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.
UMN in the News
Jeffrey Mandel and Gurumurthy Ramachandran are quoted in multiple stories on the release of a U of M study that shows the effects of taconite on miners; John Deen comments at KARE 11 on the U's leadership in preventing pandemics; Mary Jo Kreitzer gives advice on how to cope with grief or loss this holiday season at MinnPost; Dan Karvonen says in the Pioneer Press that your Minnesoooota accent is something to be proud of; Daniel Griffen talks with the LA Times about a study that shows the California drought is the most severe dry spell in at least 1,200 years; and here's how to end your day on a positive note, says Theresa Glomb at BBC.com.
Poinsettia: cuttings to crop
In August, 700 rooted poinsettia cuttings arrived at UMC in anticipation of another holiday season. Under the skill and coaxing of students in the commercial floriculture class, those cuttings have developed into a beautiful poinsettia crop.
Students and faculty in the music department will present a mix of holiday tunes and classical music in separate concerts by the UMC Jazz Band and the UMC Choir, and in a special faculty chamber recital. All performances are free, and everyone is welcome.
Maroon & Gold Fridays
University Relations has reactivated the Maroon & Gold Fridays promotion with the local community. From Homecoming in October through the end of basketball season in February, businesses and organizations whose staff wear maroon and gold on Fridays will receive special promotional items when visited by Regal the Golden Eagle and student communication assistants in University Relations.
Quality and affordability recognition
Mentoring Program Helps Build Connections
Faculty and staff of color recently launched a mentoring program. New faculty and staff of color who wished to participate were matched with more experienced colleagues as a way to build connections, map out strategies for success, and help them thrive at UMD. Twenty-three pairs were matched.
Labovitz School celebrates 40 years
The Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) is celebrating 40 years of success this month. In those 40 years, LSBE went from two departments and a bureau to five departments, four programs, and two bureaus/centers. Historical highlights include achieving Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International accreditation in 2000 and construction of its current building, which opened in 2008.
Dec. 10 - Disability and Wellness Open House
Students, faculty, and staff are invited to learn more about disability resources at the Disability and Wellness Open House, noon-4 p.m., Kirby Rafters. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with members of Access for All, Active Minds, and the ASL Club.
Dec. 15/17 - Snowshoe making workshop
Morris a Top 50 Most Affordable Public College
UMM has been named a Top 50 Most Affordable Public College for Out-of-State Students by AffordableColleges.com. One of four Minnesota schools listed, UMM is ranked No. 15 overall. "We are attracting students who appreciate the educational value UMM has to offer," says Bryan Herrmann, director of admissions.
Dec. 16 - UMR CONNECTS: The Sea Wing Disaster - Tragedy on Lake Pepin
The July 13, 1890 capsizing of the steamer Sea Wing and death of 98 of its passengers horrified Minnesota and the nation. Author Frederick Johnson's book The Sea Wing Disaster: Tragedy on Lake Pepin captures the terror and desperation of the vessel's 215 crew and passengers as the tragedy unfolded and the four days of anguish that followed. Johnson's presentation makes use of documents, letters, maps, interviews, newspapers, and magazines to inform listeners of exactly how and why the accident occurred. He also shares the remarkably complete and graphic photographic record developed at the scene. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.
Dec. 10 - Get Smart on Crime: New Directions in America's Incarceration Policy
Locking up the "bad guys" has been America's reaction to crime for decades. The result has been the highest incarceration rates in the world, a track record of ineffectiveness and waste, and a lopsided crackdown on people of color. Join judge Leonardo Castro and professor Christopher Uggen as they discuss research that demonstrates a smarter approach that improves safety, slows the fiscal drain of prisons, and tackles the racial bias in incarceration. 5:30-6:45 p.m., Humphrey Forum, Humphrey School. The event is followed by light dinner.
Dec. 11 - Global Health Strategic Planning Listening Session
This fall, the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility embarked on a strategic planning process to create a broad-based vision for global health at the Academic Health Center. This session will be an opportunity for the campus community and partners to hear the outcomes of the strategic planning process, ask questions, and provide feedback. Mississippi Room, Coffman Union, 3 to 4 p.m.
New UMTC web header and footer designs
The new Twin Cities web header and footer designs are complete. You are invited to take a look at the designs, read about the new options, learn about the implementation plan, and offer feedback through Dec. 11.
Toys for Tots 2014
The 2014 Toys for Tots toy box is in UMPD's lobby and ready to be filled with toys for kids and teenagers. UMPD is collecting new, unwrapped toys to be distributed during the holidays to the less fortunate in the community. The age groups most in need are 0-2 and 15-17. Donations will be collected until Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. UMPD is located in the Transportation and Safety Building, 511 Washington Ave S.E.
Dec. 16-18 - Instructors Copyright Crash Course
Getting ready to teach next semester? Take 60 minutes in December to build your knowledge about copyright in instructional use. University Libraries offers two new copyright workshops: "100% Usable Stuff" and "Fair Use." Sessions are available at multiple times and locations, Dec. 16-18.
Feb. 5 - Campus Climate Open Space Event
Faculty, staff, and students are invited for a day focused on taking action toward our collective goal of creating and fostering a campus climate where all people are treated with respect on their path to success. It will be an engaging, participatory day of working together. Come for all or part of the day. Great Hall, Coffman Union, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
UMTC Featured Events
U of M Trombone Choir Holiday Concert & Ugly Sweater Contest (Dec. 10)
When Places Speak – A photography exhibit (Dec. 11)
Information Session on IAS Research and Creative Collaborative Applications (Dec. 10)
Digital Virtuosity and Huggable Machines: The Appeal of the Nonhuman in Pixar Animation (Dec. 11)
Downton Abbey Holiday Festival and Season 5 Premier Screening (Dec. 13)
Interruptions: Posters from the Community Arts Project Archive (Dec. 17)