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Thursday, December 20, 2012

End of Semester Message from Chancellor Black

Dear UMD Campus Community:

Thank you for another great year at UMD! Our students continue to excel in academics, athletics, and many other areas of student life. Our faculty, staff, and alumni are amazing in their achievements and in their support of UMD.

2012 was also a challenging year. We made great progress in our efforts to create a positive and inclusive campus climate, but we had incidents of racism and other harmful behaviors that are counter to our core values and university goals. We will continue to be diligent in advancing equity, diversity and social justice, and we will not stop until we have a safe and welcoming campus for everyone.

I also want to thank you for your involvement in the Duluth community. Every week I hear stories about the difference our faculty and staff are making through research, volunteering, and contributing time, expertise, and financial support to agencies that need our help.

I am proud of our donations to CHUM's Food Shelf and to the Union Gospel Mission during our End of Semester Buffet. You gave 515 pounds of food for CHUM's Food Shelf and $706.44 to the Union Gospel Mission. It would be impossible to meet the needs of our neighbors without the generous support of community partners. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

You have my best wishes for a safe and enjoyable holiday season. While we celebrate this time of year in many different ways, I hope that you will have a chance to rest with those who are close to you and to work for peace and an end to violence in this country. The children and families who were affected by the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut are in particular need of our best wishes and commitment to create a safer space for everyone.

I look forward to great things in 2013, and I am proud to be your Chancellor and your colleague.


Lynn Black

Friday, November 30, 2012

Important message affirming our commitment to inclusiveness

Dear Colleagues,

It is incumbent upon us as leaders at the University of Minnesota to create an inclusive culture for our students, faculty and staff and to uphold values of respect, inclusiveness and equity.

At UMD, we have been working for over two years on a major initiative to create a welcoming campus where students live, study and learn from and about each other in a supportive environment. As is the case throughout the system, we are creating a campus culture where we respect and embrace the diversity of individuals, perspectives and ideas. Creating a positive climate is an ongoing process and we will not let setbacks overshadow the many strides forward made by students, faculty and staff.

A video with offensive racial slurs created off campus by a UMD student has had widespread impact throughout the University of Minnesota system. We abhor the hurtful video and immediately addressed the situation at UMD. This is not acceptable behavior for anyone at any time--whether at the university or beyond. Information about individuals involved is considered private so we cannot publicly share details related to the incident.

It is a challenge when individuals join our university community who do not share the UMD core value of inclusiveness. While we have taken many steps to teach others to respect and to embrace the diversity of individuals, perspectives and ideas, changing deep-seated beliefs and behaviors takes time. The video is an extreme example that nonetheless serves as a reminder that bias and discrimination fall along a broad spectrum and that even small instances of prejudice and thoughtlessness can have damaging repercussions.

Advancing equity, diversity and social justice across the board requires persistence and long-term effort at all levels of our campus community. As was shared in Reimagining Equity and Diversity: A Framework for Transforming the University of Minnesota (pdf): "Equity and diversity efforts must be led not only by people with formal authority, but also by faculty, staff, students and administrators at every level of operation and responsibility." At UMD, our action plan can be found here: http://www.d.umn.edu/chancellor/climate. Today, we take this opportunity to renew this promise made to our campus community and beyond, and look forward to working with all of you to realize our goals.


Lendley Black

Monday, November 26, 2012

Director of External Affairs Announcement

November 26, 2012

To: UMD Campus Community

From: Chancellor Lendley C. Black

Subject: Director of External Affairs

I am pleased to announce that Twin Ports native Gina Katzmark will join UMD as the director of External Affairs, effective December 17. Gina received strong support from the UMD community, and I am pleased that she will be bringing her outstanding media and marketing expertise to this key position on the Chancellor's Cabinet.

Gina currently serves as the associate director of communications at Wake Forest University Schools of Business in Winston-Salem, N.C. A former television journalist, Gina began her career in Duluth as a reporter/producer and served in various managerial roles over 15 years including executive producer, managing editor and news director.

As director of External Affairs, Gina will provide leadership and cabinet-level administrative oversight to UMD's media and public relations, community relations, government relations, marketing, communication, publications and photography.

"I am honored to return home to serve as a passionate advocate for the people and programs of UMD," said Katzmark. "I look forward to being an ambassador of the 'Those Who Can, Duluth' brand while sharing UMD's success stories with the rest of the world."

Katzmark earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and is currently a Master of Business Administration degree candidate at Wake Forest University. She is the daughter of Edward and Kathleen Katzmark of Superior. She and her husband, Joshua Schmidt, will be living in Duluth.

I would like to thank the members of the Search Committee (Tricia Bunten, Development Office; Mary Cameron, Human Resources; Mark Emmel, Lion Hotel Group; Betty Greene, External Affairs; Lucy Kragness, Chancellor's Office, Chair; Jim Riehl, Swenson College of Science and Engineering; and Mimmu Salmela, KUMD) for sharing their time and their expertise working on this important search.

