April 8, 2015

Vol. XLV No. 14

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • State of the U Address highlights.
  • U establishes achievement gap research hub.
  • New Grand Challenges courses.
  • People: UMTC has been named by Forbes magazine and Statista as one of America’s Best Employers of 2015; and more

Top News

State of the U Address highlights

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler spoke to more than 550 faculty, staff, and students both online and at Coffman Union Theater in his fourth State of the University address on Apr. 2. Kaler called on the U community to join him in embracing a short and focused list of meaningful initiatives in the coming year.

See highlights >

U establishes first achievement gap research hubYoung boy

The U of M is establishing the region’s first dedicated research hub and portal for information about achievement gaps, President Eric Kaler announced in his State of the University address. The Educational Equity Resource Center will serve as a bridge between researchers and resources and the educators who work with Minnesota’s children and youth every day. Michael Rodriguez will co-direct the new center, along with Julie Sweitzer.

Learn more >

New Grand Challenges coursesField of wheat

New opportunities in the form of a Grand Challenges curriculum will enhance learning and career pathways for students, and enable them to develop the knowledge, skills, and values needed to address the most complex and pressing problems of our state and world. Grand Challenges courses will be taught by some of the U’s finest instructors, known for their topical expertise and teaching excellence. The courses will offer active learning and may include visiting faculty and/or outside experts.

See the courses >


The University of Minnesota Twin Cities has been named by Forbes magazine and Statista as one of America’s Best Employers of 2015; Shaden Tageldin has been awarded a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars; James Cloyd has been selected to receive the Sumner J. Yaffe Lifetime Achievement Award in Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

Learn more >

U-Wide News

The New MyU for Employees

There are new features and changes for employees in the new MyU. These include online time submission, paycheck information, the Reporting Center, and tabs for managers, researchers, instructors, advisers, and finance staff. The changes will go live with the launch of The Upgrade on Apr. 20.

Learn more >

Prepare for Reporting Changes

After The Upgrade, the new Reporting Center will consolidate UM Reports, UM Analytics, and PeopleSoft Reports. Report users should prepare now for changes. Read what you need to know about reports before, during, and after The Upgrade. Also, take appropriate Reporting training.

Protecting private data

Protecting private data is everyone’s responsibility and a top priority of the U of M. To facilitate the action, the Information Security Formal Community of Practice created the Practices for Information Security Policy webpage to assist colleges, units, faculty, and staff in data security. The site will allow you to learn which requirements apply to your data and take practical steps to ensure your data is more secure.

Apr. 13 - Campus Conversation: Employee Engagement

Vice President Kathy Brown and Brandon Sullivan will provide an overview of the results from the 2014 Employee Engagement survey at the next Campus Conversation, followed by a Q&A. Noon-1 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union, or live online. RSVP if you plan to attend in person.

Apply for 2015-16 Policy Fellows program

The Humphrey School is accepting applications for the 2015-16 Policy Fellows program, one of the country’s most respected leadership programs for emerging and mid-career professionals. Policy Fellows meet once per month between September and June to explore fundamental aspects of leadership, and travel to Washington, D.C. with prominent elected officials and national public affairs leaders. Applications are due June 1.

Learn more and apply >

Call for applications: Women's Center Institutional Change Grants

Support campus climate change for women by applying for an Institutional Change Grant through the Women’s Center. Grants typically range from $250 to $2,000, to be used for funding one-time or short-term events and projects that enhance the campus climate for female faculty, staff, and students. Grant recipients are honored at the annual Celebrating University Women Awards Program. Applications are due June 5.

Learn more and apply >

Call for course proposals: Summer Public Health Institute

The Summer Public Health Institute seeks courses that address new or persistent public health issues for its 2016 program. These weeklong courses aim to be application-oriented and employ interactive teaching and learning strategies designed to engage, challenge, and excite graduate-level students and professionals in public health practice. Email course proposal or questions to Chris Carlstrom, or call 612-624-3029.

Learn more >

Call for proposals: Scholars and Artists in Residence 2015-16

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) is offering a limited number of single-semester residential fellowships without stipend for scholars and artists who wish to participate in the IAS’s interdisciplinary intellectual community. The opportunity is open to all U of M faculty, P&A staff, faculty from other institutions, and independent scholars and artists. Applications are due Apr. 27, 9 a.m.

