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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 4, 2008 Campus Newsletter

Page address:
Faculty, Staff, and Administrative Leaders

Faculty, staff and administrative leaders gathered in August at Gustavus Adolphus College for the president's 2008-'09 shared governance planning retreat.

President's Cabinet

Michael Miller, dean of the College of Education, has been appointed to the 2008-2009 Cabinet by President Richard Davenport. Michael replaces Jane Earley (College of Arts & Humanities) as the deans' representative on the Cabinet.

Cabinet members during this academic year are: President Richard Davenport, Marilyn Delmont (VP, Information & Technology Services), Michael Fagin (VP, Institutional Diversity), Robert Hoffman (VP, Strategic Business, Education & Regional Partnerships), Avra Johnson (Interim AVP, Institutional Planning), Douglas Mayo (VP, University Advancement), Michael Miller (dean, College of Education), Scott Olson (Provost), Carol Stallkamp (assistant to the president), Richard Straka (VP, Finance & Administration), Pat Swatfager-Haney (VP, Student Affairs).

Outstanding Service Awards

President and Recipients

President Richard Davenport applauds the 2007-'08 Outstanding Service Awards recipients after the awards presentation at Convocation.

Outstanding Service Awards for 2007-2008 were presented to eight employees at the Aug. 18 Convocation.

In addition, Jeff Pribyl (Chemistry & Geology) received the Campus Drive Award for chairing the 2008 Campus Drive.

Outstanding Service Awards went to Jean Haar, Jackie Lewis and Gregg Marg (Academic Affairs); David Gjerde (Student Affairs); Bryan Hoffman (Information Technology); Abdulkadir Alasow (Institutional Diversity); Paul Corcoran (Finance & Administration); and Rose Blumenshein (Advancement).

Outstanding Service Awards are based on exceptional service to students, faculty, staff or external constituents; performance "above and beyond" the call of duty; exceptional performance on a special project; contributing to improved morale and/or work environment; significant contributions to the university community; actions that distinguish an employee outside his or her professional realm; or contributions in external leadership.

Jeff chaired the Campus Drive which surpassed its $200,000 goal with more than $221,000 from faculty, staff and emeriti, with 41 percent faculty and staff participation - an all-time record.

College of University Extended Education

University Extended Education LogoThe Office of University Extended Education is now the College of University Extended Education. President Richard Davenport recently approved the change after his cabinet recommended it.

The new college is led by Dean Patricia Lipetzky. The change was prompted by Chancellor James McCormick's request last year that Minnesota State Mankato lead the Minnesota State effort to improve offerings to students along the Hwy. 169 corridor from Mankato to Bloomington, and along the I-35 corridor from Burnsville to Albert Lea.

The College of University Extended Education will provide administrative infrastructure to support new off-campus initiatives and grow online programs.

One of those initiatives - the 7700 France site in Edina - will serve the fast-growing undergraduate degree-completion and graduate education market in the Twin Cities. Classes started Aug. 25, and a grand opening celebration is scheduled for Sept. 25.

The change was widely discussed throughout the university by such groups as the Graduate Sub meet and Confer, all bargaining units and the Academic Affairs Council.

Three Plays Debut This Fall

Theatre Happy/Sad FacesThe Department of Theatre & Dance is offering "some things old, some things new" in its 2008-'09 productions, with new services, performance times and title choices.

On-line ticketing for season and individual ticket purchases has been added this season. In addition to staffed box office hours 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, tickets will be available for purchase 24 hours a day online.

The box office will continue to sell individual tickets for Mainstage shows beginning nine days before a show opens. Individual tickets for all shows will be available for purchase online beginning Monday, Sept. 22.

Shows planned for the Mainstage season are "Miss Saigon" Oct. 1-5 and 8-12; "Lysistrata" Oct. 15-19 and 22-26; "Harvey" Nov. 6-9 and 13-16; "The History Boys" Jan. 28-Feb. 1 and Feb. 4-8; "Noises Off" Feb. 19-22 and 26-March 1; and "Mame" April 9-12 and 16-19.

"Miss Saigon," "Lysistrata" and "The History Boys" will make their Minnesota State Mankato debuts. All but "Lysistrata" and "The History Boys" (both in Andreas Theatre) will be presented in Ted Paul Theatre.

Shows planned for the Studio Season are "Cloud Tectonics" Sept. 18-21; "See What I Wanna See," a musical, Nov. 20-23; "Tobacco Road" March 26-29; and "Rabbit Hole" April 23-26. All Studio Season shows are performed at 7:30 p.m. in Andreas Theatre.