Please join me in welcoming Gina to UMD.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Racist Video

November 15, 2012

To: UMD Campus Community

From: Chancellor Lendley C. Black

A video with unfortunate racist content has been brought to the attention of the University of Minnesota Duluth administration. We have seen the video; we abhor it. This is unacceptable behavior for anyone, and we at UMD are extremely unhappy to be associated with it in any way.

We take appropriate action in instances like this, but information about individual students is private, and UMD cannot share any information about any particular student. However, we can affirm our disapproval of the video, and reaffirm our goal of providing an environment where students live, study, and learn from and about each other in an inclusive and supportive way. We hope that out of this distressing incident will at least come some broader understanding and personal growth.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Campus Memo

Dear Campus Community,

I hope you are having a productive and enjoyable summer! As I near the end of my second year at UMD, I would like to thank you for your continued support and for the outstanding work you do every day on behalf of our students and to further our research and public engagement mission. There have been several administrative changes at UMD over the past two years, and many of you have been involved in helping shape my Chancellor's Cabinet team. While other changes in the vice chancellor areas may be announced within the next few months, I wish to share the following updates.

Bill Wade is stepping down as Vice Chancellor for Advancement on July 31. He will take on a new assignment as a major donor development officer and will continue to oversee temporarily the operations of the KUMD radio station. We will celebrate Bill's dedication to UMD at a special campus reception on September 7, with a formal invitation in August. During his tenure at UMD, Bill has overseen university relations, alumni, development, KUMD, and intercollegiate athletics. His many accomplishments and contributions to UMD will be highlighted in future communications regarding the September 7 reception.

After looking closely at the campus organizational structure, I have decided to make the following changes to improve administrative efficiency, effectiveness, and excellence:

• The Vice Chancellor position that Bill Wade held will be eliminated.

• Lucy Kragness has been promoted to Chief of Staff/Associate to the Chancellor, and in this role she will assist me with a wide range of operational issues and projects to ensure the effectiveness of the Chancellor's office and of all units reporting directly to the Chancellor.

• The Development and Alumni offices will continue to work together as an Office of Advancement. Advancement, Athletics, and External Affairs will report directly to the Chancellor with operational oversight and assistance from Lucy Kragness.

• A national search to refill the Director of External Affairs position will begin this month.

Many of you have already met Mike Seymour, who began July 2 as the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations. Please join me in welcoming Mike to campus.

I appreciate how well the campus community has come together to provide a smooth transition for me and for my new administrative team. Working together, we will continue to make significant progress on the Strategic Plan and provide the excellent academic experience that our students expect and deserve.


Chancellor Lendley C. Black

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chancellor's Announcement: Faculty Fellow for Strategic Planning

Dear Campus Community:

I am pleased to announce that Dr. John A. Arthur has been chosen to be the new Chancellor's Faculty Fellow for Strategic Planning effective August 1, 2012. Dr. Arthur is well qualified to take our planning initiatives to the next stages of implementation and to provide a faculty perspective to the Chancellor's Cabinet. Dr. Arthur is a professor of sociology-anthropology and is the founding director of the African and African American Studies Program. He has been a faculty member at UMD since 1993, and he has served in several administrative positions including as department chair and as director of the Study in England program. He has a Ph.D. in sociology from Pennsylvania State University, a master's degree from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Canada, and a law and sociology degree from the University of Science and Technology in Ghana.

Dr. Arthur will work closely this fall with Dr. Denny Falk, the outgoing Faculty Fellow. I would like to recognize the outstanding work of Dr. Falk over the past two years. He assisted me in each phase of creating the strategic plan and was a tireless advocate for an inclusive planning process. He has also made several other contributions to my administrative team. I would also like to thank Professor John Hamlin, Instructor Michael Mullins, Associate Professor Joyce Strand, and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Andrea Schokker for assisting me with the selection of the new Faculty Fellow.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Arthur on his new appointment and in thanking Dr. Falk for his many contributions to UMD.


Chancellor Lendley C. Black

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Statement from the University of Minnesota Duluth on the Un-Fair Campaign

Statement from the University of Minnesota Duluth on the Un-Fair Campaign

Contacts: Chuck Tombarge, University News Service, (612) 624-5551

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (07/03/2012) --The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) has indefinitely suspended its membership in the Duluth-area Un-Fair Campaign pending a change in the campaign's emphasis and creative approach. The campaign's recent public service announcement (PSA) and its focus on white privilege are divisive and have alienated some UMD alumni, supporters and others in the broader community.

