the age of 92.
UMN in the News
Susan Warfield of the Student Parent Help Center discusses the center's annual Adopt a Family program with the MN Daily; Humphrey School Dean Eric Schwartz is featured at KARE 11 regarding the release of the CIA interrogation program report; John Budd of the Carlson School is quoted in the Star Tribune regarding a 26-year Delta employee who lost his job for critical remarks; Christopher Uggen talks about criminal policy reform with the MN Daily; John Robert Warren chats with the Huffington Post on the plunge in the percentage of students held back a grade; Jisu Huh is quoted in the Star Tribune story, "Targeted online ads: Creepy or convenient?"; In WCCO's Good Question, Peter Lee talks about the best way to combat dry skin.
Campus Labs on campus
Representatives from Campus Labs will be on campus Dec. 17, Bede Ballroom, to introduce faculty and staff to Baseline, the software package selected by the U to assist faculty and staff in collecting assessment data.
Faculty and staff from UMC, NWROC, and Extension are invited to the annual UMC Holiday Luncheon Dec. 19, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.
All are invited to attend two offerings of the Crookston Community Christmas Stable Service, or "Living Nativity." Dec. 19, 7 p.m. and Dec. 20, 2 p.m., UTOC building, on the north end of campus.
Heikal co-edits biomarkers book
Professor Ahmed Heikal, Department of Chemistry and Biochemisty, has co-edited the book Natural Biomarkers for Cellular Metabolism: Biology, Techniques, and Applications as part of a series on cellular and clinical imaging. Heikal and three students also contributed a chapter to the book, titled "Polarization Imaging of Cellular Autofluorescence."
Experiment in Networking Yields New Links on Campus
This past fall, Erik Brown, interim director of Graduate Education, launched a series of informal breakfast meetings for three groups: faculty, students and faculty, and students. The goal of the casual get-togethers was to share research and possibly spark collaborations. The program will continue next spring.
Glensheen holiday-themed tours
Glensheen, the historic Congdon estate, is offering self-guided holiday-themed tours Saturdays and Sundays through Jan. 4. Visitors are greeted at the door by the butler, as Congdon guests would have been 100 years ago, and may then tour the house and the grounds at their own pace.
MLK Day of Service
UMM’s offices of Community Engagement and of Equity, Diversity, and Intercultural Programs invite the campus and community to participate in the sixth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Jan. 19. This day, marking the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday, includes pre-service discussion, service at sites throughout the community, and a free community meal. Registration is required.
Jan. 6 - The Future of Health Insurance Reform
A UMR Connects presentation will feature a pre-recorded video of a recent UMTC panel regarding the progress and future impact of health insurance reform, and will be followed by a moderated discussion among the audience.
Jan. 22 - Diamond Awards fundraiser
Enjoy an evening celebrating baseball and philanthropy at Target Field and be part of a televised awards dinner featuring current and former Twins during the annual Diamond Awards. Event proceeds support the University’s innovative research and patient care in ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), ataxia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease.
Pride@Work Employee Survey
The Pride@Work Executive Committee seeks faculty and staff feedback regarding the LGBTQ experience throughout the UMTC community. Pride@Work comprises employees who seek to create social connections, professional networking, and campuswide change for LGBTQ staff and faculty. The survey is open to all Twin Cities employees.
Ireland photo exhibit
"Forty Shades of Green & More: Images from Ireland" is on display through Jan.5 at Boynton Health Service (third floor gallery). The exhibit features photographs by local artist and U employee Barbara Becker.
UMTC Featured Events
U of M Brief - December 10, 2014
Dec. 11-12 – Board of Regents meeting
The Board of Regents will meet Dec. 11-12. Regents plan to review U of M performance and accountability measures set forth by the Minnesota Legislature for fiscal year 2014. Other agenda items include a presentation on the U's research metrics for the past year, a review of achievements and future plans for undergraduate education, and review and action on a number of capital budget amendments for building projects across the U of M system. Additionally, Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller will provide an update on the Governor's Blue Ribbon Committee on the Medical School.
