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Crookston Campus E-Update
an internal administrative news digest

February 7, 2012


Inside this Issue

From the Chancellor
Featured Events & Activities
Around Campus
Campus & Community

From the Chancellor

Over the past two months I’ve been working with others on some investments on campus to enhance the teaching and learning experience.  The source of the funding comes from the increase in enrollment over the past three years.  The investments are in three areas:

  1. New Chairs for Classrooms.  Three weeks ago we invited three vendors to provide samples of chairs they offer.  During the week of January 22-27 nearly 175 students, staff, and faculty sampled the chairs and rated their preference.  We are currently asking vendors to provide their best price for the four top choices.  We expect to hear back soon and make a decision.

  2. Upgrades and Renovation of Selected Classrooms.  We have asked department heads to work with faculty to identify classrooms they would like to upgrade or renovate.  We have also identified how many times each classroom is used each week, how many students are in each class, and the instructor teaching in those classes.  We want to impact as many students and faculty as possible with this investment.

    I have appointed a committee of faculty, students, and support individuals to review six  classrooms and make recommendations for improvements.  I would add that we may not be able to do all six classrooms at this time and that some other classrooms may have minor changes that will make the classrooms a better place to teach and learn.

  3. One-Time Investments Across the Campus.  We have reviewed 35 proposals from all areas of campus with a dollar value of over $1.1 million.  We will be funding 23 proposals for a total dollar amount of over $600,000 that includes over $100,000 in funds leveraged from other sources.

The campus 2012-13 budget meeting with Senior Vice President Jones and Vice President Pfutzenreuter will be on Wednesday, March 7.  Preparations are progressing well as is preparation of the 2013 compact document.

I will be in the Twin Cities on Wednesday through Friday this week with Senior Vice Chancellor Baldwin to attend the Board of Regents meetings.  A final vote is scheduled on our proposal for a new residence hall.  Once approval is received, construction can begin as soon as weather permits.

– Chuck
Charles H. Casey, Chancellor
University of Minnesota, Crookston

Featured Events & Activities

Mixed Blood Theatre Performance: “Daughters of Africa,” Tuesday, February 7 – 7:30 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium

UMC Hosts the 63rd Western Minnesota Regional Science Fair, Saturday, February 11
– 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center

College Readiness Consortium: Ramp-Up to Readiness Workshop, Tuesday, February 14
– 10 a.m. to Noon, Bede Ballroom

Local Foods College Session: Vegetable Production and Planning Your Market Garden, Tuesday, February 14
– 6 p.m., Dowell 101

Biometric Health Screening for Crookston Campus Employees
, Wednesday, February 157:30 to 10:30 a.m.,  Bede Ballroom

Thursday Commons: Students vs. Faculty and Staff Campus Showdown, February 16
– 12:15 to 1:45 p.m., Bede Ballroom

In-Service Day for Faculty and Staff, Monday, February 20
– classes excused

Clean Water for Everyone Benefit Dinner Sponsored by UMC Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), Monday, February 20
– 6 p.m., Bede Ballroom

Local Foods College Session: Starting and Managing an Apple Orchard, Tuesday, February 21
– 6 p.m., Dowell 101

For details on these and a comprehensive listing of other events or to discover what’s happening this week, visit UMC Today at or review our news page at

Learn more about events across the entire University of Minnesota system via Brief.