At UMD Chancellor Lendley C. Black's request, the controversial public service announcement was pulled from the campaign's website on June 28 (it had not been aired publicly). Representatives from the 18 partners of the Un-Fair Campaign met on Monday, July 2. While they reaffirmed the group's fundamental goals to promote racial equality and create a constructive dialogue about eliminating racism, they also recognize the messaging and creative emphasis has been divisive. A subcommittee has been formed to reassess the messaging. The partners will reconvene on July 17 to discuss whether to change the creative direction.

UMD continues to advance its strategic goal of creating a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity and social justice 
(http://www.d.umn.edu/chancellor/planning/). UMD also remains committed to collaborating with area educational, civic and social service agency colleagues on productive approaches to these challenging issues.

Friday, June 22, 2012

UnFair Campaign

The City of Duluth is dealing this week with one of the worst natural disasters in the history of our region and state. As are all people in Duluth, we are currently focusing our attention on dealing with this crisis and beginning to repair our community.

Still, we have received calls and emails expressing concern about the University of Minnesota, Duluth's (UMD) participation in the Un-Fair Campaign. We understand that the recent Un-Fair Campaign public service announcement (PSA) is divisive and has alienated some people. That's concerning to us as a public institution whose goal it is to provide a welcoming environment for all people.

While we fully support the foundations and principles of the Un-Fair Campaign, we feel the PSA is divisive and we do not agree with the creative strategy. UMD expressed displeasure to the partnership that the PSAs were aired without a chance for our review. We will continue to discuss our concerns with the partnership and will require review of all future campaign materials and efforts to ensure they foster constructive dialogue and do not alienate people in our community.

Contrary to some media and blog reports that suggest UMD is the sole sponsor of this PSA, the fact is that UMD is one of 18 community partners in the campaign working toward a common mission: "To raise awareness about white privilege in our community, provide resources for understanding and action, and facilitate dialogue and partnership that result in fundamental, systemic change toward racial justice." Other campaign partners include the City of Duluth, St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services, the NAACP, the YWCA and the University of Wisconsin, Superior, as well as others.

As a community, we believe it is critical to have a serious discussion about diversity and racial equity. Duluth has had a difficult and long history of challenges regarding racial equity and justice that we have not entirely overcome. For example, in spring 2010, an African American woman studying in a campus residence hall was the subject of other students' racist comments on social media. Other people of color on campus shared similar concerns and experiences. Such concerns led to an on-campus summit that led to the formulation of our Campus Change process that continues today.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Michael P Seymour Chosen for Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations

UMD Chancellor Lendley C. Black has announced the appointment of Michael P. Seymour as Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations beginning July 2, 2012.

Seymour brings more than twenty years of experience in Minnesota higher education to UMD. He has taught at the technical college, community college and university levels before entering administration where he has served as dean, chief information officer, chief financial officer, chief academic officer and chief of student affairs. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Finance and Operation at Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Cambridge and Coon Rapids, Minn. Seymour has served in a series of positions with increasing responsibility at Anoka-Ramsey Community College beginning in 1997.

"We are especially pleased to bring Mike Seymour to Duluth," said Chancellor Black. "His administrative accomplishments in financial planning and management are impressive. He is committed to diversity, academic quality and collaboration. Mike will be an outstanding addition to my administrative team."

Seymour has been a Vice President at Anoka-Ramsey Community College since 2002. Originally from Escanaba, Mich., Seymour earned two undergraduate degrees and a Master of Science degree in Career and Technical Education from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. He is a candidate for a doctorate degree in Adult and Higher Education at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, S.D.

Seymour is a tireless contributor to the community, having served on boards of the Emma B. Howe YMCA, the Anoka Area Kiwanis Club and the Coon Rapids Lions Foundation. He looks forward to serving the community in Duluth. He is the proud husband of Karla Seymour and father to daughter Tori (17) and son Tyler (13). As time and youth athletic events allow, the family retreats to their cabin in northern Wisconsin.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Gender Neutral Restroom Strategy

April 27, 2012

To: UMD Campus Community

From: Chancellor Lendley C. Black

Subject: Gender Neutral Restroom Strategy

I am writing to provide an update on progress on Goal 2 of the UMD Strategic Plan, which is to create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity, and social justice. To further Goal 2, the campus has developed the following action plan relating to gender neutral restrooms on campus:
Immediate steps
• Provide two gender neutral restrooms on the third floor of the Kirby Student Center above the bus hub.
• Ensure all new capital construction projects include at least one gender neutral restroom.
• Ensure all major building remodel projects includes at least one gender neutral restroom.
• Clarify and explore changing University of Minnesota standards as they relate to gender neutral restrooms.
• Develop a communication plan identifying where the gender neutral restrooms are located, as well as lactation rooms and changing tables.
Short Range Steps
• Include at least one gender neutral restroom in the planned Heller Hall renovation project.
Medium Range Steps
• Include at least one gender neutral restroom in the planned renovations of the following buildings currently on the campus six-year plan: Cina Hall, A.B Anderson Hall, Humanities, Marshall W. Alworth Hall and Voss Kovach Hall.
Long Range Steps
• Include at least two gender neutral restrooms in the expansion and renovation of Kirby Student Center.
The campus community is invited to provide feedback to each of the strategies, with all suggestions discussed and explored. I would like to thank the Multicultural Center Student Leadership Council Unit Change Team, the GLBTQA Commission Unit Change Team and the Commission on Women Unit Change Team for providing the foundational work and advocacy for this strategy.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Open Forum on Campus Governance on April 10, 2012

