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Checking in with Dean Forbes -- December 2021

With the end of the semester in sight, I want to start by thanking you for making the transition back to campus as smooth as it could be. While we continue to navigate the uncertainties so familiar to us all now, your efforts made it possible to provide students with those incredibly valuable in-person experiences from working in a lab to learning to collaborate effectively in Foundations and other courses, and much more.

DEIJ micro grants
You may recall that we launched several action teams and a CBS Diversity Community of Practice (DCoP) early this semester. You can check out an overview of these efforts here. The action teams are working on identifying concrete next steps relating to several of the recommendations made last spring while the CBS DCoP aims to raise the visibility of existing efforts within the College and help them grow. With that in mind, they are spearheading a new initiative to distribute micro grants in support of DEIJ work. Keep an eye out for an announcement before the winter break!

Research excellence recognized
With seven spots on the list, CBS faculty once again made a strong showing on Clarivate’s list of highly cited researchers. Five of those seven are connected to Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research 2020 NIH Funding ranked the Department of BMBB #5 last year. In addition, the University was ranked #2 in Ecology and #11 in Biotechnology by the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities 2021. These rankings underscore the fact that CBS is home to a critical mass of field-shaping faculty doing research that informs our understanding of global change, the mechanisms of disease and much more. 

Building biotech momentum
That research strength is also a key factor in advancing the bioeconomy here in Minnesota and beyond. As a college focused on the biological sciences, we have a central role to play in discovery and translation of this knowledge to applications that address numerous societal challenges. We’re working hard to position CBS as a hub for biotechnology. Some new developments in this area include hiring a new industry partnership manager, continuing to build out training with industry partners using our work with Takeda as a model, growing our reach globally with international agreements and expanding our undergraduate offerings relating to biotechnology. You’ll hear much more in the year to come about these exciting efforts.

I hope you have a wonderful and well-deserved winter break!

December, 2021