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Monday, June 19, 2017

Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science Building Groundbreaking Ceremony


Chancellor Lendley C. Black, Dean Joshua Hamilton and Interim Dean Andrea Schokker, Swenson College of Science and Engineering, invite you to the groundbreaking of the Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science (CAMS) Building.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
11am Ceremony
In front of the Darland Administration Building on the UMD Campus
If you have questions or need special assistance, please contact Carlee Williams at 218-726-7005 or cwillia1@d.umn.edu.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Budget Update and Feedback

Dear Colleagues,

While we do not have the details of UMD's budget for fiscal year 2017-2018, I want to provide a quick update of what we know at this time. As you may be aware, the allocation from the state legislature was only a fraction of the University of Minnesota's request. View the final outcome of the higher education bill. Out of the $147 million request, the U of M System received $54.6 million in new state funding. In addition, only $28 million of the $54.6 million state allocation is for core mission funding that pays for things like operating costs and compensation.

The University of Minnesota System is in the process of approving a budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year and allocating funding to UMD and the other four campuses. At this morning's Board of Regents meeting, President Kaler's recommended FY 2018 operating budget was presented. The Regents will take action on this recommended budget on June 20th, and we should receive UMD's budget allocation letter in July. We will communicate the details of that letter to the campus soon after we receive it.

The Board of Regents are seeking input and feedback on President Kaler's proposed budget plan. Please visit the Board of Regents website to submit feedback and review the budget proposal. The feedback period is open until Tuesday, June 13.

Sincerely,

Chancellor Black
Executive Vice Chancellor Delgado
Vice Chancellor Erwin
Vice Chancellor Keto

Monday, May 8, 2017

UMD Unit Awards for Staff

UMD Staff,

In spring of 2016, the Staff Council was asked to appoint a task force which would review the Outstanding Service Awards and make recommendations on how they could be improved.  They provided their recommendations in July 2016, which were adopted by the senior administration.  This year we celebrated the new Outstanding Staff and Team awards, in keeping with the group's recommendations.

An additional element of their recommendation was to create new unit-level awards that would allow for more awards to be given at a "local" level.  This email is to let the campus know that these awards are now ready to be launched.  The campus should anticipate communications to come from each participating unit: Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Student Life, Finance & Operations and Medical School, which will detail their program and how to participate.  As each unit develops its award program, it will be provided to Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and put on their website.

A Brief Overview of the New Unit Awards

·         Awarded and administered at the unit (Chancellor/vice chancellor/SMED) level with funding based on the unit's percentage of total campus employees
·         Covers the same employees as the Outstanding Awards:  Labor-Represented, Civil Service, and Academic Professional/ Administrative (P&A) employees who do not hold faculty rank appointments, irrespective of percentage of appointment
·         Recognizes UMD employees for a special or unique contribution to their college, department, unit, or the UMD campus based on the following criteria:
1.      Leadership on the job
2.      Customer focus
3.      Quality of service
·         Award is $250 added to the employee's pay, with taxes reducing the net award
·         The Chancellor will announce the winners quarterly
·         Units may sponsor additional non-monetary recognition such as a certificate, public posting, celebrations, etc., as desired

Nomination and selection processes will be specific to each unit, and all will be posted on the HR&EO website.

Please watch for updates and communications on these new awards programs at UMD.

Sincerely,

Lendley Black

Chancellor

Thursday, May 4, 2017

End of year notes and fall save the date

Dear colleagues,

The end of the semester and commencement is here! Each year, I am surprised at how quickly our academic year progresses. We have many things to be grateful for and proud of this year. Thank you for your contributions to our success.

The end of the year events, ceremonies, and awards are a wonderful time to reflect and celebrate together. To get a snapshot of activity on campus this past year, please take a minute to watch this recap video.

I'm also pleased to share with you a new non-discrimination statement from the Campus Climate Leadership Team which clearly articulates our expectations, standards, and values. This statement furthers our Goal 2 commitment to create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity, and social justice.

This year was packed with impressive work from our students, faculty, and staff. Some examples include the creation and launch of the new Advanced Materials Center, the reopening of the beautifully renovated Cina Hall, and the opening of the new Securian Math Learning Lab. Our fine arts departments held numerous impressive performances and exhibitions, and the theatre department earned national awards for the One River production. We also gained national attention for the discovery of a new galaxy, led by our physics department, and for our mechanical and electrical engineering students winning the nationwide Air Force Research Lab Challenge. Bulldog Athletics saw broad-based success with national rankings, recognitions, and success, over 2,000 volunteer hours, and the highest single semester all athlete GPA ever at 3.19. 

Moving forward, we continue to look towards continued excellence and achievements. This includes an ongoing push for legislative bonding funds to hopefully start construction on our new Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science building. Watch for a celebration this fall for the 50th anniversary of the Alworth Planetarium. The Department of Communication is creating a new Communication Research Lab in Kirby Plaza. I'm sure our faculty and students will have a summer filled with impressive research. There are many other accomplishments I could mention, and I look forward to numerous additional achievements to celebrate in the fall. 

Please save the date and time for our faculty and staff welcome on Monday, August 21 from 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. in the Ward Wells Field House. This continental breakfast event will replace the previous afternoon welcome. 

I'd be remiss if I did not mention our budget, so I'll just quickly note that Vice Chancellor Steve Keto will provide an update on our budget and next steps after we get a clearer picture from the state legislature over the next couple weeks. We remain concerned about the proposed low funding for the University of Minnesota from both the Minnesota House and Senate.

