February 15, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 6

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • U of M Regents meeting highlights.
  • State of the University address.
  • Driven to Discover: Ending addiction with Mark Thomas.
  • Features: New process to produce renewable car tires from biomass; Smashing the silence; Charter schools increasing segregation, underperforming public schools.

Top News

U of M Regents meeting highlights

At its February meeting, the Board of Regents discussed student mental health resources and received an update on enrollment management, which highlighted an increase in need-based scholarships and expanded access for Minnesota students. Regents also received an update on the completion of the implementation phase of a major effort to advance human research protections. Additionally, an update on the U’s Operational Excellence program showed that the University is $68.5 million, or 76 percent, toward President Kaler’s goal to reallocate $90 million in administrative costs by 2019.

See the news release >

March 2 - 2017 State of the University address

Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit a question for President Kaler now through the end of his State of the University address. Beginning at 3 p.m. on March 2, Kaler will also accept questions on Twitter (#UMNsotu) and from those in attendance. 3:30-4:30 p.m., Coffman Union Theater. The address will also be available via ITV at Crookston - 101 Dowell Hall; Duluth - 173 Kirby Plaza; Morris - 45 Humanities Fine Arts Building; and Rochester - 398 University Square.

Learn more and watch the address online >

Driven to Discover: Ending addiction with Mark ThomasMark Thomas

An estimated 80-90 percent of people recovering from addiction relapse within a year. Mark Thomas’s work points to brain stimulation as a preventive strategy.

Learn more about Thomas' work >

New process to produce car tires from biomassbiomass tire lab

A team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota has invented a new technology to produce automobile tires from trees and grasses in a process that could shift the tire production industry toward using renewable resources. Conventional car tires are viewed as environmentally unfriendly because they are predominantly made from fossil fuels. The car tires produced from this new process would be identical to existing tires with the same chemical makeup, color, shape, and performance. The research could have a major impact on the multibillion-dollar industry.

Smashing the silencedoctor with patient

U pediatrician Pamela Gonzalez challenges fellow doctors to confront the problem of youth opioid addiction.

Read more >

Charter schools increasing segregation, underperforming public schoolshands raised in classroom

A new report from the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the University of Minnesota Law School describes how charter schools are worsening segregation and failing to achieve consistent academic improvement. In an important new research finding, the report suggests that moderate or even nominal attempts to reduce school segregation would produce academic gains comparable to—or greater than—those observed in the most highly lauded class of charter schools.

U-Wide News

Announcing the 2017 Research Infrastructure Investment Program

Letters of Intent are due March 13 for the 2017 Research Infrastructure Investment Program, administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research. OVPR is committed to facilitating strong core facilities as the backbone for research excellence and to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration. The funding available will be directed toward new or existing facilities, service centers, or other shared resources across the University system. Matching funds are required. The deadline for completed proposals is Apr. 10. All applicants who submit an LOI are also invited to submit a full proposal, unless they are notified otherwise.

Feb. 16 - Webinar: Professional Presence

This webinar will help you discover strategies to confidently convey your genuine spark in all types of situations, and ultimately build your brand for your career. You’ll learn tips and practices to develop your professional poise for meaningful interactions and to showcase your authenticity and leadership capabilities.

Feb. 24 and 27 - Pre-Retirement Seminars

If retirement is on your mind, come to the Pre-Retirement Seminars offered by the Office of Human Resources. The Feb. 24 session topics include required minimum distributions and estate planning. At the Feb. 27 session, you’ll learn about Social Security and Medicare and UPlan Retiree Health Plan options. Spouses are welcome. Both sessions will be at Coffman Union Theater. Video recordings will be posted afterwards.

Sept. 18-20 - Conference on Native American Nutrition

Join the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives (HFHL) Institute for this annual conference that brings together tribal officials, researchers, practitioners, and others to discuss the current state of Indigenous and academic scientific knowledge about Native nutrition and food science, and identify new areas of work. Registration opens in March.

Too quick to click

How do you know if you've been hacked? Do you know how to properly secure your devices? Learn how to react to, report, and recover from potential security incidents and the top ways to protect your information and devices.


Feb. 16 - Thursday Commons: The Kiehle Murals

The murals on the walls of Kiehle Auditorium on the University of Minnesota Crookston campus are 75 years old. Their history and impact will be the focus of a special Thursday Commons presentation, “The Kiehle Murals: The Art of John Martin Socha,” by historian and librarian Bill Wittenbreer. Noon, Kiehle Auditorium.

Strategic planning website update

UMC’s website for strategic planning is being updated to reflect current efforts in this area. The site is intended to help inform the campus and community about strategic planning efforts currently under way.

Feb. 20 - Professional Development Day

In response to feedback following the last Employee Engagement (E2) survey, the spring semester Professional Development Day will help build on the campus strategic initiative to promote employee engagement. 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Feb. 21 - CEO of Extreme SandboxRand6 Stenger

Randy Stenger, founder and CEO of Extreme Sandbox, a Heavy Equipment Adventure company that lets clients play on construction equipment, will present as part of UMC’s entrepreneurship speaker series. 12:30 p.m., Peterson Classroom, Heritage Hall.


