U of M Brief - January 7, 2015
Federal Relations Report
In December Congress passed funding for FY15. The bill covers the remaining nine months of FY15 and has a bottom line of $1.1 trillion. The NIH is funded at $30.1 billion, an increase of $150 million; the agency will also receive $238 million from the $5.4 billion emergency package to fight Ebola. The NSF will receive $7.3 billion, an increase of $172 million. The measure also provides $22.5 billion for Pell Grants and allows the maximum award to increase by $100 to $5,830. Federal Work-Study will be increased by $15 million, TRIO programs by $1.5 million, and the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights by $1.6 million.
Ten reasons the U of M research enterprise is thriving
Despite increasing competition for federal awards and a persistently difficult funding climate, the U of M, in partnership with its faculty, students, research community and external stakeholders, saw growth in nearly all performance measures in FY2014. Results show a strong research enterprise that has sustained its high ranking among an elite group of public research institutions and is outperforming its peers in the Big Ten.
Growing a sustainable bioeconomy
A transdisciplinary team of MnDRIVE researchers is partnering with farmers, ag groups, and local governments in Greater Minnesota to develop a sustainable “bioeconomy”—a system of growing and harvesting plant matter as a source of animal feed, eco-friendly fuels, and manufactured goods—that will benefit Minnesota’s farmers and its economy as a whole. The project makes use of new robotics and refining technologies to make harvests easier and more profitable, while using farmland in a way that helps keep the soil fertile and provides ecological benefits for surrounding areas.
Mileage rate change
The IRS has announced changes in the standard business mileage rates for calendar year 2015. As of Jan. 1, the standard business mileage reimbursement rate for personal vehicle use on approved University business has risen from 56 cents to 57.5 cents per mile. See the Rates section of the Administrative Policy: Traveling on University Business. The standard mileage rate for moving expenses is now 23 cents per mile as non-taxable and the remaining 34.5 cents per mile as taxable. Business mileage incurred in 2014 but reimbursed in 2015 should be reimbursed using the 2014 mileage rates. The Employee Expense Worksheet (UM1612) and the Moving/Relocation Expense Documentation Form (UM 1357) are being updated to reflect the changes to the mileage rates.
New RFA to support child health research
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), in partnership with the Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, is accepting applications for the new Child Health Collaborative Grant Award. Applicants can request budgets of up to $200,000 for projects that address important child health issues in Minnesota. Letters of intent are due Jan. 30.
Apply for Grant-in-Aid funding
Apply now for the spring Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship program, administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). The program promotes the research, scholarly, and artistic activities of faculty. Proposals must be submitted electronically. Applications are due Feb. 2 to approvers, and by Feb. 5 to OVPR.
Free January admission to Landscape Arboretum
STSS building named in honor of U President Emeritus Robert Bruininks
In recognition of Robert H. Bruininks’ more than 45 years of service to the University of Minnesota, including nine as president, the Science Teaching and Student Services (STSS) building will be renamed Robert H. Bruininks Hall. The STSS building was completed in Aug. 2010, during Bruininks’ presidency. A dedication ceremony will take place in early 2015. Details will be made available at a later date.
UMN in the News
Xiang Cheng makes it rain in Popular Science--watching raindrops to get to the bottom of asteroid impact craters; Karen Oberhauser says in CBS News that the monarch butterfly may need U.S. endangered species protection; Traci Mann talks “Beyond paleo: Is eating like a Viking the next it diet?” in Vogue; a new generation of Somali women is on the rise in Minnesota says Cawo Abdi in the Star Tribune; Steve Henneberry is quoted in The New York Times on campus police racial bias accusations.
Classes begin Jan. 12
Nominations sought for Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards
RFP for Summit on Equity, Diversity, and Multiculturalism
The UMD Diversity Commission is requesting proposals for the Feb. 25 Summit on Equity, Diversity, and Multiculturalism (Creating Inclusion, One Story at a Time). Individuals, groups, and organizations may submit proposals for workshops, presentations, lectures, posters, and other educational formats that address the theme. For more information, email Chris Davila or call 218-726-8389.
Feb. 8 - Subway Big Jig Ice Fishing Tournament
On Feb. 8, UMD’s Subway Big Jig Ice Fishing Tournament will have a new venue for the first time in its 15-year history: Island Lake. The event is limited to the first 3,000 entrants. Registration is required. All proceeds support the UMD Student-Athletic Scholarship Fund.
UMM named Kiplinger Best Value
For the seventh consecutive year, UMM has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of 100 best values in public colleges (No. 54). The campus also was named one of the 24 Best College Values under $30,000/year. UMM was ranked sixth in this exclusive listing and is the only Minnesota college on the list.
Social networks bring learning opportunities
UMM instructors and students are using social networks like Skype and Twitter to create extraordinary learning opportunities. These communication platforms allow students to connect with experts and celebrities to whom they otherwise wouldn’t have access. Recent guests include actor Orlando Jones, Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx Chief Marketing Officer/Senior VP Ted Johnson, and others.
Jan. 19 - MLK Pledge Drive
The University's of Minnesota's annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Pledge Drive kicks off Jan. 19. Inspired by the national MLK Day of Service, the pledge drive honors Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy of service and the University's mission of public engagement for the common good. The voluntary pledge drive also aims to promote opportunities throughout the calendar year for Twin Cities and Rochester campus faculty, staff, students, and retirees to work with neighbors to serve our communities and address important causes.
Jan. 8 - Preview of the 2015 Minnesota Legislative Session
Join new Minnesota Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt and Senator Majority Leader Tom Bakk to preview what's coming in the new legislative session, including the priorities for Minnesota’s projected $1 billion surplus. Noon-1:15 p.m., Humphrey School.
Jan. 20 - Framing Responsive Literacy Instruction in the National Policy Context
Join the College of Education and Human Development for a policy breakfast examining Minnesota’s achievement gap in literacy, why we miss so many kids, and how to structure systems that will better serve them. Alfred Tatum, dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will deliver a keynote address focused on advancing the reading, writing, and intellectual development of African American boys in ways that move beyond the limitations of policy authorizations. A panel discussion follows. 8-10:30 a.m., registration & free breakfast at 7:15. Meridian Ballroom, The Commons Hotel.