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A Simple Way to Make a Big Difference

Contact your legislators in support of the University’s capital request, which includes two projects important to CBS.

Earlier this month, the Minnesota State Legislature returned to the capitol and University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler presented the U’s 2016 capital request to the House Capital Investment Committee. Now it’s up to legislators to decide which projects to fund. The U’s request includes two projects critical to the College of Biological Sciences — a much-needed new building for the CBS Conservatory and remodeled lab spaces in the Biological Sciences Center on the St. Paul campus. The projects directly support teaching, research and outreach. Here’s how:

The CBS Conservatory [Plant Growth Research Facility]

* The Conservatory houses the most diverse collection of plants in the region including rare, endangered and invasive species.

* The collections are used by faculty and students to do research with implications for agriculture and environment. The current structure compromises these activities.

* The current structure is inefficient and unsustainable. Lack of proper temperature control threatens fragile tropical and desert plants.

* A new facility will ensure that this incredible collection of plants remains accessible for years to come, and expand capacity outreach to K-12 schools and the public.

* The University requested $4.4 million in state funding and $2.2 million in University funding to rebuild the College of Biological Sciences Conservatory.

Renovations to the Biological Sciences Center [part of the University’s Academic and Student Experience Investments]

* Doing research as an undergraduate has a huge impact on future outcomes, and as a public research university it is imperative that we provide high-quality research experiences.

* The college’s enrollment continues to grow in tandem with interest in the life sciences and demand for graduates trained in the sciences.

* We will eventually run out of space to provide high-quality research experiences to all of our students. Making the best use of existing space is the first step to addressing this issue.

* Space on the third and fourth floor of the Biological Sciences Center will be turned into modern, collaborative labs for both faculty and students.

* Space on the third floor will be turned into “active learning labs,” a concept that prioritizes student-driven discovery.

* Badly outdated and redundant faculty labs will be replaced on the fourth floor. Three faculty members who collaborate on research relating to corn epigenetics, invasive species and other areas with implications for the state’s environment and economy will share the space.

* The plan to develop new lab spaces in the Biological Sciences Center requires $12 million of the $16 million Academic and Student Experience Investments request.

Please consider contacting your legislators to voice your support. Contact your legislators, today!

You can also join the University’s Legislative Action Network to explore additional ways to support the U and get regular updates.


March, 2016