Around Campus

Administrative Affairs

In January, U of M, Crookston Chancellor Charles H. Casey announced his intention to retire on June 30, 2012, after completing seven years of service as chancellor.  Working with the search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, the University has launched a national search for a new chancellor for the Crookston campus.  Bill Peterson, professor, Math, Science, and Technology Department, and Carol Carrier, special assistant to the senior vice president for system academic administration and professor of organizational learning, policy, and development, have agreed to co-chair the search.  Other members of the search committee were selected to provide broad representation from across the University and externally:

  • Alisha Aasness, student and president, Crookston Student Association, UMC
  • Sue Brorson, professor and head, Business Department, UMC
  • Pam Elf, associate professor, Math, Science, and Technology Department, UMC
  • Stephanie Helgeson, director, Athletics, UMC
  • Soo-Yin Lim-Thompson, associate professor, Liberal Arts and Education Department, UMC
  • Denis Maier, assistant professor, Business Department, UMC
  • Harouna Maiga, associate professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, UMC
  • Roger Moe, former majority leader in the State of Minnesota Senate and president, National Strategies, Inc.
  • Albert Sims, associate professor and director of operations, Northwest Research and Outreach Center, Crookston
  • Pete Wasberg, director of human resources and safety, Otter Tail Power Company, and chair of the UMC Advisory Council
  • Deb Zak, regional director, University of Minnesota Extension, Crookston

A newly-created website,, will provide important information and updates on the process.

Employee Benefits

Crookston campus employees are invited to gain a better understanding of their health and earn 100 points for their Wellness Points Bank by attending the Biometric Health Screening scheduled for Wednesday, February 15, from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.  Testing is first-come, first-served on a walk-in basis, but appointments can be made online.  Biometric Health Screenings are no cost to UPlan members as well as covered spouses or same-sex domestic partners. Tests offered in each screening session include fasting cholesterol and blood glucose testing (for a fasting cholesterol test, individuals must not eat anything for at least eight hours before testing. Coffee, tea, or pop may also interfere with the test and should be avoided.); body mass index and body composition testing; and blood pressure check. Each screening session takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Employees will earn 100 wellness points for taking part, and the points earned in 2012 may be used the following year to reduce the cost of the UPlan Medical Program premium.  In 2013, premiums can go down by $300 or $400 when employees earn the minimum number of points required for their level of coverage.  Learn more about Wellness Points.


Academic Affairs

Donna Nabben has been hired as a lab services coordinator for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.  She earned a bachelor of science degree in plant pathology from North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D., and an associate of applied science degree in biological lab technology from the U of M, Crookston.  Professionally, she has held positions as an assistant chemist at American Crystal Sugar Company in East Grand Forks, Minn., a research associate at Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Grand Forks, N.D., and an agronomist for Holly Hybrids in Sheridan, Wyoming.  She is also a certified crop inspector.  She will begin her duties on Monday, February 13.

Kristin Pavlish
has been hired as a lab services coordinator for the Math, Science, and Technology Department. She hold a bachelor of science in environmental studies and a bachelor of arts in chemistry, both from Bemidji State University.  She has experience through positions at the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks including lab technician, lab manager, administrative officer for the graduate school and, most recently, research specialist in pharmacology, physiology, and therapeutics for the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.  She will begin her duties on Wednesday, February 15.


Student Affairs

Kayla Knott has been hired as a financial aid officer in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with an emphasis in advertising and marketing from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn.  She will begin her duties on Monday, February 13.

Jessica Voll has been hired as an office support assistant it the Office of Admissions.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.  Most recently she worked as a customer service representative for Digi-Key Corporation in Thief River Falls, Minn.  She will begin her duties on Monday, February 13.

Ben McPherson has been hired as a security officer for Residential Life and Security Services.  He holds a master of science degree in criminal justice from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Penn., and a bachelor of science in criminal justice from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.  He has experience as a deputy juvenile officer for the 7th Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri, Clay County Juvenile Detention Center.  He also served as a sergeant and team leader in the Afghanistan Deployment of Army National Guard 1141st Sapper Company.

As part of Black History Month, Mixed Blood Theatre will perform “Daughters of Africa” Tuesday evening, February 7, at 7:30 p.m.  in Kiehle Auditorium. Fueled by the songs of Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Queen Latifah, and many others, this exuberant, music-driven celebration of African American women's triumphs and accomplishments features a striking collection of profiles of the famous and the forgotten. The event is free and open to the public.