For the first time, fall and spring dance concerts will include Saturday matinee performances in the Ted Paul Theatre. The fall concert will feature 7:30 p.m. performances Thursday and Friday, Dec. 4 and 5, and a 1 p.m. matinee Saturday, Dec. 6. The spring concert will have 7:30 p.m. performances Thursday and Friday, April 30 and May 1, plus a 1 p.m. matinee Saturday, May 2.

Season tickets for the six Mainstage productions are $85. Season brochures were mailed in mid-August; those not on the mailing list may call 389-2118 to leave name and address.

Bold, Clear Home Page

MSU Home Page ScreenshotA redesigned Web home page that more boldly and clearly presents Minnesota State Mankato and its strengths was unveiled late last month.

The new page, developed and programmed by an internal team with design assistance from a strategic marketing firm, reflects the sense of pride that students, faculty, staff and alumni feel for the university. With dramatic photography and bold purple-and-gold colors, the page clearly communicates the strengths of the University, and facilitates engagement by key audiences.

The launch of the redesigned page will be followed by other top-level pages, including those for faculty and staff, current students and prospective students. The "look and feel" of the new home page eventually will be applied to a new template for all University Web pages.

During its five-month development, the homepage design was shared with campus administrative leaders, divisional leaders, student leaders, deans and representatives of bargaining units. It also was shown to two groups of high school students to ensure the page achieved its goals.

Many of the links that students, faculty and staff use daily can be immediately accessed on the Current Students or Faculty/Staff pages. Students, faculty and staff can access highlights of campus news, events and announcements by clicking on "More News" or "More Events," or by personalizing their portal pages.

President Richard Davenport praised the work of the Web design team. "A university's Web site is one of the most important windows to the institution," he said. "Our new homepage will be a tremendous asset for communicating Minnesota State Mankato to the citizens of our campus, community, state and world."

Posting to the Campus Calendar

The new University Web front page allows students, faculty, staff and visitors to quickly find and view the campus events calendar (clicking on any event on the front page produces a left-hand link to the events calendar).

But many faculty, staff and student coordinators have not posted their events on the site, so the calendar shows only a fraction of the events happening on campus.

The entire campus community benefits when event coordinators keep the calendar up-to-date. Posting to the self-service site is easy: go to the Events Calendar and enter the information (event, date, time, place).

Web Portal = Easy Access

DoorknobAs the fall semester begins, Information Systems & Technology is in the process of converting the Web site to a new design. (Users of IE6 and earlier browsers still see the former design until compatibility issues are resolved.)

Students, faculty and staff who want to get several clicks closer to the pages that they use most may log into the upgraded Web portal. There they'll find single-sign-on access to many of critical destinations on the Web, including D2L, MavMAIL, MavDISK, Registration/Grades/Tuition payments, MavCASH, Student paystubs and MavAccount maintenance.

In addition, users can load their favorite news, sports and entertainment feeds into the myRSS module to create their own personalized portal page. Many other information modules are available for university departments and offices, making myMNSU portal a good choice for faculty, staff and student home pages.

Many "most-used" links are still available on the Current Students and Faculty/Staff pages, available directly from the home page. Let ITS know of any questions or comments about either the new Web design, myMNSU portal or anything else related to Web Services.

New Billboards, Bus Wraps

MSU Billboard Design
MSU Bus Designs

The new design for this fall's billboards and bus wraps has one powerful goal: Drive viewers to the university's new home Web page. The billboards and bus wraps keep key elements of past designs, including the big flame, the "shimmer" and the school colors, but this time the designs use a horizontal logo to free up space for the bold URL of the home page.

Beginning this week, Minnesota State Mankato will have billboards at 11 locations in the Twin Cities, including three new locations aimed at commuters from the western suburbs (an important area for the new Minnesota State Mankato at 7700 France) and the St. Cloud region (the only region of the state that will show an increase in high school graduates in coming years).

As before, the bus wrap runs through downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, past the University of Minnesota campus and through the southwestern suburbs.

New Voice Mail System

Close-up of a PhoneCampus telephones recently were upgraded to support a new voice mail system. The new system provides faculty and staff members with secure access from a telephone to their voice mail messages, e-mail messages, Outlook calendar and Outlook contacts.

More information about setting up and using the new voice mail system is available online.

Election Regulations

'Vote' ButtonThe Office of Academic Affairs reminds faculty and staff members that the primary election will take place Tuesday, Sept. 9, and the general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Minnesota Statues 2304C.03-.04 (2000) states that "except for regularly scheduled classes, no Minnesota state college or university shall schedule an event between 6 and 8 p.m. on the day that an election is held in any political subdivision in which the university or college is located."

