August 30, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 26

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Video: Celebrating U of M impact.
  • Features: U Venture Center launches record 18 startups; U startup provides services to accelerate microbiome discovery; U study provides new insight toward reducing racial bias in courtroom.
  • People: The NSF has awarded the Center for Cognitive Sciences and the Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Sciences a $3 million grant; and more.

Top News

Celebrating U of M impact
truck on gravel road

A new video brings to life the University of Minnesota’s land-grant mission by showing how, every day, people feel the impact of U of M discovery and innovation.
Learn more and watch >

U Venture Center launches record 18 startups
computer lights

Over the past year, the University of Minnesota Venture Center launched a record 18 startup companies based on discoveries and inventions by U of M researchers. The new startups, 16 of which are based in Minnesota, will help fuel the economy and contribute to the public good, both in Minnesota and across the globe.

U startup provides services to accelerate microbiome discovery
test tubes

The University of Minnesota Venture Center has launched CoreBiome Inc., a startup company based on University technology that provides analysis of microbial communities for agricultural, environmental, and human health applications. CoreBiome is based on patent-pending genomic technology and informatics tools developed at the University of Minnesota.

U study provides new insight into reducing racial bias in courtroom
people in courtroom

A new study released by Law School Professor Francis Shen offers positive news for a criminal justice system that has become keenly aware of the need for improved responses to racial biases. Ultimately, Shen hopes further research will help the legal system better understand how implicit racial biases lead, or don’t lead, to unjust outcomes.


The NSF recently awarded the Center for Cognitive Sciences and the Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Sciences a $3 million grant; Ragui Assaad is a recipient of the U of M’s 2017 Award for Global Engagement; Aaron Engelhart has received the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life’s Stanley L. Miller Early-Career Research Award; Siri Suh has been awarded a Short-Term Research Publication Grant by the American Association of University Women; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Drupal 8 now available

Drupal 8, the latest version of the U of M content management platform, is now available. Drupal 7 and Drupal Lite will continue to be available and supported for as long as continues to maintain and support the Drupal 7 platform, so there is no urgency to move an existing site to Drupal 8. If you plan to build a new site or are doing an extensive redesign of an existing one, Drupal 8 may be the best solution.

Academic calendar changes

Beginning with the 2018-19 academic calendar, the spring term for the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses will change from 74 instructional days to 70 instructional days. This change means that fall and spring semesters will be of equal length, with room for an additional study day for students in the spring term.

See the full calendars for 2018-22 >

Traveling on University business

The U of M has a contract with Christopherson Business Travel (CBT) that offers online booking or the option to work with an agent to book your travel. All University faculty and staff who travel are encouraged to use CBT to book travel in order to receive guaranteed discounts on air, hotel, and rental cars.

See the U Travel website for more information on CBT >

Sept. 7 - Opening Reception for Nature's Finest: The Artistry of the Hautman Brothers
duck painting

Three local brothers, Jim, Bob, and Joe Hautman, have conquered the phenomenally competitive Federal Duck Stamp art contest 12 times between them. This will be an opportunity to meet the brothers, see all 12 winning duck stamp paintings (never displayed together before), and get an exclusive preview to 50 new paintings created for this exhibit. Cost: $30 members/$40 nonmembers. 6:30-9 p.m., MacMillan Auditorium, U of M Landscape Arboretum. Tickets and more >

Sept. 9 - Cedar Creek 75th Anniversary Celebration
Cedar Creek aerial

For 75 years, top ecologists have made seminal discoveries at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve with field-shaping results that continue to contribute to our understanding of how human activities are altering the diversity of plants and animals, and how people depend on this biodiversity. The public is invited to the station for an afternoon of tours of Cedar Creek experiments and environments, youth activities, and more. Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, East Bethel, MN. 1-5 p.m.

Sept. 15 - Innovation in Sustainability Education Summit

The first in a two-part series, this Sustainability Education Summit offers faculty and staff an opportunity to share best practices in teaching and innovation in sustainability, both on campus and in communities. The half-day gathering will feature a provocative, multicampus discussion on sustainability across the curriculum, with fresh ideas and new ways to reach students. The event will be digitally hosted at a location on each campus and streamed online. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Register and see campus locations >

Call for new IonE Fellows and Affiliates

As part of its work to bring together innovators from across the University and beyond to solve complex environmental challenges, the Institute on the Environment invites nominations to its Affiliates program. Categories of affiliation are Fellows (established interdisciplinary scholars), Associates (early-career faculty), Visiting Scholars, and Educators. Nominations are invited from all University of Minnesota campuses; self-nominations are welcome. Deadline: Sept. 18.

