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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Town Hall Meeting, January 11, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

As we near the end of the semester, I'd like to get an event on your calendar.  On Thursday, January 11, the Vice Chancellors and I will hold campus town hall meetings to overview our current and projected budget. At these meetings, we will give you an update on current financials and an updated deficit reduction model with future projections through fiscal year 2023.  Please save this date on your calendar and join us at one of the sessions.

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Kirby Ballroom
1st session: 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
2nd session: 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Have a great finals week and a safe and restful holiday.

Best wishes,

Chancellor Black

Monday, November 20, 2017

Engagement Survey Response Rates and Gratitude

Dear colleagues,

Last month our campus participated in the University of Minnesota employee engagement survey. I want to thank those of you who took the time to complete the survey. UMD had an impressive overall survey response rate of 74%. That breaks down to a response rate of 67% from faculty and 78% from staff.  

Here is a breakdown of response rates by college/unit:
Chancellor’s Units: 88%
Student Life (VCSL): 83%
Finance and Operations (VCFO): 56%
Academic Affairs* (EVCAA): 75% (83% Staff 67% Faculty)
LSBE: 81% response (Staff: 87% Faculty 78%)
SCSE: 63% response (Staff: 79% Faculty 55%)
CLA: 75% response (Staff: 91% Faculty 73%)
CEHSP: 74% response (Staff: 78% Faculty 73%)
SFA: 64% response (Staff: 68% Faculty 62%)
(*Includes colleges)

This is an important measurement tool that provides critical feedback for UMD. I am very proud of the work that has occurred across campus as a result of previous survey results. Early next semester we will get the 2017 results. I look forward to continuing to work together to address the challenges and opportunities identified.

Thank you for sharing your valuable input.

Have a wonderful and safe long Thanksgiving weekend.


Lendley C. Black

Monday, October 23, 2017

Driven - The Campaign for the University of Minnesota Duluth

Dear Colleagues,

During homecoming last week, I felt tremendous pride and excitement about our students, our alumni, and our entire campus community. Not only was our campus filled with activity, but across Duluth you could see Bulldog pride on full display. I know it was a huge undertaking for faculty and staff, and I want to thank all of you involved in the planning and execution in what was an extremely successful homecoming celebration. Watch a short and touching homecoming video.

The week culminated Saturday evening as we formally launched the public phase of our capital campaign entitled Driven - The Campaign for the University of Minnesota Duluth. We are seeking the adventurous and the generous as we bring together support from our alumni, friends, and campus community to further help us fulfill our mission.

We are joining forces with our philanthropic partners and friends to raise $120 million and strengthen our role as the region's premier public research university. The campaign will focus on these four areas:

  • $42.5 million in student support
  • $27.5 million in experiential learning
  • $30 million in faculty & research
  • $20 million in outstanding facilities
I am pleased to share that we are well on our way, having raised $84,839,441 million or 71% of our goal thus far. Along with this, I am extremely pleased to announce that we have secured a generous gift from Kurt & Beth Heikkila to name our new building the Heikkila Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science Building.

Please take a minute to watch this inspiring Driven campaign video. You can also learn more about the campaign at d.umn.edu/give.

I'd like to thank the development team for their impressive work and leadership throughout this campaign, and I invite you to join us in this important effort.

Best wishes,

Lendley Black

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Update on Enrollment and Legislative Bonding Request

Good morning,

It is homecoming week, and campus is filled with activity. I hope you'll find time to experience a number of events. You can find more information on the homecoming website

I'm pleased to report that our fall 2017 total student headcount is 11,168. This is our largest campus enrollment since fall 2013. The official fall undergraduate enrollment headcount is 9,199, which is an increase of 1.6 percent from last fall and three percent from fall 2015. Thank you to everyone who contributed to creating a welcoming and supportive community for this new freshman class of 2,275, our largest freshman class since 2010.

Improving the success and persistence of our current students remains a priority and provides one of our best opportunities to stabilize and grow our undergraduate enrollment. I encourage everyone to consider actions at course, program, unit, and campus levels to further support student engagement and learning. Your SEM Subcommittee member can guide this conversation. It is always worth reminding ourselves that one of the strongest indicators of persistence is whether a student can identify a faculty or staff member who cares about their individual success. This is a role that all of us need to play.
Recruitment of our fall 2018 new students is already well underway. Today and Friday, the Office of Admissions will welcome 2,000 visitors for our annual Campus Preview event. This is a campus-wide effort to help prospective UMD Bulldogs learn more about the tremendous academic and co-curricular opportunities we offer at UMD. Please help welcome these visitors to campus and if you see anyone who looks lost, please help them find their way to the Kirby Ballroom.