This information pertains to both the primary and general election.

Those who may have questions or are interested in more information about the policy may contact John Winkworth (Academic Affairs) through Bonnie Windschitl (Academic Affairs) at 389-1335.

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Banner

$100,000 in SMIF grants

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation is offering $100,000 in another round of incentive grants to invest in the region's economic growth.

Grants of up to $20,000 will support asset-based collaborative projects in emerging business and emerging workforce areas. Pre-applications for this round of grants are due Wednesday, Oct. 1, and awards will be announced Jan. 16, 2009.

SMIF seeks grant applications that support the following community based areas:

  • New immigrants: Projects that capitalize on the asset of new immigrants in the workplace;
  • Engaged elders: Projects that provide opportunities for older citizens to engage in paid employment, or volunteerism related to SMIF's other business and workforce interest areas;
  • Experiential career education: Projects that provide opportunities for non-college bound students to succeed in the workplace;
  • Entrepreneurship: Projects that support the creation of entrepreneur-friendly communities
  • Biobusiness: Projects that grow emerging bio medical and bio agricultural businesses, including renewable energy options.

Those who want more details about how to apply should visit and click on "Events & RFP's," e-mail Jennifer Heien or call (507) 455-3215.

Student Health Services Banner

Student Health Services Accredited

Student Health Services has been re-accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. Student Health Services has been fully accredited since 2001.

The accreditation means that Student Health Services meets nationally recognized standards for quality health care, set by the accreditation association.

AAAHC accredits organizations that provide outpatient diagnostic or medical care, including ambulatory and office-based surgery centers, single and multi-specialty group practices, college health centers, dental group practices, community health centers, occupational health centers and managed care organizations.

Organizations seeking accreditation by the AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by association surveyors - physicians, nurses and administrators who are actively involved in U.S. ambulatory health care.

Student Health Services provides a full-service medical clinic with laboratory, pharmacy and health education services. Five primary care providers offer primary and acute care, treatment of illness, injuries, allergies, and vaccinations as well as many common treatment procedures.

More information is available by calling (507) 389-6276.

Community of Practice

Whiteboard of 'Faculty Dreams'The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research invite all fixed-term, probationary and tenured faculty to apply to participate in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning "Community of Practice" program for 2008-'09.

The program is sponsored by CETL and CESR and is funded as a strategic priority grant. Up to 12 faculty members from diverse disciplines will be selected to participate.

The program's goal is to provide support and aid for participants to engage in research of teaching and learning, and to help them publish articles. Each participant who submits his/her work in a national refereed journal before June 1, 2009, will receive a stipend of $1,000.

The programs will meet monthly in 2008-'09 to discuss a variety of topics related to research on teaching and learning, and to discuss participants' research.

To apply, a faculty member must write an essay of no more than one page describing why he or she is interested in participating. Those who want more information should contact Stewart Ross (CETL).

Diversity Education

Several diversity education sessions are available to faculty and staff in September. Sessions include:

  • Universal Design for Learning, presented by Julie Snow (Disability Services), Sept. 10, 1-2:30 p.m., CSU 201;
  • Diversity Dialogue, co-sponsored by the President's Diversity Commission and the President's Commission on the Status of Women, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. to noon, AH 309;
  • Impact of Cultural Miscommunication in the Workplace, presented by Betty Young (Family Consumer Science), Sept. 30, 10-11 a.m., Armstrong Hall 304.

For more information about the sessions, contact Kelly Meier (Institutional Diversity) at 389-5268.

Diversity Institute Seeks Faculty, Staff Help

The Diversity Institute seeks faculty and staff members to serve as expert trainers and educators for workshops and seminars presented to external constituents.

All eligible faculty and staff selected to become a part of the Institute's faculty will receive additional compensation of $40 per training hour (contractual obligations apply).

Those who have special skills or expertise and would like to apply should submit an application and a current resume to Kelly Meier (Diversity Institute). Applications are available online.

Sept. 4: Watermelon Slim

Watermelon SlimBlues guitar and harmonica specialist Watermelon Slim and his group, the Workers, will perform in concert Thursday, Sept. 4, at Minnesota State Mankato.

The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. General admission is $15; tickets for K-12 students are $12; and tickets for students with a valid MavCard are $9.