Thank you all for a another successful year and congratulations to our 2017 graduates!


Sincerely,

Chancellor Lendley Black

Friday, April 14, 2017

Faculty and Staff Invite - World Cafe

We need YOUR input on a Strategic Plan for the future of the UMN system!
Wednesday, April 26
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Kirby Ballroom
Lunch Provided!
Please be sure to RSVP  by April 21st, so that we have enough food for everyone.

Please join us for a World Café to discuss the future of the University of Minnesota as a system. At this 90-minute interactive feedback session, you will hear from the co-chairs of the President's System-wide Strategic Planning Committee (Rochester Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle & Vice Provost Rebecca Ropers- Huilman) and have the opportunity to provide input on an emerging strategic plan for the system. All faculty, staff and stakeholders are strongly encouraged to attend! We need your voice in this process. Lunch will be provided.
Prior to attending, we encourage you to review the most recent version of the plan at: https://president.umn.edu/strategic-vision/system-wide

For more information about the system-wide strategic planning effort, please contact our representatives to the committee:
Abram Anders, adanders@d.umn.edu
Erik Brown, etbrown@d.umn.edu
Nathan Ernst, ernst187@d.umn.edu
Lisa Erwin, laerwin@d.umn.edu
Elizabeth Prokop, proko052@d.umn.edu

Monday, March 20, 2017

Save the Date and Update on Campus Initiatives

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you were all able to have an enjoyable spring break. If you did not take time off, I hope at least you enjoyed a change of pace. As we head towards the last seven weeks of the semester, I wanted to provide you a brief update on a few on-going campus initiatives and get a few dates on your radar.

As you've likely heard, we are looking forward to welcoming the Board of Regents to campus next Thursday and Friday, March 23 - 24. You can see the Board of Regents meeting materials online. Here are some events that are open and I invite you to attend:
  • Thursday, March 23: Campus community reception with the Regents and President Kaler from 4 - 5 p.m. in the Tweed
  • Thursday, March 23: Work session Meeting Minnesota's Rural and Native American Health Care Needs from 2:45 - 3:45 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom
  • Friday, March 24: Board meeting in the Kirby Ballroom from 8:45 a.m. - noon, which will include a UMD presentation on community engagement (see agenda for order)

Please save the date for Tuesday, April 25 from 3 - 4:30 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom for a new end of the year event to celebrate our accomplishments, recognize faculty and staff, and network with your colleagues. More information to come.

You received an email earlier this week from Susana Pelayo Woodward and the Campus Climate Survey Working Group with an update on campus climate. The team has compiled the results from the idea sessions and starting next week will hold multiple sessions to discuss how those conversations map to the campus climate survey results. They will also discuss the next steps for our campus community to continue progress in furthering our mission of being a welcoming and inclusive campus community. Thank you to those who have participated in previous discussions, and I encourage you to find time to participate next week. Here is a copy of the text of that message with the session dates and times.

With regard to the budget, we are working to finalize our budget compact request to the University of Minnesota for the upcoming biennial. This includes reporting how we were able to meet the budget reduction goals set forth fromPresident Kaler last July. We still need to identify $300,000 in savings beginning July 1, 2017 to meet our goal for the next fiscal year. That is in progress, and we will share more information once those decisions have been finalized.

Strategic planning efforts are ongoing at both the campus and the system levels. Here at UMD, we are compiling feedback received from the campus community, identifying areas of completion or progress from the last plan, and working on an updated draft plan to share with campus. We expect to be able to share more information with you in the next month. Information on the system-wide strategic plan may be found on this website. We will be sharing a draft of the system-wide strategic plan and getting feedback from campus sometime in April.

Earlier this week, I attended the American Council on Education annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Sessions with chancellors and presidents focused on the Trump administration's priorities and how those might impact higher education. As more information is released regarding President Trump's proposed budget, I am concerned about the multiple negative impacts many of the proposed reductions would have on our students, faculty research, the Duluth community, and many other areas. I will keep you informed about these potential cuts as the process moves forward. Also, at the ACE meetings, there was much conversation among university leaders about free speech, inclusion, and the university's role in encouraging balanced debate on sensitive topics. I will communicate more on this topic to you soon.

There is much to celebrate on campus this spring, and I thank you for your great work. It may still look and feel like winter, but spring commencement will be here soon.


Best wishes,

Lendley Black
Chancellor

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Statement of Support for Transgender Rights

Dear UMD Campus Community:

Last evening President Kaler posted a statement regarding the University of Minnesota's support for transgender rights. Last week, I tweeted my appreciation of Governor Dayton's commitment to protections for transgender students and reiterated my agreement with the Governor and my continued support for a safe and inclusive environment at UMD.

I very much agree with President Kaler's message which states in part:
"Let me be clear. The University of Minnesota stands by our values of equity and inclusion and the right of transgender and gender nonconforming members of our campus community to learn, teach, and work free of any form of harassment and discrimination, including the dignity of being able to use the restroom that aligns with your gender identity. Our support for these rights will not change.

The University will not tolerate harassment or discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. Furthermore, the Minnesota Human Rights Act provides that all students should be free from discrimination, including transgender students."

If anyone at UMD experiences harassment or discrimination based upon your gender identity, thiswebsite has information about making a report. There are many resources to support you and you can find them by reaching out to the Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity or the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. This website is also a great source for more information.

Sincerely,

Lendley C. Black
Chancellor