Last week, the Board of Regents approved the University of Minnesota's 2018 legislative capital request . The emphasis this year is on asset preservation with a strategy to not ask for any new buildings, but to focus on renovating and preserving existing facilities. The request includes:
  • $200 million in HEAPR (Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement); targeted UMD facilities in this project request are Chemistry, Humanities, and Ward Wells Field House.
  • $10.5 million in Greater Minnesota Academic Renewal, which is a package for system campuses to renew existing space. The targeted project for UMD is AB Anderson.
  • $24 million for Pillsbury Hall on the Twin Cities campus.
  • $4 million for Glensheen, in the form of a challenge to match state funding with outside support. The Glensheen request was added at the last minute due to the critical state of the property and expressed interest from the legislature.
If you have questions about these items or any other matters, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of the Vice Chancellors. 

Happy homecoming! Go Dogs!

Lendley C. Black

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Supporting You In Your Work At UMD

Dear Colleagues,

Your feedback on your experience working at UMD is very important to me and our leadership team. The University will conduct its fourth employee engagement survey this fall and we will begin a new cycle of discussing the results and taking action based on our survey results. This year's survey will allow people who work in groups where five or more faculty or staff complete the survey to see their results, so more people will see survey results that reflect the environment within smaller departments.

Since the 2015 survey, our campus has made a number of changes to how we operate based on your feedback and responses. Individual units have implemented changes based on their specific responses. As a campus, our actions based on the survey results include:
  • Shared our employee engagement results more broadly
  • Implemented a new staff orientation
  • Hosted informal gatherings to bring faculty and staff together in order to foster better relationships within the campus and to enhance collaboration
  • Created a recognition program to acknowledge years of service and employee awards
  • Implemented unit level awards to recognize the hard work done by employees across campus

As we look around, there are many other efforts that support engagement every day that your direct manager or supervisor may share with you over the next few weeks.

When you take the survey, you'll find two open-ended questions at the end which are very helpful to me as a leader who may not be aware of your day-to-day work experiences. Open-ended responses are redacted by Korn Ferry Hay Group so no personally identifiable information is shared with me, but your responses provide important ideas for improvement within UMD. The questions are, "What is one thing that has been done to help you succeed within your department?" and "What one thing, if changed, would enable you to be more successful in your work?" If you prefer, you may pick a more general response from the drop-down menu which will still provide me with important information.

If you have any questions, please reach out to me, one of the Vice Chancellors or Karna Kurtz in HR/EOAA.


Lendley Black

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Update on Campus Budget & FY18 Allocation

Dear colleagues,

I hope your school year is off to a successful start. Like me, I'm sure your schedule has suddenly become very full. There is no shortage of activity around campus and taking a minute to slow down and enjoy it always helps remind me how important our work is. 

Last week, the Vice Chancellors and I met with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee and my Senior Leadership Council to discuss our budget allocation and next steps. At the end of August, I received UMD's final budget allocation letter from President Kaler for the current 2017-18 fiscal year. With that information, I am providing an update on our budget projections.

Our campus made significant progress in addressing our budget deficit last year. We identified $2.3 million in recurring reductions that we are implementing this fiscal year. At the time, those budget reductions along with some one-time budget actions, would have brought our projected fiscal year 2017-18 (FY18) annual structural imbalance (recurring budget deficit) down to $1.3 million. From there, we looked at changes to the budget based on tuition, our budget request, state funding, U of M allocation, and expenses. 

This current fiscal year, our O&M (state) allocation has increased by almost $2 million which includes $878,000 in one-time funds for repairs and renovations. The recurring amount of $1.1 million will help fund two additional mental health counselors to provide critical support for our students. It will help fund a scholarship match and Federal Perkins Loan financial aid program. This funding will also provide nearly half a million dollars to address a portion of our structural imbalance and other increased costs. In addition, our positive enrollment growth and one percent tuition increase has resulted in nearly $1.7 million in additional resources. 

Another positive outcome of our budget allocation is we will be able to fund the Sports and Health Center renovation and enhancements. This funding comes through a mix of state-allocated HEAPR funding, one-time U of M funds, private gifts, and UMD. That project will go to bid this fall with work scheduled to begin during spring break in March. 