One of the most talked-about blues bands today, Watermelon Slim and the Workers also includes veteran players Michael Newberry (drums), Ronnie Mack (guitar) and Cliff Belcher (bass).

Homans' music, featuring a Dobro resonator guitar played lap-style with a slide, is rooted in the Mississippi Delta style.

Homans captured a record-tying six 2007 Blues Music Award nominations for Artist, Entertainer, Album, Band, Song, and Traditional Album of the Year. His record ties the number of nominations won by B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Robert Cray.

Born in Boston and raised in North Carolina, Bill "Watermelon Slim" Homans has taken his blues all over the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia. During a career spanning more than 30 years, Homans has played with the late Henry "Sunflower" Vestine of Canned Heat, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, the late John Lee Hooker, and in France with Champion Jack Dupree.

Those who wish to purchase tickets may go online. Those who want concert information may call the Performance Series office at (507) 389-5549.

Sept. 5: Learning Communities

Stack of BooksThe Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) will offer eight learning communities in which faculty members can participate for the 2008-'09 academic year. The deadline for applying is Friday, Sept. 5.

The eight learning community opportunities are: Faculty Teaching Certificate Program; Faculty Teaching with Technology Learning Community; Intensive Writing Faculty Learning Community; SoTL Faculty Learning Community; Teacher Education Faculty Learning Community; Rubric Creation Faculty Learning Community; Teaching Online Learning Community; and Virtual Reality Learning Community.

Those interested in more information or in applying may contact Stewart Ross (CETL).

Sept. 6: Learn to Swim

Girl Swimming with Arm FloatersThe Minnesota State Mankato swim team will offer Saturday morning swim lessons to children of all ages and ability levels beginning Saturday, Sept. 6.

Four levels of instruction will be offered, including parent-toddler, beginner, intermediate and advanced.

The program will run for six Saturdays: Sept. 6, 13 and 20, and Oct. 4, 11 and 18. Two sessions will be offered in the Highland Center pool adjacent to Otto Recreational Center, with the first from 9:10 to 9:40 a.m. and the second from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m.

Cost is $40 for one child or $70 for two children, and there is a family maximum of $100.

Those interested in more information may contact Robert Hastings at 389-2538.

Sept. 11: Ford Hall Dedication

Ford HallAdministrators, faculty, staff alumni and community members are invited to the Leonard A. Ford Hall dedication ceremony Thursday Sept. 11, at 11 a.m. in Ford Hall.

Tours of the new Trafton Science Center building - new home of the Chemistry & Geology Department - will follow the program.

Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP via email to by Friday, Sept. 5. More information about Leonard A. Ford Hall is also available online.

Sept. 15-Nov. 17: Healthy Lifestyles

Woman Running with DogStudent Health Services and Campus Recreation will co-sponsor a "Healthy Lifestyles" program for students beginning Monday, Sept. 15.

The program will run Monday evenings from 4-5 p.m. Sept. 15 through Nov. 17. Those interested in more information may contact Rebecca Gruenes (Student Health Services).

Italian Coastline

Sept. 17, 22: Tropea, Italy

Information sessions about the Tropea, Italy, study abroad program will be Wednesday, Sept. 17, and Monday, Sept. 22.

The program begins with eight weeks of culture and language study at Minnesota State Mankato, followed by eight weeks of study at Piccola Universita Italiana, in the beautiful coastal city of Tropea, Italy.

The study abroad opportunity will "equip you with the skills you will need to make the most of your experience abroad," says program coordinator Maria Bevacqua (Women's Studies).

Both information sessions will be in CSU 202. The Sept. 17 session will be from 1-2 p.m.; the Sept. 22 session will be from 11 a.m. to noon. Refreshments will be served at both events.

More program details are available by emailing Maria.

Sept. 18-19: Native Nations

Tribal Drawings an a RockThe fourth annual Native Nations Conference - an educational and cultural event focusing on "Embracing American Indian Culture as a Foundation for Education" - will be Thursday and Friday, Sept. 18 and 19.

The event is sponsored by the Division of Institutional Diversity and will feature Bill Means, national director of the American Treaty Conference; Elaine Salinas, director of Migizi Communications Program; Wyatt Thomas of Santee Nebraska Dakota Tribal College; and others.

Registration forms are available in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 236 Centennial Student Union, or by contacting Dave Larsen (American Indian Affairs).

Sept. 22-27: Homecoming

Mavericks 'M'Many events are planned for students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members during Homecoming Week Monday through Saturday, Sept. 22-27.

The events include concerts, the parade and a 2 p.m. football game against Winona State University Saturday Sept. 27. On-campus alumni are invited to a luncheon Friday Sept. 26.

