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Crookston Campus E-Update
an internal administrative news digest

August 10, 2011


Inside this Issue

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

From the Chancellor

Where did the summer go?  It seems like we just sent the Class of 2011 off into the world at commencement in May, and here we are ready to begin a new academic year.  As we prepare for faculty and staff returning to campus on August 15 and students returning shortly after that, it is worthwhile to mention a few of the improvements and projects that have taken place over the summer. 

The newly renovated science labs on the top floor of Hill Hall are sure to gain some attention.  They are a great upgrade to the lab space that was there previously, which had not been significantly updated since Hill Hall was built in 1959.  Additionally, Hill Hall is now fully covered with a sprinkler system, adding to the building’s fire safety measures.

The new tables, chairs, and couches in the Library have already caused a few people to mention how much they add to the atmosphere there.  The new furniture not only looks very modern, it is durable, functional, and very comfortable.  The majority of the furniture that was replaced was over 30 years old, but it’s important to note that many of those pieces have found use in Athletics and the Academic Assistance Center.  An upgrade for the elevator in the Library has also been completed.

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) project in Dowell Hall may not be visible, but everyone should be able to notice the improvement in comfort the new climate controls offer.  They will also help us conserve energy because of their improved efficiency.

The new lights for the LeClair Practice Field are easy to spot, and they are notable because most of the funding for them was raised through private donations.

Over the summer several building doors were converted to an electronic lock system, funded centrally by the University of Minnesota.  Additional dollars were recently allocated to allow more doors to be converted.

You may notice a number of additional digital signage screens across campus similar to one placed in Sargeant Student Center last winter.  They will help keep us informed of campus events as well as add to campus safety measures.

These investments all improve the overall campus environment and the student experience.  They illustrate a commitment to making our campus a comfortable and welcoming space that is conducive to teaching and learning, which is, after all, why we are here.

I hope all faculty and staff will join me at the annual Opening Luncheon next Monday, August 15, as we prepare for another rewarding academic year.

– Chuck

Charles H. Casey, Chancellor
University of Minnesota, Crookston

Featured Events & Activities

Mary Tyrrell Health Walk for Scholarships, Thursday, August 11 – 5:30 p.m. registration, 6 p.m. walk, 6:45 p.m. meal and prizes, Peterson Gazebo, UMC Campus Mall, cost is $25

Faculty and Staff 9-Month Appointments Begin, Monday, August 15

New Faculty and Staff Orientation and Tour, Monday, August 15
– 8:30 to 11:20 a.m., meet in 116 Kiehle

Faculty and Staff Opening Luncheon with Remarks from Chancellor Casey, Monday, August 15
– 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center

Faculty and Staff Academic and Non-Academic Department Meetings, Tuesday, August 16
– 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., various locations across campus

UMC Hosts the Annual Ox Cart Days Ice Cream Social, Wednesday, August 17
– 2 to 4:30 p.m., UMC Campus Mall, free and open to the public

New Student Orientation Begins, Residence Halls Open, Friday, August 19
– 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. check-in and processing, Rotunda, Kiehle Building and Residential Life Office, Centennial Hall

New Student Convocation, Friday, August 19
– 3:15 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium

Meet Crookston Through Service, Saturday, August 20
– 9 a.m. to Noon, various sites across Crookston

Fall Semester 2011 Classes Begin, Tuesday, August 23

U of M President Eric Kaler’s Visit to the Crookston Campus, Friday, August 26

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

All faculty and staff are invited to kick off the 2011-2012 academic year by attending the annual Opening Week Luncheon on Monday, August 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.  UMC’s newest faculty and staff will be introduced followed by remarks from Chancellor Casey.


Academic Affairs

The new University of Minnesota, Crookston course catalog for 2011-2013 is now available online at  Printed copies will be distributed to faculty advisors by the beginning of fall semester courtesy of Academic Affairs.

With the U of M, Crookston’s move to AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Program) for its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, the campus will move to a continuous improvement process.  AQIP involves quality improvement activities and projects.  The website has been established to help keep the campus community informed about the various action projects and the committee that will lead these efforts.  Direct questions and comments to any committee member or to Professor Bill Peterson, who has been appointed the coordinator for AQIP on the Crookston campus.