Nominations for the Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award

This award honors faculty, staff, and students who, through their work at the University or their community, exemplify Dr. Johnson’s standard of excellence in creating respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environments and who demonstrate unusual commitment and passion in the areas of human rights and social justice. The award is given to two individuals each year: one current faculty or staff member and one current student. Nominations are due Sept. 22.

See nomination guidelines and procedures >

Nominations for the Outstanding Unit Award for Equity and Diversity

The Office for Equity and Diversity presents an annual Outstanding Unit Award for Equity and Diversity to a U of M campus, college, department, or unit. The award honors transformational equity and diversity work that both demonstrates outstanding leadership in equity and diversity and is collaborative, sustainable, and linked to the stated mission and vision of the group. Applications are due Sept. 22.

See nomination guidelines and procedures >

Nov. 9 - World Usability Day, call for speakers

This year’s World Usability Day theme is “Inclusion through User Experience.” The event will feature a day of workshops, panels, and discussions that celebrate user-friendly practices, services, and products. If you are a user experience enthusiast, consider submitting a proposal to speak at the event.


Email distribution list best practices

Email distribution lists help faculty and staff members provide information about University business, processes, resources, services, meetings, activities, and events. Endorsed by the U of M Crookston Chancellor’s Administrative Cabinet, a document has been developed that lists best practices--including things to avoid.

Aug. 31 - Intercultural Competence in the Workplace workshop

At this workshop, Karl Lorenz, director of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, will explain how differences in culture, tradition, history, and values are part of our everyday experience as we engage with others. 9 a.m., Bede Ballroom.

Water Quality Town Hall Meeting

Governor Mark Dayton has announced a series of ten town hall meetings that will offer Minnesotans an opportunity to discuss the water quality challenges facing their communities and our state. Attend to learn from experts and engage with policymakers. In Crookston, the Water Quality Town Hall Meeting will be held Sept. 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom.


Exceptional stats continue for UMD grads
aerial of duluth campus

The recent Graduate Follow-up Report released by UMD’s Career and Internship Services staff shows that 97 percent of alumni who received their undergraduate degrees in 2015-16 are either employed or continuing their education. Both the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Fine Arts saw an increase in graduates who have careers related to their majors.

Continuing Ed moves downtown
downtown Duluth

Continuing Education (CE) has merged with UMD’s Center for Economic Development in Duluth’s downtown Technology Village. The two groups will now collaborate more closely on programs for clients throughout the region. CE offers workshops on such topics as tribal relations, leadership development, business communication, and continuous improvement.

Picture this
a thousand words exhibit poster

The exhibit “A Thousand Words” features photographs from the Tweed’s collection and focuses on people as individuals or in relationship to one another. An opening reception will be held on Sept. 22, 5-7 p.m., Tweed Museum of Art. The exhibit runs through Dec. 21.


Sept. 29 - Inauguration of Chancellor Behr
Michelle Behr

The University community is invited to attend the inauguration of Michelle Behr as the sixth chancellor of the University of Minnesota Morris. Prior to the ceremony, you can share your best wishes for Chancellor Behr online or on social media using #celeBEHRtion. Messages will be shared during the celebration. RSVP by Sept. 5 to attend.

UMM to host Michelle Stewart
Michelle Stewart

Morris will welcome Michelle Curtain Stewart, vice president of academic affairs at Lane College and a 2017-18 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, to campus for the 2017-18 academic year. Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program strengthens institutional and leadership capacity in American higher education. Stewart chose UMM as her host institution for its dedication to students and its history, mission, and vision.

UMM named a Sierra top 40
flowers at Morris

UMM has been named one of Sierra magazine's top 40 "Cool Schools" for 2017. The campus was ranked #2 in the state and #34 in the nation in this year's listing. This is UMM's seventh consecutive appearance on the list. It has ranked in the top 40 since 2013.

