Crookston Campus E-Update
an internal administrative news digest
August 3, 2009
Inside this Issue
From the Chancellor
Featured Events & Activities
From the Chancellor
Another month of summer has passed, which has many asking, “Where has the summer gone?” As the clock ticks, it requires a renewed focus on plans for the return of most of our faculty on August 17 and the start of fall semester classes on Tuesday, August 25. I am enthusiastic about the return of everyone and the energy and excitement they bring to the campus.
Each week we see the new residence hall, now named Evergreen Hall, move toward completion. It is an exceptional building and will be a great place for students to learn and live. We will schedule an open house and dedication soon and will welcome everyone to stop by and experience the new building. We are proud that this will be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building on campus and the first LEED residence hall on a University of Minnesota campus.
In July we were honored to be selected by Otter Tail Power Company as a campus partner in encouraging energy conservation. This is a great opportunity to conserve energy and reduce costs, but it’s equally important as a way to provide a learning experience for our students. Student and faculty involvement in this partnership will be the key factor in achieving the goal of energy conservation and influencing behavior change through education.
Recently we were awarded federal stimulus funding through the University for three areas of investment. The awards were: 1) $200,000 for energy improvement measures, 2) $150,000 for the establishment of an informatics laboratory, and 3) $130,000 to support general operating costs. Several conditions will need to be met to qualify for the funding. The energy improvement funding will align very nicely with the Otter Tail Power Company award and will help meet campus goals for energy conservation and improved classroom environmental controls in our buildings.
Just last week we were notified the University of Minnesota, Crookston was again named as one of the "Best Colleges in the Midwest" by the Princeton Review. This is an acknowledgment of the quality of our faculty and staff and student satisfaction. Thanks to everyone for their hard work.
Dr. Jack Geller, Director of the EDA Center, has been awarded funding for the second year of the grant. This funding is supported by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce and recognizes the accomplishments of Dr. Geller and a number of University of Minnesota, Crookston faculty and staff. Their first year report has just been released. To learn more about the EDA Center go to www.umcedacenter.org.
We look forward to everyone’s return on August 17.
Charles H. Casey, Chancellor
University of Minnesota, Crookston
Featured Events & Activities
National Night Out Crookston, Tuesday, August 4 – 4:30 to 7 p.m., Crookston Central Park
New Student Registration for Fall Semester 2009, Monday, August 10
UMC Women’s Golf Classic, Tuesday, August 11 – Noon registration, 12:45 p.m. shotgun start for nine holes at Minakwa Golf Club, Crookston, Minn.; four-person teams, $30 per person covers all fees, scholarship contribution, and games
Crookston Ox Cart Days, August 13-16 – view full schedule here
Ox Cart Days Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social, Friday, August 14 - 3 to 5 p.m., Peterson Gazebo, campus mall (Rain site: Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center)
Opening Week Activities for Faculty and Staff, Monday, August 17 through Monday, August 24
Faculty and Staff Welcome Back Luncheon, Monday, August 17 – 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bede Ballroom
Fall Semester 2009 Classes Begin, Tuesday, August 25
For details on these and a comprehensive listing of other events or to discover what’s happening this week, visit UMC Today at www.UMCrookston.edu/umcnews or review our news page at www.UMCrookston.edu/umcnews/stories.
Administrative Affairs –
Faculty and staff will return to campus for opening week on Monday, August 17. All faculty and staff are invited to the opening week luncheon that day starting at 11:30 a.m. in Bede Ballroom. Following the luncheon faculty and staff are asked to take part in a session where themes and topics from the executive retreat will be discussed. A full schedule of events for the week will be distributed soon via e-mail. Fall semester classes begin Tuesday, August 25.
In June Chancellor Casey convened a group of administrators, staff, and faculty for a two-day retreat focusing on a variety of critical issues facing the campus. At the end of the retreat attention focused around a few key items: recruitment and retention, the financial future of the campus, program assessment and review, and campus climate and culture. The work done at the retreat was a starting point. Now a Campus Engagement Working Group, comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators, has been appointed to engage the entire campus and gather everyone’s thoughts and ideas. This working group has developed a Moodle site, https://moodle.umn.edu/course/view.php?id=5968, to elicit input. Posted at this site are notes from the retreat, a PowerPoint presentation about University finances, as well as other information. Faculty and staff are encouraged to access the site and offer insights, opinions, and feedback.
