The Magazine of the University of Minnesota Duluth
Volume 21, No.1, Winter 2004

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A Letter from Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin

UMD is on the move, aspiring to new heights. The cover of this issue makes a strong statement about why UMD continues to achieve success in varied ways across the campus. Over the past few years, I have had the wonderful opportunity to participate in “topping off” two buildings at UMD, and in this instance, I was with Jim Swenson “topping off” the James I. Swenson Science Building. As we complete another year at UMD, we celebrate another year of enormous successes and of equally keen potential. We celebrate the Labovitz gift to build and name the Labovitz School of Business and Economics. And as we celebrate the Labovitz gift, we listen to extraordinary music in the Weber Music Hall. Across the UMD campus, as the year 2003 comes to a close, we have many things to celebrate and much to look forward to in 2004.

We continue to have an outstanding faculty: fine teachers, outstanding in their success in the areas of publication and attracting significantly high numbers of research dollars to UMD. The dollars raised for contract research at the University of Minnesota Duluth is twice the amount of dollars raised cumulatively by all other colleges and universities in the state of Minnesota, excluding the Twin Cities campus. We are fortunate to have superb teachers. These individuals are willing to spend time and energy mentoring students, include students in undergraduate research, include students in the authoring of articles, include students in a variety of performance opportunities, where students and faculty perform side by side.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article (December 12, 2003), “What Makes a Teacher Great.” As I read the article I was struck by the number of faculty we have engaged in many of the same pedagogies as the four individuals identified as “Professors of the Year.”

We have faculty equally involved in mastering the utilization of technology within the classroom and taking students well beyond the confines of a classroom with the development of electronic portfolios. We have faculty for whom lecturing is both the delivery of information and the facilitation of discussion probing that information. All of these pedagogical attributes are the basis of the success of faculty and certainly of our students at UMD. The best faculty are passionate and knowledgeable about their subject matter, and equally committed to varied learning strategies. You should be proud that the culture of UMD includes the same strong teaching today that many of you have described from your days at UMD.

In addition, we are especially pleased with the 94 percent graduation rate for our student athletes — 94 percent of those who have participated in intercollegiate athletics for four or more years graduate with a degree from UMD.

We are a fine university and you should be rightly and justly proud of all that is being accomplished on our campus and beyond! But you should also remember that much of what has been accomplished has been because of your support. Your support of financial aid, faculty development, technology, and our new library, provide the resources and the environment for faculty and students to excel.

This is indeed the future of UMD, to excel, to be interested and interesting, to prepare students to be willing to discuss and express their opinions because they have the knowledge base to do so, and faculty who are eager to work with these students. That is the future of UMD. A strong and supporting base of alumni and friends, faculty and students who are willing to work together to excel in their disciplines and a campus that continues to provide new and invigorated facilities as laboratories for teaching and learning.

My best to each of you for a Happy and Healthy New Year and thank you for enabling us to have as much to celebrate as we have!



Above: UMD Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin and James Swenson

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