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Crookston Campus E-Update
an internal administrative news digest

July 6, 2011


Inside this Issue

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

From the Chancellor

Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors and the fun that comes from time spent with family and friends.  Let’s all find the time to make the most of it.  As I write this update, I’m reminded that it’s only a few short weeks before we welcome everyone back for orientation week, August 15-19.

Campus remains busy during the summer with a range of activities.  We welcomed alumni of the NW School of Agriculture at the end of June for their annual reunion.  This is always a great event.  We try hard to showcase the many ways our campus does for students now what the NWSA did for those students decades ago.  It’s rewarding to talk with so many who share their life stories and to hear how those stories all hold a great education on this campus as a common touchstone.

Other summer activities on campus include an ESL workshop, White Earth summer math and science program, the Natural Resource Conservation Service workshop, visits from Crookston elementary school students, and the upcoming annual Rotary sponsored RYLA leadership program.  Also please welcome your friends, family, and neighbors to take a drive or walk through campus.  It’s a beautiful place for all to enjoy.

Our work continues all year, and there is much to report.

Summer Online Courses

Online courses continue regardless of the season.  For the current summer 2011 term, a total of 518 students are enrolled in 2,493 online credit hours.  Of those students, more than half are online-only degree-seeking students averaging 6 credits and enrolled in 1,479 of the total summer session credits.  The remaining students are traditional on-campus students, multi-institutional students, and non-degree students taking online summer courses.

Facilities and Operations

We are in the process of launching a search for a new director of facilities to fill the position held by Tim Norton.  Before we launched the search, we completed a comprehensive review of Facilities and Operations.  The review was conducted by a respected outside consultant group to ensure we would garner an unbiased assessment of the current situation.  A team of consultants conducted extensive interviews with each Facilities and Operations employee, as well as a number of customer groups.  After reviewed the resulting report, I believe it to be accurate, thorough, fair, and most of all, helpful as we move forward.

I have appointed a search committee and want to thank each for agreeing to serve, especially Tricia Sanders for chairing the committee.  I will meet with them early in July, and then meet with the Facilities and Operations staff to share recommendations from the consultants.

This is a time of transition for Facilities and Operations.  I expect that everyone will cooperate as we look forward and move ahead.  Current projects will continue on schedule.  The Hill Hall laboratory renovation and the Dowell Hall heating/ventilation/ac projects are on schedule for completion by August 15.  Routine but important work in classrooms and offices is progressing on time.  And, of course, the summer beauty of the campus landscape is what so many people continue to enjoy about our campus.

Valley Tech Building

We are in the process of working out an agreement with the City of Crookston to lease the Valley Tech building on the north side of campus.  This presents an exciting opportunity for us because the campus is facing a shortage of space and the Valley Tech Building is a practical response to this pressing need.

There are many questions yet to be resolved related to code requirements, tenants, and timelines.  I’m confident we will answer the questions and move ahead with the lease agreement and assignments of the space.

The cooperation from the city of Crookston and our University Real Estate Office has been excellent.  We are working together to make the Valley Tech space an asset to the campus and the community.

Small Business Development Center

Another exciting development for the campus is the opportunity to host the Northwest Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the remaining two years of a three-year contract.  Bemidji State University, the current host, has decided to discontinue the contract to host.

Dr. Sue Brorson and faculty in the Business Department have carefully considered this opportunity.  Discussions with other partners and the Crookston campus cabinet have helped inform the decision to move ahead with the submission of a proposal.  We believe this is a good move for us and for the twelve counties served by the NW SBDC.

Benefits of hosting the SBDC on the Crookston campus include:

  • Our 2006 Strategic Plan clearly defined our campus as a regional hub supporting innovation, entrepreneurship, and regional sustainability.
  • Hosting the SBDC aligns with our mission as a land-grant University.
  • The SBDC will help provide our students with opportunities to learn by doing and to gain real world experience.
  • The Center would allow us opportunity to strengthen our collaboration with University partners including Extension, the Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, the Research and Outreach Center, and others.
  •  The SBDC aligns well with our recent initiatives to establish the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES) and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Center on campus.
  • The presence of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) on campus is another collaboration opportunity.
  • The SBDC is good for the region because it helps create and save jobs; it brings people to the region; it increases capital investment; it maintains/increases real estate values; it retains essential business services; it increases community vitality; and it gives reason for optimism.