Learn more >


Apr. 8 and 9 - Silent Witness Project

The Silent Witness Project, an installation to heighten awareness of issues of domestic violence, will be displayed on campus Apr. 8, between the Eagles Nest area in Sahlstrom Conference Center and the Sargeant Student Center, and on Apr. 9, from Owen Hall to the Sargeant Student Center.

Learn more >

Apr. 10 - Retirement planning and benefits event

U of M benefits specialist Melissa Unruh will be on campus Apr. 10 to help faculty and staff with phased-retirement or general retirement planning and answer any questions regarding the University's Uplan, dental plans, and/or disability insurance coverage.

Learn more >

Apr. 14 - Riverland Tourism Conference

The Riverland Tourism Conference: Pathways to Successful Tourism Development will be held Apr. 14, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom. The Riverland Association is a regional tourism organization comprising six communities in northwestern Minnesota.

Learn more >

Apr. 15 - Climate Minnesota event

In cooperation with the Will Steger Foundation, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships will host Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions Apr. 15, 5-8 p.m., Bede Ballroom.

Learn more >

Wildlife Quiz Bowl championship

The Wildlife Quiz Bowl Team earned the championship trophy for the competition at the Student Conclave of the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society, held March 27-29 at the Audubon Center in Sandstone, MN.

Learn more >


Apr. 9 - Composer Gwyneth WalkerGwyneth Walker

Composer and UMD artist-in-residence Gwyneth Walker will present a Guest Artist Recital featuring the world premiere of Songs From the High Sierra, commissioned by UMD assistant professor Tracy Lipke-Perry, based on the Yosemite letters of naturalist John Muir. 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall.

Learn more >

Apr. 11 - African Heritage NightAfrican night poster

Celebrate African heritage and culture with food, music, and performances during African Night, Apr. 11, 5 p.m., Kirby Ballroom. Sponsored by the Black Student Association.

Learn more >

Apr. 16 - Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration eventFred Amram

Professor Emeritus Fred Amram, UMTC Department of Speech Communication, will present “A Survivor Remembers" as part of the Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration events. Amram and his family fled Nazi Germany in November 1939 when he was six years old. Apr. 16, 7 p.m., 90 Bohannon.

Learn more >

Apr. 18 - La Vida es un CarnavalFiesta poster

The annual fiesta La Vida es un Carnaval, sponsored by the Latino Chicano Student Association, is a great way to experience many aspects of Hispanic/Latino/Chicano culture, cuisine, and professional entertainment, as well as students sharing their own talents. Apr. 18, 5 p.m., Kirby Ballroom.

Learn more >


UMM names Robert Cushman head football coachRobert Cushman

Robert Cushman has been selected as the 17th head football coach at UMM. Cushman comes to Morris from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, where he produced five Academic All-Americans, a National Football Foundation Scholar, and an NCAA Division III All-American. “I am extremely excited to hit the ground running,” he says.

Learn more >

Amy Grant awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grantAmy Grant

Amy Grant ’14 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant for 2015. Grant will head to Costa Rica, where her primary role will be as an English language learning assistant. She is the second UMM alumna to receive a Fulbright award and the first since 2003.

Learn more >

UMM named Environmental Initiative Award FinalistPeople sitting at table

UMM’s Office of Sustainability (OOS) and Center for Small Towns (CST) were recognized as finalists for the 2015 Environmental Initiative - Community Action Award. OOS and CST were honored for the work with the Jefferson Center and Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the city of Morris, the Morris Area High School Future Farmers of America, and Federated Church.

Learn more >

Apr. 14 - President Kaler and a Celebration of Community Engagementartwork spirals

UMM invites the community to join Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson and U of M President Eric Kaler at the Celebration of Community Engagement Apr. 14, 10 a.m., Stevens County Historical Museum (116 West 6th St.). The celebration will honor a long tradition of Morris community-university partnerships and this year’s community engagement award winners.

Learn more >


Student Spotlight: Megan Woychik

The student nominated for this month's student spotlight balances her rigorous course load at UMR with her work in the community as an EMT and volunteer for victims’ services.