State Relations Update
The state budget forecast projects a $1.037 billion budget surplus for the 2016-17 biennium. A surplus of $373 million is also forecasted for the end of fiscal year 2015. Gov. Dayton has said his budget proposal to the legislature will likely include funding for childcare tax credits, rural broadband expansion, and early childhood scholarships. The U of M is requesting a $127.2 million increase for its FY 2016-17 biennial budget, and $77 million for three capital projects.
Energy Transition Lab: A Hub of Innovation
A strategic initiative of the U's Institute on the Environment (IonE), the new Energy Transition Lab brings together leaders in government, business, and nonprofit organizations to develop new energy policy pathways and advance needed reform. Ellen Anderson, a former state senator and energy adviser to Minnesota Gov. Dayton, is the ETL's inaugural executive director; its faculty director is Law School Professor Hari Osofsky, an expert in energy law and an IonE resident fellow.
A Smarter Shelf Life
Food expiration dates are based on how long it takes for bacteria to grow, but they aren't necessarily accurate. Labels like "use by" or "best before" aren't much more reliable than our noses. The result is that 31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the 430 billion pounds of the available U.S. food supply went uneaten in 2010. The estimated value of this loss? More than $160 billion per year. Two U of M researchers have joined forces to bring a solution to market.
Dec. 19 & Jan. 6 - New systemwide 'WebEx' web conferencing tool info sessions
Learn more about the U's new systemwide, enterprise-level web conferencing tool available for students, faculty, and staff at town hall sessions on Dec. 19, 9-10:30 a.m., 402 Walter Library, and Jan. 6, 9-10:30 a.m., 64 Biological Sciences. Remote participation will also be available.
PeopleSoft changes: Prepare for a systems interruption
In February, PeopleSoft and related systems will be unavailable or will have view-only access for one to two weeks before the newly upgraded systems launch. This interruption is longer than most because several complex systems are upgrading in sequence. You will receive more information in the beginning of the year, but the current estimated interruption dates are Feb. 12-23. Prepare now for activities that will occur during that time, like making loan payments, ordering supplies, and entering and approving employee time. For more information, visit The Upgrade and sign up for the newsletter.
Funding for interdisciplinary graduate groups
Funding proposals for new or existing interdisciplinary graduate groups are invited by the vice provost and dean of graduate education to seed and support the development of research, educational, and training activities in emerging areas of inquiry. Faculty with graduate education responsibilities are eligible to apply. Awards will be made through a competitive process and are expected to range from $3,000 to $12,000 for activities planned after June 30. Applications are due April 3.
Karen Ashe named recipient of a 2015 Zenith Fellows Award
The Alzheimer's Association has awarded Karen Hsiao Ashe a 2015 Zenith Fellows Awards ($449,946 over three years) for her work, "Toward Understanding Mechanisms of Tau Neurotoxicity in the Mammalian Brain."
Tau is a protein at the focus of research into Alzheimer's disease. Ashe and colleagues are working with other scientists to use a newly developed method for measuring modifications of tau in the living brain.
2014 recipients of the Award for Global Engagement
The all-University Award for Global Engagement is given to faculty and staff members in recognition of outstanding contributions to global education and international programs at the University or in their field or discipline. In addition to honoring individual faculty and staff members, the award—by identifying excellence in global engagement and by recognizing outstanding work—serves as a resource and inspiration to other faculty and staff.
2014 recipients of the award are Brian Atwood, professor and chair of Global Policy, and former dean, Humphrey School; Alan Lifson, professor, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Public Health; and Terry Roe, professor in the Department of Applied Economics and director of the Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy.
2015 Leopold Leadership Fellows
Elizabeth Borer and Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, have been selected as 2015 Leopold Leadership Fellows. Borer and Cavender-Bares are among 20 mid-career academic environmental scientists named as Fellows this year. The group was selected through a highly competitive process on the basis of their exceptional scientific qualifications, demonstrated leadership ability, and strong interest in sharing their knowledge beyond traditional academic audiences. The Leopold Leadership Program, located at Stanford University, was founded in 1998 to fill a critical gap in environmental decision-making: getting the best scientific knowledge into the hands of government, nonprofit, and business leaders and the public to further the development of sustainable policies and practices.