Academic Affairs –
The new University of Minnesota, Crookston Catalog for the academic years 2009-2011 is now available online at www.catalogs.umn.edu/umc. Online information about courses is up-to-date. Information in PDF documents is current as of the date provided on the publication. All requirements should be verified with the appropriate office. Plans are to print a limited number of catalogs to provide to faculty advisors and for archives.
Kara Bowen has been hired as a lecturer in accounting. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix and has served as an adjunct faculty member at Dickinson State University, Dickinson, N.D. She has also served as a finance and administrative manager with Steffes Corporation in Dickinson and as an accounting operations manager for MLT Vacations, Minot, N.D.
Rachel Lundbohm has been hired as an instructor in marketing and management. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of North Dakota, where she most recently served as an instructor in the Marketing Department as well as marketing coordinator for the UND Student Wellness Center. She has also served as a marketing and business consultant for Backes Construction in St. Joseph, Minn., and for Angle Outpost Resort, Angle Inlet, Minn.
Student Affairs –
The Financial Aid Office recently completed the recertification process to continue program participation and eligibility for Title IV (Federal Financial Aid) funding with the U.S. Department of Education. Over 700 students have been awarded financial aid for the coming year. Staff members are busy implementing the new Middle Income Scholarship offered system-wide to Minnesota students whose adjusted gross income is less than $100,000. For the next two years federal stimulus funds will be used to offset the increase in tuition. As a result, all Minnesota residents, regardless of need, will receive an extra $300 a year in their financial aid award package.
The Career and Counseling Department has passed the State of Minnesota inspection and will continue to provide GED Testing for Northwestern Minnesota.
Center for Adult Learning –
Heather Sperling has been hired as an online student support service coordinator. She will be responsible for student support services involving online academic programs while delivering these services through the University of Minnesota Digital Campus Calling Center located in the Center for Adult Learning. Heather is a 2005 graduate of the U of M, Crookston with a bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing. Her experience in conducting market research, exceptional service, and data tracking and analysis will support and assist the Digital Campus and the University of Minnesota, Crookston with the growth of online programs.
Finance & University Services –
Final inspections of the newly installed sprinkler system in Dowell Hall will take place this coming week. The system has been installed on the first floor and the south half of second floor. Plans are to expand it to cover the rest of the building when funds become available.
Progress continues on Evergreen Hall, the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified campus apartment complex. Final inspections for the residential area of the building are scheduled for this week, and furniture will arrive and be installed this week as well. The certificate of occupancy is expected on or before August 21, which will allow students to move in prior to classes beginning. Work will continue through September on the gathering space and large kitchen area on the north end of the building, with planned completion by the first week in October.
Development & Alumni Relations –
The Office of Development & Alumni Relations offers thanks to all who planned, supported, and participated in this summer’s successful U of M, Crookston golf tournaments. The various tournaments raised more than $11,000 to support student athletic scholarships and offered a lot of fun and camaraderie.
The Teambacker Fund Drive has begun. Please consider supporting UMC student-athletes by joining Teambackers. For more information contact Bill Tyrrell, director of athletic fundraising, at 218-281-8436 or email@example.com.
University Relations –
University Relations will host the annual Ox Cart Days Ice Cream Social Friday, August 14, at the Peterson Gazebo on the campus mall from 3 to 5 p.m. (rain site: Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center). All faculty, staff, students, and members of the Crookston community are welcome to join us for free ice cream, generously donated by Dining Services and Sodexo. Entertainment will include musical performances by the Valley Fiddlers from 3 to 4 p.m. and by the WoodPicks from 4 to 5 p.m. The UMC Bookstore will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day and will offer t-shirts and tickets for the State Fair at a special low price.
University Relations has launched a Flickr photostream site for the Crookston campus. The site, located at www.flickr.com/photos/umcrookston, features various campus photos of general interest. New photos will be posted on a regular basis.
UMC Printing staff will gear up and open the print shop this coming week. Linda Wilkens, copy center operator, will begin work on Wednesday, August 5, and Patti Tiedemann, graphic designer, and John Zak, editor, will both be back at work on Monday, August 10. They look forward to helping meet campus printing and design needs.