The February 16 Thursday Commons will feature the annual Campus Showdown, where a team of students will take on a team of faculty and staff members in a series of fun and funny competitions with the ultimate goal of winning the Golden Boot.  This event is sponsored by the Crookston Student Association.

The Clean Water for Everyone Benefit Dinner will be held on Monday, February 20, at 6 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. Tickets for the dinner are $20 per person and may be purchased by contacting Anthony Taylor at 218-275-3287.  The Clean Water for Everyone initiative was established by the U of M, Crookston chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) in order to help provide access to clean water for people in third world countries. The dinner will celebrate the first permanent water site established by SIFE at a boarding school in the country of Nepal and will provide information about a second clean water project planned in Nigeria.

Facilities and Operations –

Brenda Bozyk
has been hired as principal office and administrative assistant in Facilities and Operations.  Most recently she served as an education paraprofessional for Independent School District #593 in Crookston.  She also has experience as billing/data coordinator, program manager, program assistant, and data entry for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council in Crookston.  She attended Mayville State University, where she majored in elementary education and history.

The following faculty and staff have agreed to serve on a Classroom Design Committee to help direct the updating of selected classrooms:  Rich Connell, Brian Dingmann, Kenneth Johnson, Marsha Odom, Peter Phaiah, Tom Sondreal, Jeff Sperling, and Mike Vivion.  Chris Winjum will work to schedule meetings.  Updating the rooms will include a combination of improvements to tables, chairs, and flooring, as well as teaching style setup, teaching stations, and technology. 


Center for Adult Learning –

Janessa DeBoer has been hired as an online student personnel coordinator in the Center for Adult Learning.  She is a 2011 graduate of the U of M, Crookston with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.  Most recently she served as a staffing coordinator at Express Employment Professionals in Grand Forks, N.D.  She served as a marketing assistant for the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies while she was a senior at the U of M, Crookston.

The College Readiness Consortium will host its Ramp-Up to Readiness Workshop
on Tuesday, February 14, from 10 a.m. to Noon in Bede Ballroom.  This workshop is intended for superintendents, principals, counselors, instructors, and members of academic teams.  Ramp-Up to Readiness is a school-wide guidance program for students in grade 6-12 that helps them master the knowledge, skills and habits for success in higher education.  The program helps students advance toward reaching five goals by the end of the high school: academic readiness, admissions readiness, career readiness, financial readiness, and personal and social readiness. The workshop is hosted by the Center for Adult Learning in conjunction with the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).


Technology Support Services –

The U of M web sign-in page and its authentication platform will be upgraded on Wednesday, February 15, with changes taking effect immediately thereafter.  The newly designed sign-in page offers significant improvements.  It has been updated to meet U branding standards, to accommodate screen readers, and to display on mobile devices.  For a visual demonstration of the changes, compare the current sign-in page with the new sign-in page.  For more information, see the Office of Information Technology.


Media Services –

John Boucha has been hired as an information technology specialist - telephone media services technician in Media Services.  He holds a master’s degree in space studies from the University of North Dakota (UND) and a bachelor’s degree in information technology management from the U of M, Crookston.  Most recently he worked as a planetarium technician for UND, and he has conducted research there as well with high-altitude ballooning payloads.  He also has experience in developing iPad applications and touchscreen kiosk software.


Development & Alumni Relations –

Alumni of the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) and the U of M, Crookston, friends, and supporters are cordially invited to the Arizona Social slated for Friday, February 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Terrace Green at ViewPoint Resort in Mesa, Arizona.  Lunch will be served for $15 per person.   The annual event will be hosted by Corby Kemmer, director, Development & Alumni Relations, and will include greetings from Chancellor Charles H. Casey.  Please RSVP to Lorraine (Zipoy) Love ’54 at 480-380-1247 or Sue Dwyer in the Development & Alumni Relations Office at 218-281-8401.