Lacole Hook has been hired as an instructor in the area of sport and recreation management for the Business Department.  She holds a Ph.D. in sport management from the University of Kansas as well as an M.S.E. in sports management from Southern Illinois University and an M.B.A. from MidAmerica Nazarene University, where she completed her undergraduate work.  She has served as a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Science and the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, since 2007.

Baizhou Chen has been hired as an instructor of accounting.  A 2003 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Crookston, he holds an M.B.A. from St. John’s University in Queens, New York.  Since 2006 he has worked in Assurance and Advisory Business Services for Ernst & Young, LLP, in New York City.  He is a licensed certified public accountant registered in the state of New York.

John Normandin has been hired as a video conference technician/applications programmer for the Northwest Educational Technology System (NETS) based on the U of M, Crookston campus.  He is a 2011 graduate of UMC with a bachelor’s degree in information technology management.

Student Affairs

Given that space in on-campus housing is at full capacity, the U of M, Crookston is working to finalize a contract with America’s Best Value Inn (the Northland Inn) for overflow housing.  Plans are to lease 19 rooms to accommodate 38 students for the 2011-2012 academic year.  The rooms are on the first and second floor of that building’s north wing.  The lease will provide a designated laundry room, a lounge with kitchenette, and a meeting room.  Additionally, the Office of Student Affairs is in discussions with Tri-Valley Opportunity Council regarding that organization potentially providing a regular bus/shuttle schedule between America’s Best Value Inn (and perhaps other locations in town) and the campus.

This fall the U of M, Crookston and Sodexo, the company that operates Dining Services, will partner to convert used cooking oil from the campus food service venues into a useable biodiesel fuel.  The cooking oil will be collected with the help of Sodexo and brought to the biodiesel conversion lab in Owen Hall, where a Bio Pro 190 machine can convert up to 50 gallons of used cooking oil into approximately 50 gallons of fuel.  This conversion process takes about four days, and in addition to the production of the fuel, it results in approximately eight gallons of glycerol, which can be utilized as fertilizer.  Students will gain hands-on experience with the entire process, and the fuel will be used to power select diesel vehicles on campus.

Doug Pedrick has been hired as director of Dining Services.  He comes to UMC from the University of West Georgia in Carrollton (west of Atlanta, Georgia), where he was the assistant food service director.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in dietary and food service management from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Oneonta.

Jefferson Bus Lines will now include the Crookston campus as a stop in bus service to Minneapolis via Bemidji and St. Cloud through its College Connection Program.  Beginning August 16, 2011, Jefferson Lines Schedule 928 will stop at the west side of Centennial Hall on the UMC campus at 8:10 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings before continuing on to its other Crookston stop at Tri Valley Heartland Express on its way to Minneapolis. For the return, Schedule 927 will stop at the same location on campus on a discharge only basis at 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday evenings.  This service provides additional options for students, faculty, and staff wishing to travel to and from Minneapolis for reasonable rates.  Learn more at or call 800-451-5333.


International Program -

To date, 73 international students have been admitted for fall 2011, and over 50 new international students (and reenrolls – students coming back from military service or suspension) are expected for fall semester 2011 representing Canada, China, Korea, India, Brazil, and Ghana.  Of these, twenty-one students from Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic (ZJETP) in Hangzhou, China, will arrive on campus this term, joining 19 students from ZJETP who are continuing from last year.


Development and Alumni Relations

Fiscal year 2011 (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011) marked the fifth consecutive year of growth in philanthropic giving and finished 19.7 percent up from one year ago.

A total of more than $10,000 for student scholarships was raised though the 2011 golf tournaments held in Hallock, Ada, Crookston, Fosston and Erskine.  Thanks to everyone who participated in these great events.

The print version of the next edition of the Torch alumni magazine will be out within the next week.  The online version is now available at

Interested alumni, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate in the 2011 Ox Cart Parade, slated for Saturday, August 20, at 7 p.m.  Those interested are asked to please contact the Development & Alumni Relations Office at 281-281-8434.


University Relations

An open time for faculty and staff members to take a new official photo is set for 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 15.  All faculty and staff members who would like a new photo are encouraged to stop by Kiehle 120 during that time, and John Zak will take the photo.  Individuals are reminded to avoid wearing white for these photos.