Cross registration program benefits studentsDuluth from the air

UMD Chancellor Black, UWS Chancellor Wachter, and CSS President Geary will sign a recommitment to the Cross Registration Agreement, which allows students enrolled at one school to take up to two classes at the other two institutions. This program helps students graduate faster and fulfill graduate program prerequisites. The signing will take place Feb. 17, 2:30 p.m., 4th-floor rotunda, Martin Library.

Feb. 18 - Feast of Nationsmulticultural students celebrating

The annual Feast of Nations, sponsored by the International Club, will feature a globally inspired dinner and fashion show in Kirby Ballroom starting at 6 p.m., followed by performances in the Marshall Performing Arts Center at 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 23 – WorldQuest TriviaColombian flag

The Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Institute for International Studies will hold its annual WorldQuest Trivia Competition featuring the country of Colombia. Topics include geography and world events. Register as a team (from two to eight people) or as a spectator. 6 p.m., Kirby Ballroom.


UMM welcomes Chancellor Michelle BehrMichelle Behr at welcome reception

Last week the campus community welcomed incoming Chancellor Michelle Behr. Chancellor Behr began her tenure as UMM’s sixth chief executive on Feb. 6. Watch a short video introduction with Chancellor Behr and see photos from her first event.

Feb. 25 - Lily Cai Chinese Dance Companytapestries being twirled

The 2016-17 Performing Arts Series continues with Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company. Lily Cai defies expectations through a fusion of classical, traditional, and folk Chinese dance with modern dance and Western ballet styles. This performance is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. 7:30 p.m., Edson Auditorium.

Apr. 7-8 – Jazz FestJazz musicians on stage

Tickets are available now for the 39th annual Jazz Festival. This year the festival will pay tribute to the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Performers include Russ Johnson, Scott Agster, Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates, and JT Bates as well as the West Central All-Stars, UMM Alumni Jazzers, Prestige Combo, and Jazz Ensemble I.


Feb. 21 - Autism: The Cause and Effect on Individuals and Family

Autism is an extremely complex diagnosis that does not have a known cause or cure. One in 68 people born today will be diagnosed with autism. At the next UMR Connects, Brad Trahan will share the daily demands and pressures of having a child with autism, and how it affects the individual, the family, the extended family, and society. 7 p.m., Room 417, 111 South Broadway.

Twin Cities

Partnership for Affordable Content grants

Twin Cities faculty and instructors are invited to apply for Partnership for Affordable Content grants. Sponsored by the University Libraries, the initiative aims to reduce student costs by implementing alternative, affordable, and high-quality content for U of M courses. The application deadline is Feb. 27.

Feb. 16 - CCN-Ballet de Lorraineballet dancers on stage

Northrop and the Walker Art Center will present CCN-Ballet de Lorraine in the French company's Twin Cities debut, featuring two works by the renowned choreographer Merce Cunningham, along with a new contemporary ballet. 7:30 p.m. $20 U of M faculty/staff rush tickets will be available starting at 10 a.m. the day of the show online, over the phone, or in person. Watch a sneak peek of the evening's performance.

March 2 - Research and Changemaking: Publicly Engaged Scholarship in Action

Join U of M colleagues for a morning of conversations with scholars who leverage their research to collaboratively shape public policy. The event will feature a keynote by Professor John Wallace of the University of Pittsburgh. Wallace will also join a panel discussion with U Professors Kristine Miller and Rose Brewer and Assistant Professor Oscar Garza in an exploration of the questions: Does speaking publicly on rancorous social issues affect scholarship or academic reputation? Do community-based commitments limit a scholar’s objectivity and diminish work quality? Is activism at odds with academic conventions and institutional expectations and culture?

March 2 - Cyber Crime: From Phishing to The Dark Net

Cyber-security specialist Mark Lanterman will discuss recent high-profile cyber-crime events, including website breaches that have impacted retailers, banks, and government agencies. Lanterman also will survey security threats that specifically target our nation’s critical infrastructure via the Dark Web, the Internet of Things, phishing, and Wi-Fi attacks.

Register and learn more >

Submit a Living Lab project proposal

Transform an unused space on campus into your own sustainable laboratory by submitting a Living Lab project proposal. Campus grounds and buildings are not only a backdrop of campus life, but can be used as a medium for innovation, testing, demonstration, and learning. Selected proposals will receive campus space and assistance with the facilitation of an approved project. Apply by March 20.

March 23 - Shared Water, Shared Responsibility

University of Minnesota Water Resources Students In Action will host the community discussion Shared Water, Shared Responsibility: Engaging Minnesota’s Communities, Students, and Policymakers. The event will address challenges facing clean water and explore how Minnesotans from all walks of life can play a role in promoting sustainable practices. The event will include a pre-event reception and poster session on water research, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with policy experts. 5:15-8 p.m., Humphrey School.

UMTC Featured Eventscreek in a forest

Feb. 16 - White Institutional Space, the First Amendment & Racial Equity
Feb. 18 - What I Think About: Kate Casanova & Thomas Rose
Feb. 19 - Shakespeare Directs from the Tavern
Feb. 21 - Café Scientifique: Forest Keepers
Feb. 21 - Tipping Point: Why the Minneapolis Minimum Wage Debate Matters Nationally
Feb. 22 – Iraqi Voices
Feb. 24 - Nurturing Justice: Raising Inclusive Children in an Unjust World

Events Calendar >