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Checking in With Dean Forbes - October 2017

What are you most excited about at the moment?

We officially kick off the Campaign for the College of Biological Sciences later this week at our annual Recognition and Appreciation Dinner. Our campaign is part of the University’s $4-billion fundraising effort. We have already received several major gifts including $50,000 for the CBS Conservatory and $50,000 for the Minnesota Ecology Walk at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. The campaign website is up and running. Have a look! There’s so much good stuff happening around the College. It’s impossible to capture it all in this message, but some recent highlights for me include the first CBS Postdoc Appreciation Celebration, which was held in late September. The first Petri Dish of the season featuring Dan Voytas, Jason Hill, Jessica Hellmann and Elizabeth Dunbar sold out. And if you didn’t see it, Jon Tevlin of the Star Tribune recently highlighted BMBB graduate student Jason Jones’ story in one of his columns.  

What are you most looking forward to in the coming weeks?

Later this month, the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior marks its 50th anniversary with a symposium and a public event — Past Is Present — highlighting the impact of seminal research by Raymond Lindeman, Margaret Davis, Eville Gorham and other EEB researchers whose discoveries have made a lasting impact. The department has a well-deserved international reputation built on a tremendous history of discovery and is home to five of the University of Minnesota’s 14 living National Academy of Sciences members. Hope to see you at Coffman Theater October 26 for what promises to be an illuminating evening of talks.

What do you want to make sure the CBS community knows right now?

The University recently announced the launch of the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which creates a pathway for Ph.D.s from diverse backgrounds to become faculty. The fellowship includes faculty mentoring, professional development, and academic networking opportunities. This program provides a framework for advancing our efforts to increase faculty diversity. Please share this opportunity with your networks. The deadline to apply is November 1.

Anything else on your mind?

Given recent political events relating to DACA and the presidential proclamation on immigration late last month, I want our international and immigrant students, faculty and staff to know that the College and the University support you. The University’s Immigration Response Team’s website outlines some helpful resources, including legal, counseling and other support services. Also, International Student and Scholar Services is working directly with those from the countries named in the immigration proclamation. You will find more information here. Please know that you are valued members of this community and we will do whatever we can to help.


October, 2017