However, instead of ending FY18 with a $1.3 million structural deficit, the actual year-end deficit will be closer to $3.2 million. The reasons for this higher than anticipated deficit are FY18 merit pay, increased fringe benefit costs, growth in the cost pool, and lower than anticipated state allocation. Our projected structural imbalance at the end of fiscal year 2016-17 was $4 million, and we are still making progress by reducing that recurring deficit to $3.2 million. However, increased costs have kept us from making as much progress on the deficit as we anticipated. You can read the complete FY18 UMD budget allocation letter. 

Adding this additional $3.2 million annual shortfall to the FY18 sequestered deficit (cash balance deficit) means that the projected sequestered deficit will be almost $11 million by June 30, 2018

This leaves us in a difficult situation and I'm sure that it is as frustrating for you, as it is for me, to not see more progress being made on reducing our deficit. The U of M System did recognize the reductions we made, and we will continue to work with President Kaler and his team at resolving the structural imbalance and sequestered deficit. We will continue to be advocates for UMD, ask tough questions, drive innovative solutions, and work to ensure as minimal negative impact on our students as possible.  

The next step in the process is for Vice Chancellor Steve Keto to model an updated budget resolution plan. Then we will provide more information on our timeline to balance our deficit, targeted reduction amounts, and begin work at identifying savings to be implemented in fiscal year 2019. 

Thank you for your commitment to UMD. Please feel free to contact me or any of the Vice Chancellors if you have questions. 


Lendley Black

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Statement from Chancellor Black re: DACA Decision

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff:

You should have received the message "The DACA decision and the University's stance" from University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler. I want to reiterate what President Kaler has said and express my disappointment in the Trump administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.

I have joined other Chancellors and Presidents across the country in expressing the importance of this program, including having signed on to the American Council on Education's letter of support.

I believe in the DACA program and I believe that these students, the Dreamers, bring tremendous value to our universities and communities. I am concerned for the individuals currently in the program and want to reiterate that UMD will do everything we can within the law to continue to provide support and an education to these students.

Students seeking support or more information should contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion or Susana Pelayo-Woodward at swoodwar@d.umn.edu.


Lendley Black

Friday, September 1, 2017

Start of the Fall Semester Update

Dear UMD Parents and Family Members

By now your UMD Bulldog has arrived on campus, participated in Bulldog Welcome Week, and is settling into their first week of classes. We hope that your move-in experience on campus was a great one! Every year I'm appreciative of how well campus activities for move-in are organized, and I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to interact with new students and their families. I also appreciate the many UMD returning students who help new students unload their vehicles, move their valuable possessions into their new UMD living spaces, and welcome new students with positive signs and cheers on the streets around campus.

I also want to acknowledge an aspect of move-in Tuesday that was problematic. Off campus, a much fewer number of UMD students created a host of disturbances and problems in the surrounding neighborhoods. You may have driven by some of the parties and observed sexist and offensive signs. I want you to know that those behaviors are unacceptable to me and I recognize that the partying and signs are completely inconsistent with a positive, inclusive campus.

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents Student Conduct Code limits our ability to respond to off-campus behavior. Our response is limited to conduct that is against the law, and every student that was ticketed or arrested by the police on Tuesday will also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.

Given the limitations for addressing off-campus behavior, we've tried a number of strategies to encourage students to make different choices. I pledge to you that we're going to explore new ways of working with our students to help them learn about their responsibilities as members of the Duluth community. As you have the opportunity, I encourage you to talk with your student about this topic. As I wrote to you in my email this summer, we know that parents are great partners in our students' UMD journey.

Since I last wrote, Student Life has launched a Parents and Family webpage as part of their redesigned website. I hope you'll find it useful!

Best wishes to your student as they start their academic career at UMD, and also to you as you begin your journey as a Bulldog parent or family member!

Lendley C. BlackChancellor

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Welcome to the 2017-2018 Academic Year! (Students)

Dear Students,

The first week of class is here! If you are new to UMD, we are so happy you have joined us. Welcome. If you are a returning student, it is great to have you back. Take a minute to see what some of our faculty and staff told Champ about what it is like at UMD.
This year, we are estimating about a five percent increase in new freshman with around 2,250 new incoming students. Graduate program enrollment is also experiencing positive growth. While enrollment numbers are not final until a couple weeks into the semester, I am excited about this positive growth.

