October 19, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 33

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents meeting highlights.
  • Driven to Discover: Closing the Opportunity Gap with Jed Elison.
  • Features: New angle on Alzheimer’s disease; Study shows forest biodiversity is green in more ways than one; Changing the world: Clara Adams-Ender.
  • People: Brian Burnett has been appointed senior vice president of finance and operations; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents meeting highlights

At its October meeting, the U of M Board of Regents approved the FY18-19 biennial legislative budget request, which focuses on four areas: student success, MnDRIVE, core mission support, and Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute’s applied research for economic development. Additionally, the request includes $21 million to restore funds for critical health training and services statewide, and to pay for enhanced services and operations of the new Bell Museum and Planetarium. The Board also approved the $1.6 billion six-year capital improvement plan and the $317.6 million 2017 state capital request, which consists largely of projects carried over from the 2016 legislative session.

See the news release for more >

Driven to Discover: Closing the Opportunity Gap with Jed ElisonJed Elison

A child’s first years are a time of rapid development and dynamic change--and of vulnerability. Detecting autism earlier could alter the course of a child’s life for the better. Professor Jed Elison is applying breakthroughs in neuroscience to understand this complex development. Through a combination of behavioral observations and biomarkers, Elison and colleagues are reducing the age of first diagnosis.

Learn how Elison is working to close the opportunity gap for kids with autism >

New angle on Alzheimer’s diseaseresearcher looking through microscope

University of Minnesota researchers have identified a potential target for treating Alzheimer’s disease. The research suggests that blocking a particular enzyme could help restore memory deficits. Applying their finding, they reversed memory loss in mice. The treatment may eventually help restore memory and cognitive abilities in human patients.

Learn more about the Alzheimer's study >

Study shows forest biodiversity is green in more ways than onegraphic that says biodiversity is good

Loss of biodiversity has long been recognized as detrimental for nature. Now a team of scholars from 90 institutions in 44 countries has shown that it also provides enormous economic benefits. The finding highlights the need for a worldwide reassessment of biodiversity values, forest management strategies, and conservation priorities. The study was led by researchers including the U’s Peter Reich, who is also engaged in presenting new scientific findings through the popular YouTube channel, MinuteEarth.

Learn more about the biodiversity study >

Changing the world: Clara Adams-EnderClara Adams-ender

It’s a long road from tending tobacco fields in North Carolina to being named one of the 350 women who changed the world by Working Women magazine, but General Clara Adams-Ender has always defied convention. Adams-Ender is the University of Minnesota’s 2016 homecoming grand marshal. See the UMTC homecoming schedule.


Brian Burnett has been appointed senior vice president of finance and operations; Yuqing Ren has received a $919,979 research grant from the National Science Foundation to develop and test a computational theory of online communities; ICI’s National Center on Educational Outcomes has been awarded a five-year, $10 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education; UMTC received a 2016 HEED award for outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, while the School of Nursing received the HEED award for the Health Professions category; Gary Goldish and Mikael Elias have been awarded early-stage translational research project grants by CTSI; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Launch of the systemwide strategic plan

For the first time in its history, the University of Minnesota is embarking on a systemwide strategic planning effort to better align its resources and leverage its strengths as a system. The plan will draw from existing campus plans, including Driving Tomorrow, the Twin Cities campus strategic plan. The effort was discussed at the October Board of Regents meeting.

Learn more and follow along with progress updates >

Administrative policy update

Changes from the comprehensive review of Administrative Policy: Using the University Procurement Card bring greater specificity around documentation requirements, oversight responsibilities for each college and academic unit, and the availability of departmental procurement cards.

The policy is available for review and comment >

Spotlight on Safe Computing: Spot a Scam

Have you ever received a suspicious email? What did you do? Learn how to spot scams and protect yourself with these tips on safe computing.

Everyday employee engagement

A record number of faculty and staff responded to the E2 Employee Engagement survey since 2013. To give areas more time to take action, the next survey will be in the fall of 2017. There are many ways to create engagement in the workplace and to make work more fulfilling. See Employee Engagement for ideas and email ee2@umn.edu for information on leadership consulting and coaching around engagement.

Team mobilizes Minnesota town to tackle substance abuse

After seeing her rural Minnesota community struggle with a growing heroin and opioid addiction problem, Laura Palombi secured a Clinical and Translational Science Institute grant to hold a community forum, and worked alongside a drug abuse task force to help solve the problem.