Concert Choir to perform at ACDA

The Concert Choir, under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities Bradley Miller, has been invited to perform at the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota State Conference on Nov. 17. The choir was selected through a competitive blind audition. It is one of just six auditioned choirs selected to perform at the conference.


Call for proposals: Higher Education Innovation Summit
colorful ropes tied in a knot

Registration and a call for proposals are now open for the Higher Education Innovation Summit, to be held June 6-8, 2018, at the University of Minnesota Rochester. This summit is designed to connect creative educators and researchers seeking to transform higher education through innovations that enhance student learning.

UMR Summer Bridge Program Begins

UMR welcomed first-year students who are participating in the Summer Bridge Program to campus this week. The program is designed to help prepare new UMR students for college writing and statistics. It also gives them the opportunity to develop relationships with faculty and get to know the campus and Rochester. The goal of the program is to develop a community of confident and resilient new students. It includes activities such as cooking demonstrations, a pottery class, leadership development, data collection and presentation, canoeing, and a scavenger hunt.

Twin Cities

Aug. 30, 31 - Moodle Clinics

Faculty and instructional staff are invited to attend the fall 2017 Moodle Clinics. Staff will be on hand to help set up Moodle sites and show how to use them for maximum teaching and learning effectiveness. Attendees will also have the chance to learn more about Canvas, to which the University will be transitioning over the next two years. Additional Canvas events will be available throughout the fall semester.

Bias Response and Referral Network

The Bias Response and Referral Network (BRRN) responds to bias incidents on the U's Twin Cities campus in ways that support those most impacted, promote education and dialogue, and affirm the University's commitment to equity and diversity, free speech, and academic freedom.

Learn more or submit a report of a bias incident >

New course inspired by ‘A Campus Divided’ exhibit

A U Libraries exhibit, “A Campus Divided: Progressives, Anti-Communists, and Anti-Semitism at the University of Minnesota, 1930-1944,” is the inspiration and starting point for a new history course that will be offered this fall: History 3000: A Campus Divided: Contested Histories from the U of M to Charlottesville. The exhibit is on display through Nov. 30, Elmer L. Andersen Library Atrium Gallery.

A Matter of Facts

University Libraries has launched a new series of informational blog posts to help students understand current events during this era of misinformation and claims of "fake news." Health care reform, net neutrality, and the events at Charlottesville are among the topics the series has addressed.

Sept. 12-14 - Cops and Coffee

The Department of Public Safety will hold its fall “Cops and Coffee,” giving away coffee and donuts starting at 8 a.m., while supplies last. Locations: Sept. 12, West Bank Plaza; Sept. 13, Union Street Plaza (next to Washington Ave. Ramp); and Sept. 14, outside the St. Paul Student Center.

Sept. 14 - The 2017 Minnesota Election Summit: The Impact Of Social Media On Modern Elections

Hosted by the Humphrey School's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, the University's 2017 Constitution Day event and Minnesota Election Summit bring together Facebook leaders with Secretary of State Steve Simon to spotlight social media breakthroughs in the realm of elections in 2016 and lessons for 2018. Noon, Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

Sept. 27 - 2017 Misel Family Public Lecture

The William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute is proud to host the 12th annual Misel Family Lecture, "The Universe Continues to Reveal Surprises," featuring Professor Wendy Freedman, University of Chicago. No charge and open to the public. 7 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center, Memorial Hall.

New College of Continuing Education website

The College of Continuing Education has redesigned its website ( to provide users with a more visual, simplified, and welcoming experience and to help them find an offering that meets their needs. This site uses the new Drupal 8 content management system. Email or call 612-625-1274 if you have questions about the site.

Study Space Finder

Study Space Finder is a new service for students that includes images, building features, and study locations on the Twin Cities campus. The project is a collaboration among the Office of Classroom Management, University Libraries, Student Unions, the Office of Information Technology, AHC Classroom Services, and University Services.

UMTC Featured Events
Radio K logo

Sept. 2 - EXHIBITION: Dutch Complex Housing
Sept. 6 - Graduate School Resource Fair
Sept. 6 - Riv-Ellen Prell Presents: "A Campus Divided"
Sept. 7 - Imagery 101: Discovering Commercial Satellite Imagery with DigitalGlobe Basemap
Sept. 7 - Radio K Pop-Up Concert
Sept. 8 - WAM-O-RAMA

Events Calendar >