Dear Campus Community:

Please join me and the Executive Committee of the Campus Assembly for an open forum on campus governance on Tuesday, April 10, from 1:30 - 3:00 in the Kirby Ballroom. This forum will be an opportunity for faculty, staff and the student leadership to come together and discuss our campus governance structure and processes. I have enjoyed my meetings this semester with many of you, and I appreciate hearing the different opinions and perspectives you have expressed regarding shared governance. I believe our next step is to have an open discussion about these various perspectives and to move forward in a collaborative way toward the structure that best serves us in the future.

I would like to focus on two questions: What about our current structure needs to be changed? What governance system will best facilitate the achievement of our new strategic vision and goals?

The purpose of this forum is not to reach a final decision about needed changes. That will have to be done through our current governance process. Our purpose is to take a major step forward toward clarifying the issues and deciding what needs to be done in order to facilitate change.

I look forward to seeing you at this important forum.

Thank you,

Lendley C. Black

Thursday, March 1, 2012

White Supremacists coming to Duluth; Responding with Constructive Resistance

To: UMD Community

From: UMD Diversity Commission
Chancellor Lendley C. Black

We are writing to express our concern about events planned on Saturday in Duluth by white supremacists. We invite you to participate in a constructive response that helps us build the fair and inclusive community we envision. On March 3, the Supreme White Alliance (SWA) plans to hold a "White Pride" Rally in Duluth.

The SWA is promoting extreme racist ideology in reaction to Duluth's Unfair Campaign, an anti-racism campaign that is backed by 15 local partners, including UMD. The rally is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and could last as long as three hours. Between 20 to 100 people are expected from outside of the area, including some from as far away as Arizona and New Mexico.

The term "white pride" is not actually used by the SWA to denote an actual feeling of pride in being white, but rather as a false justification for systematic verbal and physical violence directed at people of color. In contrast, many local community members are organizing events that affirm racial justice and raise awareness about racism and white privilege.
As part of this effort, The UMD Diversity Commission is taking pledges to raise money for scholarships awarded through the Multicultural Center at UMD. We are asking that people pledge to give money for every minute the rally continues. The longer they stay, the more we raise! You can also choose to make a one-time gift to this same scholarship fund by clicking on the following link: www.d.umn.edu/development/diversity.html. Several community organizations have also launched fundraising efforts in light of the rally to raise money for the Unfair Campaign and other projects. We want to thank them for their efforts as well.
Through the media and Internet, the Diversity Commission will make sure the SWA is aware of this fund raising activity. As a result, when they come to Duluth, they will need to decide whether to rally all afternoon and make money for our cause, or to pack up and go home.

For those of you interested in joining the community in rallying against SWA, a Party at the Bridge is scheduled on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Also watch for other celebratory events taking place on campus and in the community on March 3, such as the Feast of Nations and the Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival Concert.

The SWA is opposed to the Unfair Campaign and its mission "to raise awareness about white privilege in our community, provide resources for understanding and action, and facilitate dialogue and partnership that results in fundamental, systemic change toward racial justice," and is using the campaign as an opportunity to spread their message of white supremacy and hate.

In response, we believe this pledge drive and the other activities sends the message that we will not condone hatred directed toward anyone in our community, nor will we stand idly by so that they might construe our inaction as complicit agreement with their message. We invite you to join us in creating a just, fair, compassionate and inclusive campus and community.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chancellor Black's State of the Campus Address

Chancellor Black Remarks
State of the Campus Address
Monday, February 27, 2012
3 p.m., Marshall Performing Arts Center

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. A year ago, we were involved in the many activities surrounding the Inauguration celebration.
Fast forward a year, and I'm pleased to share that together, we have made incredible progress over the past 12 months in meeting the Inauguration theme of: Envision, Shape, Unite.
Working together, we have completed a new Strategic Plan that envisions a new future for UMD and builds on our strengths;
Working together, we have created 20 campus climate change teams to shape a new future;
Working together, we have faced our budget challenges of a year ago with a new spirit of collaboration;
And along the way, we:
• Continued to attract a strong student body, and set another enrollment record last fall with 11,806 students;
• celebrated at last May's graduate commencement with the first 13 graduates from UMD's new Doctor of Education program, the first doctoral program offered exclusively on the UMD campus;
• continued our outstanding record of funded research projects;
• and won a men's hockey national championship!

