U of M Brief - February 4, 2015
State Relations Update
Gov. Dayton has released his budget proposal for the 2016-17 biennium. The $42 billion proposal prioritizes education, particularly pre K-12. It includes $32.6 million toward the U's $65.2 million requested tuition freeze and $30 million for the Medical School. Faculty legislative liaisons Lyn Bearinger and Gary Gardner testified in support of the University's budget request. Additionally, the U of M Office of University Economic Development's executive director Maura Donovan and program director Sabine Engel testified in support of legislation that would fund the Minnesota PIPELINE Project, which stands for Private Investment Public Education Labor Industry Experience.
Nature Biotech ranks U in top 5 for life sciences tech transfer
Across the country, top universities are working to push cutting-edge research from the lab to the market. The University of Minnesota is one of the institutions leading the charge. A Nature Biotechnology report ranks the U's Office for Technology Commercialization fifth overall in life sciences tech transfer and gives the office high rankings in areas like licensing income, patents awarded, and startups launched. The article also illustrates how the U is helping spur new industry partnerships and launch new startups through programs such as the Entrepreneurial Leave Program and Minnesota Innovation Partnerships Program.
Administrative Policy: Traveling on University Business
Traveling on University Business, the most frequently accessed administrative policy, has undergone a comprehensive review and an open-comment period. Effective in 2015, travelers now have up to 60 days after travel completion to substantiate and document travel expenses. This is an increase from the prior 30 days. Reimbursement requests submitted beyond the 60 days should be denied by units, except for extraordinary circumstances such as extended international travel. Reimbursement requests for local travel (local business mileage, parking, etc.) do not fall under this 60-day time frame. This type of request may now be submitted on a less frequent basis (e.g., quarterly, semi-annually).
Faculty and Staff Programs: Leadership Essentials
Minnesota Population Center Grant Competition
The Minnesota Population Center has announced a U-wide grant competition for collaborative research projects using its flagship data sets. All U of M faculty, research staff, and graduate students are eligible to apply. Proposals are due Feb. 28. An information session will take place Feb. 6, 12:15-1:30 p.m., 50 Willey Hall.
Frontiers in the Environment: Big Questions
The Frontiers in the Environment lecture series kicks off Feb. 11 with the question, How can individual cities make a global impact on climate change? Simon Sharpe, head of climate risk for the U.K. Foreign Office; Martin Bigg, a professor at the University of West England and the former chair of Bristol Green Capital Partnership; and Gayle Prest, sustainability manager for the City of Minneapolis, will present local and global perspectives on addressing our warming planet. Frontiers Lectures take place every Wednesday, noon-1 p.m., R380 Learning & Environmental Sciences Bldg., St. Paul, and live online via UMConnect.
Tilman receives the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award
David Tilman has received the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for scientifically demonstrating how biodiversity makes ecosystems more stable, productive and resilient. The BBVA Foundation promotes, funds, and disseminates world-class scientific research and artistic creation.
Innovation in International Education award
The University of Minnesota is the recipient of an Institute of International Education Andrew Heiskell Honorable Mention for Innovation in International Education in the Study Abroad category for its Bridging Loan Program. The program assists high-need students who do not have up-front funds available to cover study abroad program deposits and flight booking costs.
UMN in the News
Jason Hill comments in The New York Times on a new report that urges western governments to reconsider reliance on biofuels; Steve Sanders comments on new electric vehicle chargers on the UMTC campus in the Star Tribune; David Levinson talks about a 'value capture' tax for road projects in the Pioneer Press; Jason Chan comments in The Economist on his study that looked at what effects a local Craigslist site has on its state's rates of reported HIV cases; Alan Benson talks with the Washington Post about a new study which suggests the economic return on a college degree may be more modest than you think; David Weerts spoke with MPR about free tuition at two-year schools.
Feb. 6 - Spring Thaw Social
All UMC faculty and staff are invited to attend the annual Spring Thaw Social. This year's theme is "We Are Family," in reference to UMC's tight-knit campus community. The casual event is an opportunity to socialize with friends and colleagues and to energize everyone for the push through winter. 4:30-6:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.
Feb. 9 - City Council meet and greet
UMC will host a special meet and greet session, discussion, and campus tour with the members of the Crookston City Council Feb. 9, 5-7 p.m. UMC officials and the City Council, along with campus and city department heads, will discuss ways the campus and community can work together. At 7:30 p.m, the council will hold a regular business meeting in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.
Feb. 10 - Community and Law Enforcement Dialogue
Campus and local community members are invited to join in on a discussion of national and local law enforcement issues with a panel of local and regional law enforcement personnel. Noon-1:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.
Faculty and staff are asked to encourage students to apply for UMC's specialty scholarships. The application deadline is Feb. 15. Numerous scholarships are available to both new students and returning students, who must be enrolled full time.