University Relations will host the annual Ox Cart Days Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, August 17, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Peterson Gazebo on the Campus Mall (rain site is Sargeant Student Center).  Enjoy free ice cream, refreshments, and musical performances by the Valley Fiddlers.  Ice cream is generously provided by Dining Services/Sodexo.  Additionally, a book talk, signing, and recipe demonstration by Susan Thurston, co-author of “Cooking Up the Good Life,” will take place at 3 p.m.  The UMC Bookstore will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day with a special $6.99 t-shirt sale and Minnesota State Fair tickets at a reduced price.


The first annual Mary Tyrrell Health Walk for Scholarships will be held on Thursday, August 11.  Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. with the walk starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Harris A. Peterson Gazebo located on the Campus Mall. The registration fee is $25, and all participants receive a free event t-shirt and supper with food donated by Crookston National Bank  The walk is designed to raise awareness for heart and women's health and to support UMC student-athlete scholarships in memory of  Mary Tyrrell, who devoted countless hours to fundraising for student scholarships.

Brandon Baumgartner
has been hired as assistant baseball coach.  A native of Coon Rapids, Minn. and a graduate of Coon Rapids High School, Baumgartner holds a bachelor’s degree in management and a minor in psychology from the University of North Dakota (UND), where he was a pitcher and where he holds the baseball team’s career record in appearances with 60.  He has also played for the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers of the Northwoods League.

Takashi “Taka” Murakami
has been hired as assistant athletic trainer with Golden Eagle Athletics.  A native of Mito-City, Ibaraki, Japan, Murakami is a National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) certified athletic trainer.  He completed his graduate work at Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Penn., and his undergraduate work at Colorado State University in Pueblo, Colo.  He has also worked at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, Penn., and for the Susquehanna Health System’s  Sports Medicine Clinic in Williamsport, Penn.

Campus and Community

New students and interested faculty and staff will assist with several community service projects on the morning of Saturday, August 20, as part of Meet Crookston Through Service.  Volunteers will meet in Brown Dining Room, Sahlstrom Conference Center, at 8:30 a.m. for their project assignments, which include helping teachers prepare classrooms at Washington Elementary School and Highland Elementary School; clearing trails of fallen trees and branches at Mt. St. Benedict Ski Trails; setting up the children's area for Ox Cart Days at Crookston Sports Center; and removing protective tubes from trees at Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, among other projects across the community.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the annual Ox Cart Days Parade and cheer on the U of M, Crookston’s Alumni & Development and Golden Eagle Athletics entries on the evening of Saturday, August 20.  The parade starts at 6:45 with the Classic Car Parade, followed at 7 p.m. by the full Ox Cart Days Parade.  The course of the parade is down the north part of Broadway in Crookston, turning east at the government center, and then north on Barrette Street.  The annual “Fireworks Finale” will be held at 10 p.m. near the Crookston Sports Center on East Fisher Ave.  A full schedule of events for Ox Cart Days is available at

Preliminary design concepts for nature-based children’s play spaces for the cities of Crookston and Warren, Minn., have been completed.  Two preliminary designs were prepared for each community. All four designs were a collaborative effort between the U of M, Crookston and Twin Cities campuses.  The nature-based play space preliminary design concepts were created by Kristen Murray, U of M, Twin Cities landscape architecture graduate student, and Kristine Neu, U of M, Crookston environmental landscaping undergraduate.  Both students were advised by Eric Castle, landscape architect and U of M, Crookston assistant professor of horticulture.  Learn more.


The University of Minnesota, Crookston has again been named one of the best colleges in the Midwest according to the nationally known education services company, The Princeton Review. This announcement marks the fifth consecutive year the Crookston campus has been recognized.  It is one of 153 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its "Best in the Midwest" section of its annual website feature.  Congratulations!  Learn more.

Corby Kemmer
, director of development & alumni relations, recently attended the 2011 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Summit, held July 10-12 in Chicago. More than 500 fundraisers from forty-five states attended the event.  Some of the key sessions included “Higher Ed Goes Global,” “The State of U.S. Higher Ed from Presidential Perspectives,” and “The Leadership Advantage,” as well as numerous concurrent sessions. Guest panel speakers included France Cordova, president, Purdue University; Stephen Dubner, journalist and author; Peter Fissinger, president, Campbell and Company; Teresa Sullivan, president, University of Virginia; and David Brooks, journalist, The New York Times.


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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