This year, UMD is joining universities across the country by marking the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act of 1862. That legislation laid the groundwork for the public research university's ongoing mission of learning, discovery, and engagement for the common good.
The University of Minnesota is one of the country's original land-grant institutions. We are proud of our roots as a land-grant university and remain dedicated to its mission of promoting access to higher education and collaborating to advance knowledge benefiting communities, the state, and world. As articulated in our new Vision Statement, UMD is both a land-grant and sea-grant university, because of our distinctive academic programs. UMD is distinguished as a land-grant university in our own right, and not only because of our association with the Twin Cities campus and with the University of Minnesota System. We support the original mission of the Morrill Act which stated in 1862 that it was creating universities: "in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life." (Morrill Act, 1862, section 4) One hundred and fifty years later, UMD is dedicated to a strong liberal arts education and strong professional schools and colleges that prepare our students (many of whom come from the 21st century equivalent of the industrial classes) to have life-long careers and to be wise and globally engaged citizens.

As a Sea Grant university, we are part of a national network of 32 university-based programs administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This network of the nation's top universities conducts scientific research, education, training, and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our nation's aquatic resources.

At UMD, our faculty continue to meet our land-grant mission by producing world-class research that makes a difference in our communities and research that fosters economic development. Our external funding awards for grants and contracts are impressive, exceeding $30 million dollars 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 MNSCU campuses combined. And what makes our research distinctive is that most of it involves students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Because our research reinforces our primary focus on teaching, it helps us to promote a more integrated undergraduate experience for our students. UMD currently has 31 National Science Foundation projects and dozens of other research projects funded by outside sources. Our success has received national attention, with a team from the National Science Foundation visiting UMD last July and producing four video stories about UMD research for the Science Nation series.
Last year, I shared the seriousness of the budget challenges facing the University of Minnesota. This year's budget forecast is more optimistic, and as we did last year, my Cabinet will work with the UMD budget committee to collaboratively develop strategies to regain some of the lost ground in faculty positions, staff positions, and program support caused by the long series of budget cuts in previous years. While the budget outlook this year is better than last year, it is unlikely that state support for higher education will ever be restored to previous levels. And we cannot expect students to continue to pay higher and higher tuition bills. That means that we need to rethink how we deliver instruction as we help our students develop the knowledge and learn the skills to be globally engaged citizens. We also need to look closely at how we do business in all areas and to find new efficiencies that will help maintain excellence at reduced costs.
I am pleased that the newest member of my administrative team, Andrea Schokker, is now in place. Andrea began her duties in January as the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Dr. Schokker, please stand and be recognized. A search also recently began for the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations. These administrative changes have led to the reorganizing of areas within the vice chancellor units, which ultimately better serves our students, faculty and staff. Although we have some new administrative position, we have cut others and our net impact will be fewer administrators. For the current fiscal year, we added 7 positions that would be considered administrative, but we cut 16.75 administrative positions. This gave us a net decrease of 9.75 administrative positions. The added positions have been those that will increase revenues to UMD, or those that are needed to better serve our students. We have also strategically added a few new faculty and staff positions, and I anticipate we will add more faculty and staff positions next year.
Many of our long-time colleagues and friends from the faculty, staff, and administration took advantage of the Retirement Incentive Option, and we wish them well in this next exciting chapter of their lives. As each of these positions has been reviewed carefully, some have been continued, some consolidated and others have been eliminated. The RIO created opportunities for us to rethink how we are serving students in several areas.
We are joining campuses across the country in rethinking of how we deliver higher education and services to our students. As Dr. George Mehaffy from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities shared last week at UMD, we are facing unprecedented changes in higher education. I believe that Dr. Mehaffy is not being alarmist: if we don't make changes in how we operate, changes will be made for us. At the same time, there are many exciting opportunities for us within these unprecedented changes in higher education.
We need to look closer at the best ways to use technology-enhanced education. I know how difficult it is to keep up with the changes in technology. I remember how exciting and challenging it was the first time I used a lap-top computer in my teaching, a computer that was the newest model and had a huge 4 megabytes of RAM. Boy, I thought I would never use all that memory space. Today's entering freshmen have had Internet access, cell phones, Facebook and Twitter most of their lives. I started tweeting a few weeks ago. How many of you are on Twitter? How many of you are tweeting now?