Order the 2017 Minnesota Gardening calendargardening calendar cover

The 2017 Minnesota Gardening calendar, produced by University of Minnesota Extension and the U of M Landscape Arboretum, features seasonal photos and monthly gardening tips. Order one online for yourself or as a holiday gift for a fellow gardener. Proceeds support statewide horticulture outreach education. Enter MG10 in the coupon code for a 10 percent discount.

Nov. 9 - Design of Medical Devices Conference

The U’s Design of Medical Devices Conference will host a half-day symposium on Global Harmonization of Medical Device Regulations. 7:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Coffman Union Theater.

Nov. 10 - World Usability Day

The University of Minnesota will join with organizations across the globe for a full-day event to learn about, share, and celebrate user-friendly products, services, and practices.

Learn more about Usability Day >


First Year Experience summitUMC first year experience group

First Year Experience (FYE) professionals of the U of M system campuses recently met for a networking and collaboration summit on the Crookston campus. FYE professionals for the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Twin Cities campuses attended. The summit will be hosted in the Twin Cities next year.

Oct. 20 - Graduate and Professional School Fair

The Graduate and Professional School Fair will feature panels of faculty and other professionals who will discuss their experiences in grad/professional school and field questions. 6-8 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Oct. 25 - Cybersecurity - Legal Issues, Protecting Yourself and Your Business

The Business Department Distinguished Speaker Series will host Brandon Robinson, an attorney who will be giving a presentation to the campus and Crookston community on cybersecurity. Noon, Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Oct. 18-19 – The Clothesline Project

The Clothesline Project, a national art project started as a memorial to the victims and survivors of domestic violence, will be on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Bede Ballroom. In addition to the display, there will be a role-playing activity called "Chutes and Ladders" that helps illustrate the choices victims of domestic violence make when they are deciding how to respond to abuse.


Oct. 21 - First Folio! presentationWitmore

The exhibit “First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare” is on display in the Tweed Museum of Art through Oct. 26. The Jankofsky Fund will host Michael Witmore, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, for his presentation Centuries of Shakespeare at 5:30 p.m., 90 Bohannon.

Oct. 22 - Symphony Orchestra Concertweber music hall

Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra director Dirk Meyer will serve as guest director for Symphony Orchestra Concert: 17th Annual Story Hour. The orchestra, under the artistic direction of Professor Jean Perrault, will perform works by Beethoven and Rimsky-Korsakov. 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall.

Nov. 1 - Visual Culture LectureRima Girnius

Art historian Rima Girnius will present at the next Visual Culture Lecture series. An associate curator of European paintings and sculpture at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, her specialty is in Early Modern German and Dutch painting. 6-7 p.m., 70 Montague Hall.


New “Stress Less” program

Understanding the effects stress can have on faculty and staff, health coach Angela Berlinger recently partnered with Stevens Community Medical Center to create the “Stress Less” program. Debuting this fall, Stress Less will allow participants to share their experiences with stress and learn ways to intervene and decrease it in their daily lives.

Oct. 24 - Health and community meal

The third annual Fall Into Health and Morris Community Meal pairs resources and information about living a healthier lifestyle with a fall-themed meal. The full event is open to the public at no charge, and provided in collaboration with Stevens Community Medical Center.

Oct. 25 - Café Scientifique

The next Café Scientifique will feature Yuzhi Li, associate professor of animal behavior and welfare and alternative swine production, West Central Research and Outreach Center, in the discussion “Understanding Animal Behavior and Welfare-Measurement vs. Assessment.” 6 p.m., Common Cup Coffeehouse.


Oct. 25 - Challenges and Opportunities for Women Candidates and Officeholders in a Partisan Era

Women comprise less than 20 percent of the United States Congress. Why are women underrepresented at every level in U.S. politics, and is this likely to change anytime soon? Author and U of M associate professor Kathryn Pearson will present at the next UMR Connects. 7-8:30 p.m., 111 South Broadway.