Inspiring Students with a Love of Learning
Professor David Beaulieu is the Ruth A. Myers Endowed Chair in American Indian Education in the College of Education and Human Service Professions. An enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation, Beaulieu earned his Ph.D. in education administration from the U of M.
Feb. 5 - Enslaved Underwater Divers
Assistant Professor Kevin Dawson, University of California Merced, will present the lecture "Enslaved Underwater Divers: Challenging Concepts of Race and Slavery in the Atlantic World" Feb. 5, 7 p.m., Kathryn A. Martin Library Rotunda. Free and open to the public. Cosponsored by the UMD Department of History and the Alworth Institute.
Feb. 7 - Flute Choir Day Concert
Assistant Professor Paula Gudmundson, Department of Music, and the UMD Flute Studio will present performances on Feb. 7, 4 p.m., Weber Music Hall. The free public event is part of the second annual Flute Choir Day, which offers intensive workshops focusing on solo and chamber music performance for flutists.
Morris Students Provide Service to Local Organizations
UMM's Center for Small Towns and the U of M Southwest Sustainable Development Partnership will offer assistance to local organizations through the Connecting Students and Communities (CSC) program. CSC will provide UMM student support in the areas of research and project administration to local units of government, K–12 schools, and community-based organizations.
An EPA Top 30
UMM appears at No. 27 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) January 2015 Top 30 On-site list of the largest green power users, up from No. 28 in 2014. According to the EPA, UMM is using 5,210,378 kilowatt-hours of green power annually.
Feb. 10 - Pregnancy and Parenting Support for Women in Prison
The next UMR Connects will feature Rebecca Shlafer, U of M assistant professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Shlafer will discuss the mental and physical health needs of incarcerated pregnant women and share information about an innovative program at the women's state prison and her ongoing research through this community-university-corrections partnership. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.
Free tax preparation for U community
The Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VTAP) prepares tax returns free of charge for University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff with unadjusted gross income of less than $57,000. VTAP is free, fast, safe, and IRS certified. VTAP is a student-run service organization supported by the Minnesota Student Association and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly.
Feb. 1-28 - Black History Month celebrations
Black History Month celebrations run throughout February, and will include a dance performance, panel discussions, a film series, and workshops. The events are an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to reflect upon, honor, and learn more about the African-American experience.
February Winter Warm Up Physical Activity Challenge
Faculty and staff are encouraged to get active with a fun and motivating opportunity to promote a healthy and active campus. The challenge provides every employee with a personal online wellness account to log physical activity minutes during the month of February. Team up with friends and coworkers and work toward achieving new goals.
2015 Tony Diggs Excellence Awards Nominations Close Feb. 8
Feb. 9 - Winter Luncheon: Smart Cities and Smart Mobility
At the Center for Transportation Studies Winter Luncheon, Jaume Barceló, of the Technical University of Catalonia in Barcelona, will discuss the concept of the smart city from a systems point of view. Specifically, he'll focus on one of the pillars of the smart city—smart mobility—and on his suggested methodology of transportation analytics. According to Barceló, "smartness" is not simply synonymous with technology. Rather, it depends on the appropriate use of technology grounded in a sound methodological approach. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center.
Feb. 11 - Theater of Public Policy Improv Event
The Theater of Public Policy (T2P2) will bring its one-of-a-kind mix of wonk and comedy to the Humphrey School. T2P2 uses improv comedy to unpack and reimagine policy and politics. Free and open to the public, but registration is requested. 7-8:30 p.m. (doors at 6:30), Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.
Feb. 12 - Exhibit opening for Weird, Wild, & Wonderful
The exhibit opening for Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial, curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists, features artwork of botanical oddities and curiosities. The exhibit is cosponsored by the University Libraries. 2-4 p.m., U of M Landscape Arboretum.
Call for Submissions: Northern Spark 2015
The East Bank will be one of five zones for the all-night Northern Spark Festival June 13-14, showcasing University and community artists. Northrop, the Institute for Advanced Study, the University Honors Program, and the College of Design Traveler's Innovation Lab invite artists and performing groups of all genres to submit applications for project space in Northrop and on the plaza during this year's festival. Applications are due Feb. 16.
Feb. 20 - Homebuyer Assistance Opportunity in the University District
UMTC Featured Events
Campus Climate Open Space Event (Feb. 5)
Deep Reading in a Superficial World - Engaging Controversies Discussion (Feb. 6)
A Conversation with George Latimer: A Life in Politics (Feb. 7)
OED Certificate Workshop 2: Leadership in the Context of Equity & Diversity (Feb. 10)
Exhibit - Bibliophilia: Collecting Black Books (through Feb. 25)