These reasons make a compelling case for our proposal, due August 15.

New Residence Hall

A proposal for construction of a new residence hall is under consideration by the Board of Regents.  In June, the Regents gave approval to begin design work.  The University’s Office of Capital Planning and Project Management is currently evaluating the cost estimates for construction.  We have provided a financial analysis to meet debt payments.  Our goal is to gain approval and begin construction this fall, and move in to the new space in the fall of 2012.

It’s a good thing that demand for residence hall space is exceeding our capacity.  More students, particularly juniors and seniors, are choosing to live on campus.  For now, we are meeting with the Northland Inn regarding a contract for rooms for fall semester 2011.

In Closing

We welcome Dr. Eric Kaler and his wife Karen to the University of Minnesota.  President Kaler began his tenure as the 16th President of the University of Minnesota on July 1.  We look forward to showing them the Crookston campus.  At the same time, we thank President Bob Bruininks for his nine years of service, and we thank his wife Susan Hagstrum for her many contributions as well.

Enjoy the remainder of the summer.

– Chuck

Charles H. Casey, Chancellor
University of Minnesota, Crookston

Featured Events & Activities

Heart of the Valley Scholarship Golf Tournament, Thursday, July 7 – 11 a.m. registration, brats, and beverages; 12:45 p.m. orientation; 1 p.m. tee off, five-person scramble, $40 entry fee, Heart of the Valley Golf Course, Ada, Minnesota

Rotary District 5580 Hosts Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Camp, July 10-16

Admissions Campus Preview Day, Saturday, July 16
– 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sargeant Student Center

Twenty-First Annual Teambacker Golf Classic for Scholarships, Saturday, July 16
– 10 a.m. registration, 11 a.m. tee off, five-person scramble, $90 entry fee, Minakwa Golf Club, Crookston, Minnesota

New Student Registration, Monday, July 18
– 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., check-in at Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center

NWROC Crops and Soils Day, Thursday, July 21
– 7:30 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. program, North Farm

Highway 2 Classic Scholarship Golf Tournament, Thursday, July 21
– 10 a.m. tee off for nine holes at Fosston Golf Course, 2 p.m. tee off for nine holes at Oak Lake Golf Course in Erskine, five-person scramble, $40 entry fee

New Student Registration, Friday, July 22
– 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., check-in at Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center

Last Day of Summer Session 2011, Friday, July 29

Fall Semester 2011 Classes Begin, Tuesday, August 23

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



Around Campus

Administrative Affairs

The Board of Regents approved one additional online degree for the Crookston campus at its June 2011 meeting.  The U of M, Crookston’s current Bachelor of Science degree program in Communication will be offered online as well as on campus beginning fall semester 2011.  This brings the total number of online degrees offered by the Crookston campus to ten.

Martin Breaker has been hired as a teaching specialist in the Business Department.  He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Dakota’s Law School as well as a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.  In addition to teaching experience at Bemidji State University and Vermillion Community College in Ely, Minn., he has been the owner and CEO of a successful all-year resort in northeastern Minnesota, as well as an active duty member holding the rank of colonel in the U.S Army Reserve with service in Iraq and with commendations including the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

Student Affairs

New Student Registration is scheduled for the remaining upcoming summer dates:  Monday, July 18; Friday, July 22; and Friday, August 5.  Check-in each day begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center.  New students will attend an information session and student success fair, take U-Card photos, meet advisors and register, and take an optional campus tour.  Each day ends at about 2:15 p.m.  For more information, contact Alysa Tulibaski, student experience and parent coordinator, at 218-281-8570.

International Programs -

Recently, two groups of UMC students completed study abroad experiences.   One group traveled to China to experience that country’s history, language, and culture.  Read more about the China trip.  The other group traveled to Switzerland as part of a Swiss mountain agriculture course offered through the U of M, Twin Cities College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences. Learn more about the Swiss experience.

Development & Alumni Relations

Thanks to all who attended the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) Reunion on Saturday, June 25.  Congratulations to the 2011 Top Aggies, Allen ’51 & Lorraine (Zipoy) ’54 Love, Dell Christianson ’56, David Eblen ’56, and Dr. Adrian Van Dellen ’61.  Special congratulations to Gerhard Ross ’45, who received the Distinguished Service Award.   Thanks also to the numerous individuals whose teamwork allows this major special event to take place each and every year with class and professionalism.