The main purpose for Dr. Mehaffy being here was to present a national award to Vince Magnuson for his local and national impact on promoting civic engagement among university students. Many UMD offices such as the Office of Civic Engagement, NRRI, the Center for Economic Development, etc. have as their mission connecting UMD to the various communities we serve, as well as creating opportunities for our faculty, staff and students to make a difference for our neighbors in need. We also received 16 Strategic Initiative Grant proposals to support community partnerships and civic engagement activities, reflecting our faculty's and staff's commitment to these activities. Our community commitment extends throughout the more than 20 American Indian academic programs on our campus. As the Strategic Plan states: "We will serve the educational needs of indigenous peoples, as well as the economic growth, cultural preservation, and sovereignty of the American Indian nations of the region, the state and North America."
Despite all of the changes and challenges that we face in higher education, I am confident that our new Strategic Plan provides the blueprint that we need to not only survive but to thrive as a key campus within the University of Minnesota system. But keep in mind that the Strategic Plan is only a blueprint or road map to guide us into the future. We will have ongoing discussions about the implementation of this plan, and we will adjust our course, or re-calculate, as circumstances change.
The Strategic Plan goals are being integrated into the fabric of campus life, and I am getting positive responses to the plan from alumni and donors. Bookmarks about the Strategic Plan were distributed last fall at welcome events for faculty and staff and to new students at the freshmen convocation. Many of you have the bookmarks up in your work areas, reminding us all of our commitment to the success of our students.
Today, we distributed Strategic Plan booklets, and as a cost-saving measure, we will collect them when you leave if you already have one. This Strategic Plan provides a new vision for UMD while honoring and recognizing UMD's long tradition of excellence and its integral place within the University of Minnesota system. The Strategic Plan is at the center of our budget decisions and at the center of moving the campus forward on other planning elements, including enrollment, academics, technology, research, a master plan for facilities, a student affairs co-curricular plan, and a new targeted fund-raising plan.
I am pleased that Denny Falk, Professor of Social Work, has continued as the Faculty Fellow for Strategic Planning to work with me on the implementation of the plan. Denny has been working closely with the 25-member Integrated Strategic Advisory Team, which has met regularly since last fall. Since Denny will be teaching in UMD's Study in England Program during the spring, 2013 semester, this will be his last year in this position. So, soon I will initiate a search for a new Faculty Fellow in the Chancellor's Office to provide me an ongoing faculty perspective to the work of the administration.
Meanwhile, we made great progress over the past 12 months with UMD's campus climate change initiative. Goal 2 of the UMD Strategic Plan is to create a positive and inclusive campus climate by advancing equity, diversity, and social justice. Our goal is to create a campus characterized by a welcoming, supportive, safe, inclusive, and respectful environment or climate for all who learn and work at UMD. This process started 18 months ago when the Campus Climate Change was formed. Today, there are 20 campus change teams, with over 250 members from all areas. Working closely with the Strategic Planning process, the climate change team collective priorities are now captured in the Action Steps of Goal 2, which are listed on page 8 of the UMD Strategic Plan booklet. This year, the teams are focusing on the priorities as well as expanding the community engaged in this vital work.
Let me share two examples of the campus change team work.
The first is the integration of inclusion and cultural competence into the curriculum. That is, we strive to teach our students to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures. The 2011-12 Curriculum Integration Project has created a website with course modules, print and electronic resources, names of faculty mentors, and teaching tools. Faculty members from several departments have utilized these materials in a variety of courses from freshmen seminars to Liberal Education courses to Upper Division courses in the major.
The second example is the development of a 3-year assessment plan to evaluate the cultural competence of our students and the impact of our efforts to create an inclusive campus. We continue to conduct student focus groups and develop "climate" questions to add to current surveys.
In all of this work, the campus climate change process strives to be transparent through an extensive website, emails, and programs. I am proud that our campus has been recognized by receiving the University of Minnesota OED Equity and Diversity Outstanding Unit Award last November. We are making good progress, but it must be clear to all of us that there is much more work to be done.
There has been much discussion over the past few weeks about student behavior at men's hockey games, and the most attention has been on the racist nature of some student chants. This behavior goes against our core values and runs counter to Goal #2 of our Strategic Plan.
In addition to the recent issue of racist chants, it is clear that we have not done enough in the past to deal with the sexist and profane nature of other chants. Athletics and the administration will enforce more strictly the Student Spectator Code of Conduct. But to be most effective, we need the entire campus to turn these instances and other instances of hurtful behavior into "teachable moments." In the classroom, in Kirby Student Center, and throughout campus, we all need to address such behaviors in ways that enhance our campus climate and deepen the learning and growth of our students. I am proud that our many of our students have begun themselves to address student behavior in positive ways. Students are correcting each other when they see inappropriate things happening. The administration, faculty, and staff must support our students who are taking a stand, and we must provide leadership and modeling for our students by exhibiting the positive, inclusive and civil behavior that we seek.