The Office of Development & Alumni Relations offers thanks to all who organized, gave of their time, and participated in the Second Annual Justin Knebel Memorial Ice-Fishing Tournament on Lake of the Woods last Saturday, February 4.  All dollars raised go to support the Justin Knebel Memorial Scholarship Fund. The 2013 tournament will be held February 2, 2013.    Learn more.

With five-months remaining in fiscal year 2012, projections indicate this will the sixth year of consecutive fundraising growth for the Crookston campus and the best year in a decade.  Special thanks to all donors and supporters of the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

University Relations -

A television campaign for the U of M, Crookston consisting of a series of three thirty-second ads is set for February and March.   Developed to appeal to traditional on-campus students and their families, the ads follow a design style similar to current campus recruitment publications.  Starting mid-February, the ads will air during morning and evening news, selected prime time shows, and late night comedy shows on the following stations:  KSAX (ABC Affiliate) in Central Minnesota; KVLY (NBC Affiliate) and KXJB (CBS – local news only) in the Red River Valley of Northwest Minnesota and Eastern North Dakota; WDAY and WDAZ (ABC Affiliates) and EDAY (the CW affiliate) in the Red River Valley including Southern Manitoba.  The TV ads will be available for viewing soon on UMC’s YouTube channel.


The Golden Eagle Baseball team will host a spaghetti feed fundraiser at the Crookston Eagles Club on Wednesday, February 8, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.  Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children, with children under five free.  All proceeds will go towards the team’s spring trip, which includes six games at the Metrodome and seven more at the Russ Matt Invitational in Winter Haven and Auburndale, Florida.

Golden Eagle Women's Basketball player Megan Eul, a senior majoring in early childhood education from Rosemount, Minn., is among those who earned the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award.  The honor, named for the late NCAA President Myles Brand, is bestowed to senior NSIC student-athletes who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher, are exhausting their eligibility, and are on track to graduate.   A total of 85 student-athletes from the NSIC's 14 institutions received the honor, now in its third year.

On February 1 (at release time), the Golden Eagle Football program announced that 13 players had signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Golden Eagles during the 2012 season.  This is the first recruiting class for Head Coach Paul Miller and his coaching staff.  Learn more.

Campus and Community

The Math, Science, and Technology Department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston will host the 63rd Western Minnesota Regional Science Fair on Saturday, February 11, in Bede Ballroom.  Registration and project set-up begin at 8 a.m. with judging at 10 a.m.  The public is invited to view the projects from 10 a.m. until Noon.  The event culminates with an awards ceremony at 2 p.m.  The Western Minnesota Region, which includes the counties of Big Stone, Becker, Clay, Grant, Mahnomen, Norman, Ottertail, Polk, Traverse and Wilkins, is one of the eight regions to send top science fair entries to the Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair.  Learn more.

The Local Foods College Series continues on Tuesday, February 14, with the session Vegetable Production and Planning Your Market Garden and Tuesday, February 21, with the session Starting and Managing an Apple Orchard.  Registration is $10 per session or $50 for the entire series.  A collaboration between University of Minnesota Extension and the Northwest Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership, the series is offered via ITV in several locations in northwestern Minnesota.  At the University of Minnesota, Crookston the sessions will be held in Dowell Hall, Room 101, with parking in Lot G.

University of Minnesota System

The University of Minnesota’s Legislative Briefing took place on February 1.  At the evening event a new video was unveiled: “Why a Public Research University Is Important.”  The U of M is a place where people search for new knowledge, which creates businesses, lifts communities, and changes lives.  Two-thirds of U students will stay in Minnesota when they graduate. They will become Minnesota's workforce for new and growing industries, its teachers, healers, artists, and engineers.  And they will make Minnesota a vibrant place to live. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to share this message widely in order to help create awareness about the U's importance to the state.  For more information, watch the video.  Learn more about advocacy opportunities at the “Support the U” website.


Publication notes:  The E-Update is published twice each month August through April and once each month May through July.
Issues are posted online.

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