Those who want more information may visit the Homecoming 2008 website.

Nov. 1: Hockey Showcase

Hockey PuckMinnesota's four WCHA men's hockey teams will compete in a doubleheader Hockey Showcase Saturday, Nov. 1 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The University of Minnesota Duluth hosts St. Cloud State University in a 4:07 p.m. contest, followed by Minnesota State Mankato against the University of Minnesota at 7:37 p.m. All tickets for the event will be sold as a two-game package, with no single-game ticket availability.

Minnesota State Mankato has been allocated an exclusive block of tickets to the Hockey Showcase that can only be purchased in advance through the Office of Alumni Relations & Special Events. The office, in conjunction with Maverick Athletics, will host an alumni and friends reception at the Fishing Lodge of the Xcel Center between games, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the Hockey Showcase and reception ($62 per person) are available online or by calling (507) 389-3235. Reception-only passes are $20 per person, but participants must have tickets to the Hockey Showcase to attend the Fishing Lodge reception.

Deadline to purchase the showcase/reception package is Monday, Sept. 28. After that, fans may purchase reception-only passes, but space is limited. Those interested may contact the Office of Alumni Relations & Special Events (389-3235 or to inquire about availability. Hockey Showcase game tickets may be purchased from Xcel Energy Center starting Sept. 29.

Faculty/staff achievements

Dave Cowan (Facilities Services) received a Jefferson Good People Award from KEYC-TV last month in his role as president of Partners for Affordable Housing.

Dan Cronn-Mills (Speech Communication) was the closing keynote speaker at the Minnesota Service Cooperatives 2008 annual conference in July, discussing "Managing Chaos and Complexity in our Daily Lives."

John J. Janc (Modern Languages) was elected to a five-year term on the board of directors of the American Society of the French Academic Palms.

Stewart Ross (CETL) completed five course design workshops across the country in August. He worked with 160 faculty members at Kentucky State University, 60 faculty members at Virginia Commonwealth University, faculty at Doane College in Crete, Nebr., the entire faculty of Concordia University in Irvine, Calif., and faculty at Eureka College, Illinois.

Maria Beatriz Torres (Speech Communication) had an article about disclosure and truth in physician-patient communication accepted for publication.

Leah White (Speech Communication) volunteered her time this summer to conduct a workshop on organizational storytelling for the Greater Mankato United Way.

Sun Yu (Philosophy) presented a paper, "Who's Afraid of Gory Details?" at The XXII World Congress of Philosophy 2008 in Seoul, Korea, in August.

SPJ: Chapter of the Year

Society of Professional Journalists: Improving and Protecting JournalismThe student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has been named Campus Chapter of the Year for Region 6. The region includes 14 other campuses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North and South Dakota.

"The chapter had a full, well-rounded schedule of programming including all of the priority topics," said Gordon Govier, Region 6 director. Minnesota State Mankato's SPJ chapter "was the only Region 6 four-star campus chapter this year," he added.

Four stars is the highest chapter ranking and is awarded to chapters who participate in activities and discussions focusing on areas such as the First Amendment, the Freedom of Information Act and diversity in journalism, as well as issues that are pertinent to a chapter's surrounding community.

Each year directors in each of SPJ's 12 regions are asked to select one campus chapter in their region that has best supported SPJ's missions and goals.

"Much of the success of our chapter last year rests on the shoulders of president Kiki Polzin (Mass Communications) and our members in organizing a highly pertinent community forum on coverage of alcohol-related issues in the press," said chapter advisor Ellen Mrja (Mass Communications). "This forum was a timely and responsible examination of a nationwide problem."

Minnesota State Mankato's SPJ chapter was founded four years ago, led by its first president, Myron Medcalf, now a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and its second president, Emmeline Elliott.

Larissa Larivee (Mass Communications) will accept the award on behalf of the chapter at the National SPJ Convention Sept. 4-7 in Atlanta. Larivee was elected chapter president for the 2008-'09 academic year.

Student Achievements

Sara Gronstal (MFA 2008) was named lecturer/director of forensics at Eastern Illinois University beginning this fall, after successfully defending her thesis, "Voices in the Margins: Coaches' Metaphors for Gender and Power in Forensics."


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the biweekly campus newsletter? Send news items to newsletter editor Mike Cooper. The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Sept. 17; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Sept. 12).

You should also submit your event to the university's official Campus Events Calendar. Go to the events calendar website, click on the self-service "Submit Event" link, and provide the information requested.