Meanwhile, we are taking a fresh look at our structure of shared governance at UMD. Some you want radical change in our governance structure and some of you want to leave our shared governance process as is. I'm convinced that we need to examine closely where our governance system is not serving us well and find ways to correct it. I have heard clearly from many faculty members that they want structures that clarify the primary place the faculty have in curricular issues. Many faculty members also want forums built into our governance process that will facilitate better interaction among faculty throughout campus. As we move forward with more integrated learning at UMD and more interdisciplinary curricular experiences, we need to facilitate opportunities for faculty to come together and work together across departments, schools and colleges.
I have heard clearly from staff that they want to continue to be a significant part of the campus governance process, and as I've said before, we need to take full advantage of the key contributions that staff members make to the learning that occurs at UMD and to creating a first-class learning environment.
As we discuss the shared governance issues, I will express my opinions of what needs to be fixed, but I will not prescribe what shared governance system we should use. I will provide opinions as we look at alternatives, and the Vice Chancellors will provide input. However, for this to be successful it needs to be more of a bottom-up than a top-down process. And it must be a process that is based upon civil discussion and respectful dialogue. This process will work best if we promote greater communication and collaboration as we consider new models, and if we work better with our current structure as we consider whether or not to change it.
We must also value the place students have in our governance structure and value their opinions. We have an outstanding Student Association at UMD, and I have great respect and admiration for their contributions to our university. But we should not have students making decisions that are the purview of faculty or staff or administration, and we must not put students in awkward positions as the faculty, staff, and administration debate changes in campus governance.
Several larger design and construction projects are currently underway on campus. We continue to lobby assertively for funding for the American Indian Learning Resource Center, but we are facing a potentially small bonding year and great competition for not enough state funds. Three other projects currently in design are the Heller Hall code and ventilation upgrade project, MPAC stage lighting and rigging replacement project, and the Campus Utility building located off of St. Marie Street. Construction of these projects may start this summer depending on final design and funding availability. However, funding for these projects is also uncertain at this time.
We will continue construction renovation projects this summer, as well various window and roof replacement projects.
Our campus commitment to sustainability is integrated throughout the UMD Strategic Plan. But beyond planning for campus action, this commitment is shown already through the work of our faculty, staff and students. Examples include: an undergraduate research project to establish a UMD Green Revolving Fund; working to grow food in campus gardens and at the UMD Farm; organizing a forum of experts on "The Future of Energy" through the Honors Program; and including sustainability as part of a business feasibility study in the LaBounty Entrepreneur Competition.
A liberal education requirement focused on sustainability will begin next fall, but already faculty across campus are incorporating sustainability into their curriculum. From geography to geology, from art education to anthropology, from economics to environmental science, students are seeking out experiences in sustainability, to gain an edge in a global economy where the environment, the economy, and societal needs are increasingly intertwined.
Operationally, UMD has worked hard to reduce waste, conserve energy, and save money. We have committed to the goal of reducing campus greenhouse gas emissions by 25% before the year 2020. With a 5% reduction in emissions between 2007 and 2010, we are on our way. Facilities Management staff have reduced equipment run-times, installed lighting controls and replacements, and upgraded utilities. The campus community has also contributed by participating in holiday and weekend energy conservation efforts. To meet our goal, we need a continued effort by everyone to conserve energy, in addition to continuing to upgrade buildings and utility systems to run more efficiently.
There are so many exciting things happening at UMD. As we face day-to-day challenges and frustrations, we should not forget that every day we are making a difference in our students' lives and making a difference in Duluth and in the many other diverse communities we serve. We need to continue exploring new opportunities that will take full advantage of our distinctive attributes, adjust and adapt to changing conditions in higher education, and rededicate ourselves to excellence that places UMD among the best higher education institutions of our type in the country.
In closing, I would like to thank you again for your dedication to UMD and to the success of our students. Working together, we will celebrate UMD's success and commitment to our land-grant and sea grant mission for many years to come.
Thank you.
We now have time for questions. Members of my staff are here with microphones so we can all hear your questions.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Invitations from Chancellor Black