Athletics Department staff, coaches, and student-athletes will take part in activities planned for National Night Out Crookston, Tuesday, August 4, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Crookston Central Park. They will assist with the football punt, pass, and kick activities and a soccer skills workshop. National Night Out is a unique crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in cooperation with local communities and their law enforcement agencies.
U of M, Crookston Head Baseball Coach Chris Vito and Dwight Kotila of Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn., guided a team of ten student-athletes from colleges throughout the United States as they competed in Holland and France from July 19-27. Vito and Kotila’s involvement came through a program offered by USA-Athletes International (USAAI), a non-profit organization dedicated to giving athletes and coaches the opportunity to participate in international Olympic-style sporting events throughout the world.
Campus and Community –
A new report released by The EDA Center at the U of M, Crookston finds that 89.7 percent of rural businesses maintain an Internet connection, up from the 66 percent reported in 2004; and today 96 percent of rural businesses utilize a broadband connection, up from 38.6 percent in 2004. Business owners also indicated that securing adequate bandwidth is having a significant impact on everything from their overall cost of doing business (49.9%) to increased business sales (49.3%). The report documents the findings of a study just completed in June 2009 which surveyed 689 businesses across a variety of commercial and industrial sectors throughout rural Minnesota. A copy of the full report can be downloaded from The EDA Center’s website.
This summer Thomas Haarstick, a junior from Vergas, Minn., and Paul Aakre, assistant professor, ag systems management,are testing a tractor they converted to run on straight vegetable oil (SVO). The tractor, which is currently being used to mow road ditches in Polk County, began using SVO on June 15 and to date has logged some 160 hours. Haarstick, an agricultural systems management major, worked on mounting the conversion unit, preparing the tractor, and doing much of the electrical work. His student research is funded in part by an undergraduate research grant he applied for with Aakre. Learn more. The research has also garnered a cover story by Agweek for its August 3 edition. The online version of that story is available online here.
Research currently being conducted collaboratively by Katy Smith, Ph.D., assistant professor, biology, and Albert Sims, Ph.D., associate professor, Northwest Research and Outreach Center, focuses on emissions of greenhouse gases and the technologies that can reduce the emissions of those gases. The research will contribute to a growing body of information concerning greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural practices and how agricultural practices can be modified to maintain yields while also minimizing the impact on the environment. Learn more.
The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) Camp was held on campus for the 18th year from July 12 to18. One hundred twenty-four students ages 16-17, 24 facilitators, and 15 staff attended the week-long leadership camp. Camp organizers wish to extend their appreciation to Residential Life, Dining Services, the Athletic Department, Facilities Management, Media Services, and Chancellor Casey and Barbara Muesing for helping to make this “one of the best camps ever.”
Otter Tail Power Company has been selected the U of M, Crookston to take part in the On for Conservation Campus Energy Challenge. In this first-of-its-kind program, the Crookston campus will work with Otter Tail Power Company to reduce electric energy consumption on campus by as much as 15 percent. The Campus Energy Challenge will offer rebates and low-interest financing for energy-efficient technologies, redirect student and staff behaviors to enhance conservation efforts, and provide in-depth energy education through audits, consulting, and student scholarships. The challenge is a pilot project that is part of the power company's Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program for 2009 and 2010 approved by the Minnesota Office of Energy Security last November. Learn more.
The U of M, Crookston was again named one of the best colleges and universities in the Midwest according to The Princeton Review. The education services company selected the Crookston campus as one of 158 institutions it profiles in its "Best in the Midwest" section of its website feature 2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region that posted July 27, 2009. The 640 U.S. colleges named "regional bests" represent only about 25% (one out of four) of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges. To see the 2010 “Best in the Midwest” list, visit www.princetonreview.com/schoollist.aspx?id=725.
The president of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has awarded the title “Professor Emeritus of Computer Science” to Adel Ali, Ph.D., professor and department head, Math, Science, and Technology Department, in recognition of his 22 years of service to that institution. This is the first time USM has awarded the professor emeritus title in the field of computer science. Adel Ali began work at the Crookston campus of the University of Minnesota this past January.
Don Cavalier, director, Career and Counseling Department, has been appointed chairperson for the All University Civil Service Legislative Committee for the 2009-10 academic year. The Civil Service Committee serves over 5,000 employees in the University system.
Publication notes: The E-Update is published twice each month August through April and once each month in the summer, May through July.
Issues are posted online.
If you have any questions regarding the information in this news update, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.