Meet Megan Woychik >

Twin Cities

Discounted faculty/staff tickets for Martha Graham Dance CompanyTwo dancers on stage in embrace

$20 faculty and staff rush tickets are available for Martha Graham Dance Company performances Apr. 10-11, Northrop. Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person at the Northrop Box Office. The performance will also feature 33 U of M dance students and the announcement of Northrop’s 2015-16 dance season.

Get tickets >

Presale ticket access for The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones will perform at TCF Bank Stadium on June 3. The U of M community has been given special presale access to purchase tickets. Purchase presale tickets by using the code SHATTERED beginning Apr. 10 at 10 a.m. through Apr. 12 at 10 p.m.

Apr. 14 - Prospects for Arab-Israeli Peace in the Wake of the Israeli Elections

Israelis have recently gone to the polls in a contested election that will impact the country's policy agenda and the discourse around Israeli-Palestinian relations. Join the Humphrey School for a discussion between J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami and professor Brian Atwood, professor in the global policy area and former Humphrey School dean, as they examine issues surrounding the election. 5-6:30 p.m., Humphrey School.

Register to attend >

Apr. 15 - The Upgrade Fair

The Upgrade Fair will feature experts, useful handouts, and demonstrations of the upgraded PeopleSoft Systems that will launch on Apr. 20. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Great Hall, Coffman Union.

Apr. 15 - Achieving Health Equity in Minnesota

Program in Health Disparities Research will host Achieving Health Equity in Minnesota, with Joseph Betancourt of Harvard Medical School. Betancourt also directs the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, which works with healthcare organizations to improve quality of care, address racial and ethnic disparities, and achieve equity. 4:30 p.m. networking/appetizers, 5 p.m. start. 1-125, 2231 6th Street S.E.

RSVP to attend >

Apr. 16 - NPR Science Correspondent Joe PalcaTV screen reading news

NPR science correspondent Joe Palca will discuss how the factors that make something newsworthy and those that make something scientifically important can be very different in “No News Is Big News: Adventures in Science Journalism.” Palca will present two stories in particular that reveal that dichotomy; both had enormous public impact, and neither contained a shred of news. In his lecture, Palca will explain why that was, and provide other examples of the disconnect between science and news. 7-8:30 p.m., 150 Tate Lab. No charge and open to the public, but registration is required.

Register and learn more >

Apr. 16 & Apr. 27 - University District Homebuyer Assistance Opportunity

Affordable homeownership: Want to own a home where you can walk, bike, or take transit to work? Learn about assistance buying a home in the University District of Minneapolis for households with gross incomes at 80 percent or less of the metro median at an orientation session with the City of Lakes Community Land Trust. Apr. 16, noon, Room 4 Morrill Hall (register); and Apr. 27, 5 p.m., Humphrey School (register).

May 1 - Robert H. Bruininks Hall dedication ceremonySTSS building facade

The Science Teaching and Student Services (STSS) building will be renamed Robert H. Bruininks Hall in recognition of Robert H. Bruininks’ more than 45 years of service to the University of Minnesota, including nine as president. The dedication takes place May 1, 3 p.m., STSS Building. Building tours will be available preceding the ceremony beginning at 2 p.m. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call Janet at 612-624-1345.

May 5 - Garden Paths, Recipes, and Building One’s Library

Acclaimed cookbook author Deborah Madison provides the keynote at the University Libraries annual celebration and second Kirschner Lecture. The event includes a dinner featuring Madison’s recipes. May 5, 5:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center.

Learn more and purchase tickets >

Successful Manager’s Leadership Program

The Successful Manager’s Leadership Program, designed for mid- to top-level managers, addresses the need for leaders to understand how to effectively apply sound leadership principles, with emphasis on personal leadership, thought leadership, results leadership, and people leadership. Public rate is $3,250; U of M staff rate is $1,850. Course dates: May 5 and 6, June 9, 10 and 11, St. Paul campus.

UMTC Featured EventsBarney Frank on his book cover

Frontiers in the Environment wildlife lecture (Apr. 8)
Conversation with Barney Frank (Apr. 9)
Voting Rights and the Struggle for Democracy (Apr. 10)
Lecture: Jews in Modern China (Apr. 13)
5.10(k) Road Race and Fun Run (Apr. 13)
Out of the Shadows Immigration Symposium (Apr. 14)

Events Calendar >