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CBS News - January 22, 2003

Dean's Comments

How will the State's budget shortfall impact CBS?

I know that you are as concerned as I am by the State’s budget shortfall and the implications for the University and specifically the College. Although I do not yet know the specific impact on CBS, we are modeling a range of financial scenarios to prepare for a reduction to our base budget. To address the deficit for this fiscal year, Governor Tim Pawlenty wants the University to cut $25 million. CBS’ share likely will be $300,000 to $500,000, which will come from our $10.5 million state appropriation*. This comes on top of the $24 million reduction the University made last year (CBS’ share of this was $370,000) and it precedes cuts for the next biennium, which could be as high as $250 to $450 million. These are permanent cuts to our base funding. While the situation is serious, there are some things we can do to control our fate:

  • Look for opportunities to cut costs without sacrificing quality. A good example is how the University saved $250,000 by spending $10,000 to put the catalog online a year earlier than planned.
  • Identify ways to increase revenue. One idea for CBS is to expand recruitment for the Master’s in Biological Sciences program, which uses courses offered by other programs. Tuition for this program is $850 per unit.
  • Contact your legislator. I know you’ve heard this before, but it’s never been more important than it is now. And the truth is that legislators take personal messages from constituents very seriously.
  • Speak positively about the University and the College to friends and relatives. Remind them about the contributions we make to the state. Tell them that we are committed to reducing costs, improving efficiency and productivity, and making good financial decisions. Assure them that we will not sacrifice quality.

With your help, we can continue to deliver a great education and a good value to Minnesotans. We can also use this time to think about what our priorities are and to shape the future of the College of Biological Sciences. By being proactive and working together we can get through this. During this biennium budget cycle, I will use CBS News and periodic email updates to keep you informed about the financial implications for the College, and as appropriate to seek your help with legislators.

Bob Elde

*CBS total FY 2002-2003 budget is $35 million. Other revenue includes sponsored funds, 40%; tuition and fees, 22%; endowment income and gifts, 5%; and Independent Cost Recovery, 4%.

News

Come to the CBS Compact meeting
Don’t miss the second planning meeting for the CBS Compact, which is on Tuesday, February 4, from 3 to 4 p.m. in 239 Gortner Laboratories. Dean Elde will review the draft compact for 2003-2004, which reflects suggestions made at the first meeting. Elde encourages all faculty and staff to attend. “With the budget challenges facing the state and the University, decisions will likely be aligned with priorities. CBS has a great case, but we must make it more effectively this year than ever before.”

CBS Scholars Program funds creative research
In today’s increasingly competitive funding environment, creative, interdisciplinary research is more important than ever. But it’s also risky. To make that risk a little easier to take, the College of Biological Sciences announces the CBS Scholars Program, which will foster scholarship that may not be ready for NSF or NIH support. The ultimate goal of the program is to identify highly creative research that has the potential to generate a “knowledge leap.” A formal solicitation for applications with full details will be distributed shortly. Following are some basic features of the program:

  • All tenured and tenure-track faculty will be eligible.
  • The proposal deadline will be March 31, 2003.
  • Proposals will be submitted to Judd Sheridan, associate dean for research.
  • Evaluation will be based on scientific merit and broader impact, including involvement of
  • undergraduate and graduate students.
  • A committee composed of tenured faculty appointed by department heads and the dean will evaluate proposals; the dean will make the final selection.
  • Between two and four faculty will be selected.

For more information contact Judd Sheridan, sheri012@umn.edu, or 624-2244.

CBS field trip to Stillwater winery
Join CBS deans, alumni, faculty, and staff at Northern Vineyards Winery in Stillwater for conversation, tours, and tasting on Thursday, January 30 from 6-8 p.m. You will tour the cellar, sample five wines, and enjoy an array of bread, cheese, fruits, spreads, and chocolates. Cost is $20 per person and space is limited, so please register today. Contact CBS Alumni Relations at 612-624-4770 or denz0018@umn.edu.