In my greeting to faculty and staff last week, I stressed that one of my main priorities this year is campus climate. It is up to each one of us to take personal accountability for improving campus climate. I'm proud of the progress we have made, but we must do more. The results of our campus climate survey and subsequent conversations guide us to focus on three primary areas:
  1. Make our campus more diverse
  2. Make our campus more inclusive
  3. Decrease and ideally eliminate bullying at UMD
I also spoke about what's been weighing on my mind and heart lately, particularly with the recent events in Charlottesville, VA. We need to make clear that UMD stands firm against white supremacy, bigotry, and violence. We denounce the extremist and hate-filled messages, flags, and other symbols that are used by neo-Nazism, white supremacists, and other similar groups to promote hate, oppression, and violence. There is no room for racism, sexism, homophobia, Jewish persecution, xenophobia, and other forms of hate at UMD, in Duluth, or in our nation.
I want to thank all of the tremendous students who gave their time, talent and endless energy last week welcoming our new students during move-in and Bulldog Welcome Week activities. All over our campus I saw students modeling UMD's core values of learning, discovery, engagement, inclusiveness, sustainability, integrity, and excellence. It is truly inspiring, and your excitement, passion, and dedication make us all proud to be part of UMD.
However, off campus we continue to have issues as a small number of UMD students created a host of disturbances and problems in the surrounding neighborhoods on move-in day. We do not support the out of control partying that occurred off campus or the signs that are sexually explicit and make others feel uncomfortable. We sympathize with the students' neighbors and the new students and their families who experienced students shouting at them and waving inappropriate signs. Most of all, we're concerned about the safety risks to students and anyone driving on roads adjacent to campus.
It is my hope that you, students, will drive change to this negative aspect of our student culture. I want to support you in that effort, and I have asked Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Dean of Students Lisa Erwin to engage the entire campus community in this discussion. I want our community, your parents, our neighbors, and our students to always be proud of UMD.

As a student, it is important for you to be an active member of our campus community. Please participate in campus events, discussions, and take advantage of our great facilities and recreational activities. Campus leadership also wants to hear from students. The best way to do that is to engage and provide feedback to the UMD Student Association, which serves as the official voice of the student body.

Thank you and have a great start to your semester!


Lendley C. Black

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Welcome to the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Dear colleagues,

This week is filled with action, and I sincerely thank everyone involved in welcoming students. The mix of expressions on the faces of our new students never gets old for me. The way that many campus units come together to make this week special for our students is tremendous!

This year, we are estimating about a five percent increase in new freshman with around 2,250 new incoming students. Graduate program enrollment is also experiencing positive growth. While enrollment numbers are not final until a couple weeks into the semester, it is not too late to recognize our admissions staff and everyone else on campus who has helped drive the increase. Thank you for all your hard work.

Thanks as well to those who were able to make the Monday morning breakfast. We found our way to the fieldhouse and watched a video of Champ interviewing some of our colleagues.
I also stressed that one of my main priorities this year is campus climate. It is up to each one of us to take personal accountability for improving campus climate. I'm proud of the progress we have made, but we must do more. The results of our campus climate survey and subsequent conversations guide us to focus on three primary areas:
  1. Make our campus more diverse
  2. Make our campus more inclusive
  3. Decrease and ideally eliminate bullying at UMD
The first step is for leadership at all levels to make clear that behaviors that work against our core values and prevent achievement of our goals of inclusiveness are NOT acceptable here. To be successful in our campus climate work, it's up to all of us to act on a daily basis in ways that will help UMD be more diverse, more inclusive, and more welcoming.
On Monday, I also spoke about what's been weighing on my mind and heart lately, particularly with the recent events in Charlottesville, VA. We need to make clear that UMD stands firm against white supremacy, bigotry, and violence.  We denounce the extremist and hate-filled messages, flags, and other symbols that are used by neo-Nazism, white supremacists, and other similar groups to promote hate, oppression, and violence. There is no room for racism, sexism, homophobia, Jewish persecution, xenophobia, and other forms of hate at UMD, in Duluth, or in our nation. 

Budget will continue to be a main priority this year. We should receive our 2018 budget allocation letter from President Kaler within a week, which will reflect UMD's funding and required expenses for this fiscal year. As with previous years, we will discuss this letter with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee and make it available to the campus as a whole.

Last year we made great progress refreshing our strategic plan by completing a SWOT analysis, and getting input through various public forums and discussions with administrative and governance committees to determine the initiatives and metrics of the plan. This refreshment of the UMD Strategic Plan is an opportunity for us to further clarify who we are, how we promote our distinctiveness, and where we should put our focus over the next few years.

There may be some minor tweaks to the language of one or more goals, though the feedback received suggests that the UMD community remains supportive of the existing goals. We anticipate the strategic plan updates should be completed by the end of the fall 2017 semester.

