Message from the Chancellor
“UMD is providing students with tools to make a difference.”
Greetings, Alumni and Friends
As we enter the spring 2012 semester, I’m proud to report on UMD’s many accomplishments. Let me share some highlights of campus life.
Our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) allows students to work in real world research situations. This issue of the Bridge highlights several of this year’s endeavors. From senior Kayla Engebretson’s study of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in hospitals to senior Jillian Bartusek’s research on the impact of pharmaceuticals at the cellular level, UMD is providing students with tools to make a difference and priming them for careers after graduation.
Designs for the new American Indian Learning Resource Center (AILRC) are complete, and construction is ready to go. Read more about the rich offerings of our American Indian programs on the next few pages. The AILRC project is included in the university’s capital bonding request, and we are working to secure funding this legislative session.
Our scientists and faculty continue to produce world-class research and engage in creative discoveries. Our external funding awards for grants and contracts are impressive, with new funding exceeding over $20 million a year and continuing funding over $68 million a year. UMD receives the second largest amount of research funding in the state behind the Twin Cities campus and more than all of the other Minnesota higher education campuses combined. UMD currently has over 30 National Science Foundation projects and dozens of other research projects funded by outside sources.
Our enrollment last fall remained strong at 11,806, setting another record. With more than 1,700 staff and faculty, UMD continues to be a premier regional employer and a vital part of the community. The economic impact of the campus, from the payroll and jobs created, to student and visitor spending, annually exceeds $374 million.
I am very excited and proud to announce that UMD is becoming more diverse, inclusive, and sustainable. We began implementing the Strategic Plan in fall 2011 and a campus-wide effort is already producing results. In conjunction with the planning process, a Campus Climate Change initiative led to the creation of a collection of campus change teams. The priorities the teams identified are now captured in Goal 2 of the Strategic Plan, which is to create a positive and inclusive campus climate by advancing equity, diversity, and social justice. To see the Strategic Plan, visit my website www.d.umn.edu/chancellor.
This February, our theatre department is presenting William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker. The play tells the inspiring story of Helen Keller’s transformation through sign language. I am thrilled that the theatre is working with the American Sign Language (ASL) community to enable every performance to be ASL interpreted. A student ASL group and the student organization Access for All are also participating.
Our sustainability efforts include the Victus Farm project. UMD’s Center for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD) and the City of Silver Bay are working together to create an integrated algal oil, fish, and plant production system that will create jobs, as well as produce clean energy and locally grown, nutritious foods.
In fall 2011, UMD received federal funding from the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. The financing will support the development of new business and new product innovation to serve Minnesota’s growing mining industry. UMD’s Center for Economic Development (CED) will receive $150,000 per year to assist small businesses and the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) will receive $800,000 for product development.
Two programs were made available to students this year. Both enhance UMD’s work with our state’s rich American Indian culture. The Indigenous Doctor of Education (Ed.D) Program offers a full doctoral program, encompassing Indigenous content, perspectives, and learning experiences. The Master of Tribal Administration and Governance has exceeded its fall enrollment goals. The program prepares students to apply their skills to manage the daily realities of tribal governance.
As you can see, it promises to be another great year. Thank you for your time, talent, energy, and generosity. You are always welcome at UMD, and we look forward to your next visit.
— Dr. Lendley C. (Lynn) Black. UMD Chancellor
Fall 2011—Top: University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler (standing, left) visited the UMD campus. Center: Hundreds attended a Take a Stand rally for diversity and inclusivity organized by UMD students.