UMC Teambackers held the Mark Olsonawski Endowed Scholarship Golf Tournament on Thursday, June 23, at Two Rivers Golf Course in Hallock, Minn.  Over 65 golfers participated in the 18-hole scramble which raised money for the Mark Olsonawski Football Endowment.  Winning the tournament was the team of Jason Capes, Chris Carrier, Todd Davis, and Mike Johnson.

Corby Kemmer
, director, Development & Alumni Relations will attend the 2011 CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Summit for development and advancement leaders in Chicago, Ill., July, 9-13.

The Harris A. Peterson Gazebo on the Campus Mall was recently refurbished by Yoder Gazebos of Arthur, Illinois.


The Athletics Department has hired Takashi Murakami as an assistant athletic trainer.  He received his Master of Science in Athletic Training from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania and his Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University – Pueblo.  He will begin his new duties on August 1, 2011.




Campus and Community

Rotary District 5580 will host its annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp July 10-16 on the campus of the U of M, Crookston.  RYLA is a program that provides outstanding youth leaders an opportunity to develop and practice leadership skills.  Learn more at

The Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) will hold its annual Crops and Soils Day on Thursday, July 21.  Producers and ag professionals will gather for research updates on various crops.  The event will be held at the North Farm, one mile north of the University on Highway 75. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. with the program starting at 8.

The White Earth Academy of Math and Science recently wrapped up its 2011 program.  This Academy has been offered since 1999 at the Circle of Life School in White Earth.  University of Minnesota Extension and the University of Minnesota, Crookston have partnered with the White Earth Nation to design and deliver a culturally based natural resource program that demonstrates ways that math and science are part of everyday life.  UMC faculty and staff engaged in delivering the natural resource topics included John Loegering, Tom Feiro, and Laura Bell.  In addition, UMC hosted more than 40 youth from the White Earth Nation during a campus visit on June 27.  The students toured the Informatics Lab with Adel Ali, professor and department head, Math, Science, and Technology; learned about health careers with Sandy Henneberg, AHEC; planned their financial futures with Jennifer Garbow, Extension Educator; and visited the natural resources wildlife displays and Nature Nook with Tom Feiro and Laura Bell.  A group of Korean students attending UMC’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Camp and Sean Shin, UMC’s director of ESL programs, attended the White Earth Feast and Awards Program at the Circle of Life School on June 30 as part of their cultural immersion experience.


The University of Minnesota, Crookston's online degree in business management has been ranked at number five on The Best Colleges list of "Top 10 Online Bachelor of Business Administration Degree Programs of 2011."  Other top ranked online business programs on the list include those offered by UMass Amherst's Isenberg School of Business; Penn State; University of Illinois at Springfield; Drexel University; and Washington State University. To view the full listing, go to  An online college search resource based in San Antonio, Texas, The Best Colleges reviews publicly available data and produces independent ranking assessments of colleges in various disciplines.  The organization's rankings are based on public data evaluated according to several criteria, including reputation, accreditation, student satisfaction, and cost.

Two individuals from the U of M, Crookston and one local organization were honored at the Minnesota Campus Compact Awards Summit, held June 14, at St. Catherine's University in St. Paul, Minn.  Nana Boaten, a senior majoring in marketing, earned the Student Leadership Award, which recognizes a deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership.  Rae French, who coordinates UMC’s Learning Abroad Program, was the recipient of the Civic Engagement Steward Award, which recognizes faculty or staff members who significantly advance the distinctive civic mission of their campus.  And the North Country Food Bank received the Community Partner Award based on its ongoing partnership with the U of M, Crookston in enhancing the quality of life in the community in meaningful ways.  Learn more.

Senior Austin Czichotzki, a communication major from Barnesville, Minn., will attend the Association of College Unions International Institute for Leadership Education and Development (I-LEAD) at State University of New York in Brockport, N.Y., on July 24-29.  He is the co-recipient of the ACUI Region 10 Jean Kendall I-Lead Scholarship and is also sponsored by the Sargeant Student Center at the U of M, Crooksotn, where he has been a student center information desk staff member since January of 2010 and an information desk manager since August of 2010.



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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