Dear Members of the UMD Campus Community,

Important events are taking place at UMD throughout February that reflect UMD's rich legacy as well as advance goals of UMD's Strategic Plan and those of the Campus Change Team to help place UMD among the best higher educational institutions of its type in the country. I encourage you to participate. I also encourage you to provide feedback and ideas on UMD's Strategic Plan (http://www.d.umn.edu/chancellor/planning/) and your thoughts to the Campus Change Team (http://www.d.umn.edu/chancellor/climate/contact.html).

Honor Vince Magnuson; Attend Red Balloon Project Presentation: Monday, February 20
It is a privilege to invite you to a ceremony at which Vince Magnuson, former UMD Vice Chancellor for Academic Administration, will be presented the distinguished William Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The event is being held from 3-5 p.m., Monday, February 20, in Weber Hall.

This prestigious award will be presented by George Mehaffy, AASCU's Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change and leader of the organization's Red Balloon Project. As part of the event, Vice President Mehaffy will make a presentation on the Red Balloon Project, a national initiative to re-imagine and then to redesign undergraduate education for the 21st century. Read more about the Red Balloon Project at http://www.aascu.org/Red_Balloons_Project.aspx?LangType=1033.

Announced in June at the annual meeting of AASCU's American Democracy Project, the Plater Award recognizes the leadership and critical role former Vice Chancellor Magnuson demonstrated during his role as UMD's chief academic officer to advance the civic mission of the campus through curricular reform, public advocacy, accountability for institutional citizenship, faculty development and recruitment, and partnerships with community organizations.

Gain Insight from Tim Wise at UMD's UnFair Campaign Event: Thursday, February 16
One of the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States and one of "25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World," by Utne Reader in 2010, Tim Wise will be on our campus on February 16 for a lecture at 6:00 p.m., in Kirby Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public, and all are encouraged to participate. Also during that day, Mr. Wise will interact with students, faculty, and staff at a series of group conversations.

The appearance of Mr. Wise, author of Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority and other books, is part of UMD's commitment to the UnFair Campaign. A major anti-racism effort, the UnFair Campaign raises issues about how hard it is to see racism when one is not subjected to daily acts of discrimination and intolerance. The UnFair Campaign's 14 Duluth community partners, including UMD, understand that problems are ingrained in the fabric of our society, and advancing equity, diversity, and social justice requires persistence and long-term work.

There are many opportunities to participate in the UnFair Campaign, including attending UMD's film series being held throughout Spring Semester. For a complete listing and for other events both on and off campus, visit: http://unfaircampaign.org. For more information about UMD's Campus Climate initiatives, visit: http://www.d.umn.edu/chancellor/climate/.

Support the U with Advocacy and Action
Last week UMD representatives and I attended the inspiring Legislative Briefing event on the Twin Cities campus. Thousands of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends of the U of M firmly believe in higher education's role in pushing our state forward. These citizens are working across the state and across U of M campuses to actively engage elected officials about the University's initiatives and other key issues, including UMD's American Indian Learning Resource Center project that is now before the 2012 Minnesota Legislature. They write to their elected officials. They write letters to the editor of their paper. They attend events. They share their stories. You can help. Get involved. To find out about actions you can take, visit: http://supporttheu.umn.edu/.

You may be interested in watching two videos. One video answers the question: "What is a Research University?" The second video features President Kaler urging people to advocate for the U of M. Both videos can be found at: http://supporttheu.umn.edu/gallery/index.html.

I look forward to having you join me in the Support the U campaign and seeing you at the events listed in this email as well as other activities throughout Spring Semester.


Lendley (Lynn) Black

Monday, January 23, 2012

UnFair Campaign

Dear Members of the UMD Community:

It is with pleasure I announce that UMD has joined with 14 Duluth community organizations as a partner in the UnFair Campaign, a major anti-racism effort focusing on the role white people can play in addressing racial disparities. The UnFair Campaign will raise awareness about white privilege in our community, provide resources for understanding and action, and facilitate dialogue and partnership that result in fundamental, systemic change towards racial justice.

Developed in Duluth, the UnFair Campaign is being officially launched tomorrow at a news conference taking place in Duluth City Hall. I, along with Mayor Don Ness and representatives of other campaign partner organizations, am participating in the news conference.

With the tagline "It's hard to see racism when you're white," the campaign will heighten attention to white privilege and encourage dialogue through posters, billboards, the campaign's website, public workshops, guest speakers, community reads, films, and facilitated discussions. For more information about the initiative and for a list of community events, please visit: http://unfaircampaign.org.

UMD is sponsoring activities on campus. Tim Wise, author of Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, and other books, will be on our campus on February 16, for a lecture at 6:00 p.m., in the Kirby Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public and you are encouraged to participate. Also during that day, Mr. Wise will interact with students, faculty, and staff at a series of group conversations.

Another opportunity for you to participate is to attend the film series that kicks off on Monday, January 30, with "Mirrors of Privilege, Making Whiteness Visible." The film will be shown from noon-1:30 p.m., in the Griggs Center. Other films will be shown throughout Spring Semester. For a complete listing and for other events both on and off campus, please visit: http://unfaircampaign.org.

The UnFair Campaign's goals are fundamental to the change we are working to achieve at UMD. Our Strategic Plan provides the framework for realizing a learning and working environment that reflects the values of equity, diversity, and social justice.

The first step is recognizing that racism and inequality exist. It is hard to see racism when one is white because it is difficult to understand the inequality around you when you are not subjected to daily acts of discrimination and intolerance. As the problems are ingrained in the fabric of our society, advancing equity, diversity, and social justice requires persistence and long-term work. I am committed to stay the course and work with you until we reach our goals. I look forward to participating with you in the UnFair Campaign's activities, both on and off campus.

As the UnFair Campaign unfolds, I want to emphasize that actions undermining and damaging a safe, respectful, and diverse campus climate should be reported. There are a variety of people you can go to for assistance. For information and for resources, please consult http://www.d.umn.edu/chancellor/climate/reporting/. You also may bring situations to my attention by sending me an email at chan@d.umn.edu.


Chancellor Lendley (Lynn) Black