Twin Cities

Introducing IDEA Faculty Development Fellow Sean GarrickSean Garrick

As the incoming Faculty Development Fellow for IDEA, professor Sean Garrick looks forward to finding ways to support faculty and help them advance. He is connecting with faculty from other parts of the University to learn about what challenges they’re facing and what they need. Read more about Garrick >

TRIO program faculty mentors sought

The TRIO McNair Scholars program is recruiting faculty mentors for its summer 2017 cohort. The program gives first-generation and low-income or underrepresented undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct research with faculty and prepare for graduate school. For more information, email Anthony Albecker or Shade' Osifuye.

Community Fund Drive update

The Community Fund Drive is under way, with unit donations continuing to rise. Faculty and staff can choose to donate to our community through numerous partner charities or to write in a nonprofit of their choosing. Donations can be made using payroll deduction or as a one-time gift.

Donate today >

Safety alerts and timely warnings

If you work or study at the U, then you get email alerts about crimes on or near campus, and tips on how to stay safe. This article provides a breakdown of the various messages and their purposes.

Nominations sought for U Services Star Performer Awards

Nominations are now open for the annual University Services Star Performer Awards. Star Performer Awards are presented each fall to University Services employees and teams of employees who have provided star-quality service to the University of Minnesota over the past year. The awards recognize individuals or work teams who actively represent the University Services values of excellence, integrity, accountability, and stewardship.

Oct. 24 - Views from the U: The Political Science of Election 2016

The U of M Department of Political Science will present Views from the U: The Political Science of Election 2016. U of M political science experts will answer your questions on modern politics, including topics like campaign strategy, political advertisements, campaign finance, race and gender, the national economy, foreign policy, and electoral rules and procedures. 6:30-8 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. Register to attend.

Oct. 26 - Canvas faculty experience presentation

The second year of the Canvas learning management system pilot continues at the University. ‎In this presentation, Ann Hill Duin from Writing Studies and academic technologist Emily Stull Richardson will compare key features and functions of Canvas and Moodle and share their experiences moving classes online. 1-2 p.m., 50B Humphrey School or live online.

Oct. 26 - Art and the Land Ethic in the 21st Century

Join in an evening about art and the land during this panel discussion with University faculty to accompany the exhibit “The Beauty That Requires Health: Four Landscapes” by alum Regina Flanagan. The exhibit features Flanagan’s longitudinal study of four landscapes in transition: a floodplain forest, an old-growth big woods forest, an oak savanna, and the aftermath of fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. 5-6:30 p.m., Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library, 210 Rapson Hall.

Nov. 1 - Teaching Support Workshop: Fostering students’ motivation to learn

TeachingSupport@UMN is offering a series of workshops for faculty and instructors throughout the year focused on how the research on learning can inform teaching. In this second workshop, attendees will learn about factors that motivate people and strategies for enhancing students’ motivation to learn in face-to-face, online, or hybrid courses. 2:30-3:30 p.m., 101 Walter Library.

Nov. 2 - Our evolving relationship with the microbial world in and around uspetri dish lecture poster

From the rise and fall of antimicrobials to the growing popularity of probiotics, our perception of these tiny organisms that populate our soil, air, and even our gut is evolving. New discoveries about the role they play in our health and the environment are creating even more ambiguity. Explore what we know and what we don’t about this vast invisible world with computational biology expert Dan Knights, microbial ecologist Michael Sadowsky, and geomicrobiologist Cara Santelli at the "Our evolving relationship..." lecture.

Nov. 15 - Covering Immigration in an Election Yeara quilt in shape of a diverse minnesota

Following the 2016 election Global Minnesota: Immigrants Past and Present will take a look at how immigration is covered in the media, both as part of the presidential campaign and as part of the general news cycle. With a panel of experienced journalists representing a wide range of media outlets, this moderated discussion will explore how topics like immigration, race, and identity are covered--by whom, and for whom.

UMTC Featured Eventsposter of honeybee variety

Oct. 21 - The Dancing Bees: Karl von Frisch and the Discovery of the Honeybee Language

Oct. 22 - Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey Day

Oct. 24 - Hubert Humphrey's Road to Civil Rights

Oct. 25 - CEHD Reads: A Conversation With Anthony Ray Hinton

Oct. 26 - The Future of Middle East Peace Negotiations and U.S. Engagement in the Arab World

Oct. 26 - People, Pets and Plants: The Role of Human Actions in Creating and Solving Urban Water Problems

Oct. 26 - Ship of Seeds: Exploring Heterotopia in the Anthropocene

Oct. 27 - The Malta Study Center Lecture

Events Calendar >