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CBS News - June 2003

News

Renewable energy and bioscience zones legislation will benefit CBS
Two initiatives approved by the 2003 Minnesota Legislature in May will play a significant role in the future of CBS.

  • Renewable Energy Research Funding
    The "Prairie Island" bill provides funding for the University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment. Funds will be used for basic and applied research and demonstration projects on hydrogen and other renewable energy sources. Funding for this initiative will be provided through a one-time allocation of $10 million and additional annual funding through 2008, estimated at $1.8 to $2 million per year. A demonstration facility will be located at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in partnership with the University of Minnesota, Morris. A committee has been formed to determine the process for applying for these funds. Judd Sheridan, associate dean for research, is representing CBS on this committee. Details will be forthcoming.
    Dean Elde, Rep. Steve Kelly, and MNBIO led efforts to promote this legislation, which directs to the University money utility companies are required to set aside for alternative energy development.
  • Biotechnology Tax-Free Zones
    The Omnibus Tax Bill contained provisions enabling the Commissioner of the Department of Trade and Economic Development to designate two tax-free zones to provide tax incentives for the development of biotechnology and health sciences businesses near a research institution. The goal in establishing these zones is to foster the development of the biotechnology and health sciences industries in Minnesota, improving the quality of our citizens' lives, and growing jobs in these industries. University officials will work closely with the Department of Trade and Economic Development as these zones develop in the future. At present, the governor is deciding where these zones will be located. It’s likely that one will be along the transit way between the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, where the University Enterprise Laboratories, Inc. laboratory-incubator will be located. The zones will take effect on July 1, 2004. At present there is a $1 million cap on tax waivers, but this could be raised in the future as the state’s economy improves. Dean Elde, MNBIO Executive Director Ray Frost, St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly, among others, actively promoted the creation of the zones.
  • In addition to the bioscience park initiative the Legislature approved $2 million for the Mayo and the University of Minnesota to collaborate on biotechnology and genomics research. And the Translational Research Facility was among the projects funded through the supplemental bonding bill.

State cuts $196.3 million from U’s biennial budget
The Legislature approved a $1.1 billion budget for the University for the FY 04-05
biennium (July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2005). This is a reduction of approximately $196.3 million from the University's budget base in the FY 02-03 biennium. This biennial appropriation ($1.1 billion) is less than proposed in either the House or the Senate higher education bills but slightly more than the Governor's budget proposal. The College of Biological Sciences has already eliminated several administrative positions in the spring in response to previous and anticipated budget reductions. Further cuts may be necessary. Details about these will be announced as soon as they are available.

Mark your calendars for CBS Community Day Sept. 5
All faculty and staff are invited to CBS Community Day on Sept. 5 in the Cargill Building for Microbial and Plant Genomics. Community Day will begin with a noon lunch, followed by Dean Elde's "State of the College" address. The afternoon will consist of tours and workshops throughout various CBS research facilities. More information will follow shortly.


Gopher Graduate Program encourages diversity at the U
CBS, IT, and CLA hosted a mini college program for a diverse group of more than 220 high schoolers from 40 metro-area schools June 23-26. Courses offered over the four days included Math Rocks, Acting 101, Instant Chinese, Colors in Biology, Brain Awareness, Cities as Works of Art, and Wars and the Economy. Other sponsors include the College of Continuing Education and the Office of Admissions. Besides attending classes, students ate lunch in a residence hall dining room, attended a panel discussion on student organizations, and learned how to prepare for college, get admitted, and apply for financial aid. The purpose of the program is to encourage minority students consider a University education. Two thirds (22) of the 33 seniors who attended last year’s Gopher Graduate Program applied for admission to the U; 17 of those were accepted. John Anderson coordinated CBS’ role in this effort.


Developmental Biology Symposium
The 12th Annual Developmental Biology Center Symposium, titled "From Egg to Organ: Cell Cycle Regulation in Development" will be held September 29-30, 2003 in the Great Hall of the Coffman Memorial Union. Events include platform speakers, a banquet at the Weisman Art Museum with keynote speaker, and a poster session. Speakers include: Bruce Edgar (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), Terry Orr-Weaver (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), David Glover (University of Cambridge), Bruce Bowerman (University of Oregon), Martine Roussel (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital), Sander van den Heuvel (Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center), Martin Hulskamp (University of Koln), James Maller (University of Colorado), and Jacqueline Lees (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). For registration and other information contact Tami at 4-4981 or jauer002@umn.edu.

Microsoft Campus-wide Campus Agreement
The Board of Regents has approved an agreement between the
University of Minnesota and Microsoft Corporation to provide a suite of
Microsoft's most popular software for use on computers owned by the
University. Academic & Distributed Computing Services (ADCS)
and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) will be administering this
license. Starting date for the license is July 1, 2003 and the
University is committed to a three-year term for these products.
Software available through this agreement includes the following:
Windows operating system upgrades
Microsoft Office XP Professional
Microsoft Office for Macintosh
Front Page
Publisher
Visual Studio.net
All Windows Client Access Licenses (CALs), including SQL CAL
More details about the agreement are available at this page:
http://www.umn.edu/adcs/site/MSagree.html

People

David Stephens, associate professor of ecology, evolution and behavior, received a four-year grant of approximately $338,000 from the National Science Foundation for a research project titled “Animal Impulsivity: Discounting or Ecological Rationality.”


David Tilman, Regents Professor of ecology, evolution and behavior, was featured in the “Random Samples” section of the June 20 issue of Science. The section provides updates on the work of leading scientists in different fields.


Janene Connelly has resigned from her position as director of development and external relations for CBS effective June 30. Janene has accepted the position of development director for St. Paul-Mpls. Catholic Charities. Please direct any questions regarding development to Jean Marie Lindquist, 625-7705.


Stephen Polasky, associate professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior, received $82,000 from the USDA Forest SVC North Central Research Station for
“Developing a Collaborative Modeling Approach to Assess Biological and Economic Effects of Land Use Decisions and Pollution Mitigation.”

Iris Charvat, professor of plant biology, received a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for research on “Production and Characterization of Mycorrhizal Fungal Inoculum.”

David Ross Moir, a student of former Botany Department Heads Gerald Ownbey and Ernst Abbe and teacher at the Lake Itasca Biological Station, died on May 24, 2003. A celebration of his life was held in St. Paul on May 29. Memorials may be made to the Lexington Outreach Library, 1080 University Ave. W., St. Paul, MN 55104 or to the donor's choice.

Events & Seminars

September 5
Community Day begins with a noon lunch at the Cargill Building, followed by Dean Elde's annual State of the College address and tours of Biodale and other research facilities. Watch for details.