Coming soon – CBS News survey
Watch your email for the CBS News survey, which will be coming your way by the end of the month. We hope you will take a few minutes to fill out this short survey. The Dean’s Office wants to know how well CBS News serves your needs and what we can do to improve it.

Science Fest 2003 at the Bell Museum
You are invited to bring your family to Science Fest 2003 at the Bell Museum. There will be lots of hands-on activities and demonstrations for kids, plus a tour of the Bell’s animal collections, and a satellite connection with researchers at the Channel Islands off the central California coast. It’s at the Bell Museum of Natural History on Saturday, February 1, 2003, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., 10 Church Street SE (Corner of University Ave. and 17th Ave. SE). Free.

Pawlenty to speak at biotechnology development event
Governor Tim Pawlenty will be guest speaker at “Economic Development Initiatives for Biotechnology,” presented by MNBIO on February 27, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., at the St. Paul Hotel. The event will focus on how economic development efforts can help grow biotechnology in Minnesota. St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly is also on the program. Cost is $25 for MNBIO members and $45 for nonmembers.

Lillehei Heart Institute fellowships and grants
The Lillehei Heart Institute invites all students and faculty interested in cardiovascular and/or respiratory science to apply for fellowships and research grants. FY 2004 awards include: three fellowships (postdoctoral, predoctoral, and medical student), two research grants (pilot research and grant revision award), and two UROP awards. Deadline is April 15. Refer to www.lhi.umn.edu for further information and an application. Since July 2000, LHI has awarded more than $500,000 to 16 individuals in the Academic Health Center and the College of Biological Sciences.

Career and Internship Fair
Don’t miss the CBS Career and Internship Fair on Friday, February 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the McNamara Alumni Center. Students, alumni, and employers can all benefit. Students can learn about career options, get resume and interviewing advice, and connect with alumni. Alumni can help students, represent their companies, or even learn about new job opportunities. Employers can showcase their organizations and industries to prospective biologists.

Come see successful CBS grads
The February installment of “Exploring Careers in the Life Sciences“ will feature Cheryl Neudauer (B.S. Biology ‘91), research associate in the Cancer Center; Jean Regal (B.S. Biochemistry ‘73), a professor of pharmacology at the University of Minnesota, Duluth; Christine Schoenbauer (B.S. EEB ‘94),an environmental analyst for the Minnesota Department of Health; and Marc von Keitz (Ph.D '00 Chemical Engineering) program director of the Biotechnology Resource Center. The series is a great opportunity for students, but also gives faculty an excellent chance to reconnect with former students. The program is at 5 p.m. in 150 Ecology, February, 5. For more info or to register visit http://www.career.umn.edu/career_courses.html

People

Shinya Sugita, assistant professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior, received a $275,000 grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation for “Controls of Resource Supplies on Below-Ground Processes.”

Duncan Clarke, assistant professor of genetics, cell biology, and development, received a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award of $150,000 from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation for his work on “Analysis of the Late S-phase Checkpoint in Budding Yeast.”

Events & Seminars

January 23
Genes that Interact with Wnt Signaling Pathways During C. elegans Development
Michael Herman, Kansas State University
12 noon, 2-101BSBE
Contact Robert Herman, 624-6203,or bob-h@umn.edu

February 5
Exploring Careers in the Life Sciences
5 p.m. 150 Ecology
 

February 12
NSF Workshop
7:30 a.m., rooms 135 B and D, Earle Brown Center

February 28
CBS Career and Internship Fair
11:00 McNamara Alumni Center
For more info contact Maggie Kubak, mkubak@cbs.umn.edu.

March 6
Presentation of Outstanding Achievement Award to Douglas DeMaster,
Ph.D. '78 EEB, Director of Alaska Fisheries Science Center.
Lecture "Impossible Problems, Improbable Solutions: The Life of a Wildlife Biologist in a Federal Regulatory Agency," to follow.
4 p.m., 155 Earle Brown Center
Contact: CBS Alumni Relations, denz0018@umn.edu