Based on the work of the Shared Governance Task Force, UMD now has a more formalized governance structure including an office, website, and formalized guidelines for participation. The changes are intended to encourage constituent groups to come together to share perspectives about how the institution should be governed and supported. Engagement, investment, and collaboration are at the core of the success of the shared governance structure. Please email umdgov@d.umn.edu if you have any questions.
Thanks for reading, and let's work together to make it a great year.


Lendley C. Black


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Message from Chancellor Black & Student Assoc President Mike Kenyanya

Good afternoon,

We want to sincerely thank everyone involved in making Bulldog Welcome Week memorable and successful. It takes a lot of coordination and your passion for UMD shines bright.  Thank you. 
There are a lot of ways in which our new students can engage and meet new friends. Our main priority is ensuring a safe environment for all students and being respectful of one another, including our community neighbors. 
We are disheartened by the actions of some of our students. It is important to note that while we support and respect the right to free speech, we do not condone the behaviors of those who choose to display vulgar signs to our incoming freshman and their families. This kind of behavior does not represent our values or the kind of institution we are. It is not ok to encourage illegal activity and sexual misconduct or to make the neighborhoods surrounding UMD unsafe and unwelcoming. This kind of behavior is not welcome at UMD.
Our UMD Strategic Plan Goal 2 states: "Create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity, and social justice." In keeping with Goal 2, we ask our students, faculty, and staff to be mindful of their actions at all times. Act with respect and civility and be considerate of your neighbors. We ask all of you to help ensure that UMD continues to provide a safe and healthy environment that extends into our Duluth community.  

Lendley Black, Chancellor
Mike Kenyanya, Student Association President

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Chancellor's Welcome for All Staff and Faculty 2017

Chancellor's Welcome for All Staff and Faculty 2017

When:    Monday, August 21, 2017

Time:      8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Where:   Ward Wells Field House (follow the ramp down to the field house on the side where the tennis courts are located)

Chancellor Black invites you to join him in kicking off a new fall semester. A continental breakfast will be served.

We will be collecting nonperishable food for Champ's Cupboard, the UMD Food Shelf located in 245 Kirby Plaza. Items specifically needed are, all unused/unopened:
  • Canned Chicken/tuna
  • Boxed noodles, pasta, etc
  • Pasta sauce
  • Boxed meals and dinner sides
  • Canned meals: spaghetti's, ravioli, etc
  • Canned Fruit and Veggies
  • Peanut Butter, Jelly, Condiments
  • Lighter meals/snacks, Granola bars, etc
  • Miscellaneous toiletries, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo
  • Diapers and laundry detergent

For information contact: 218.726.7106 or chan@d.umn.edu

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.


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.


Lendley Black


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!


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

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.


Lendley C. Black

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Save the Date: Board of Regents March 23-24

Dear Campus Community,

Please join me as we welcome the University of Minnesota Board of Regents to campus.  The Regents will be holding their March meeting on the UMD campus.  All campus community members are cordially invited to an informal gathering with the Regents and U of M System President Eric Kaler on Thursday, March 23, from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in the Tweed Museum of Art.

You are also welcome to attend the Board of Regents Meeting on Friday, March 24, from 8:45 - 11:45 a.m. in the Kirby Ballroom.

Please mark your calendars and I hope to see you there.


Lendley C. Black

Monday, January 30, 2017

Message in response to President Trump's executive order on visas and immigration

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

I am writing in regards to President Trump's recent executive order, which impacts students, refugees, immigrants, and permanent residents. I echo University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler's response and commitment to our campus community. Please take a minute to read his message. 

At UMD, we have students and faculty from the countries identified in the executive order. Our International Student Services staff have been in direct contact with these students and are providing on-going resources and support. Students with questions or those seeking further information are encouraged to contact International Student Services or the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  UMD employees with questions regarding their status are encouraged to contact UMD's Human Resources department.   

UMD remains committed to our values of learning, discovery, engagement, inclusiveness, sustainability, integrity, and excellence. I am proud of our heritage and history of welcoming students, faculty, and staff from around the world. We will continue to prepare all of our students to be globally engaged citizens. We will continue to embrace diversity. We will continue to provide support to members of our campus community who are adversely affected.  We will continue to work against discrimination and hate on our campus and within our community.

As this situation continues to unfold, be assured that campus leadership is engaged and monitoring the situation. To members of our campus community who are directly affected, please know that UMD is committed to promoting social justice, and you will continue to receive our full support.     


Chancellor Lendley Black