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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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March 3, 2010 Campus Newsletter

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Academic budget reductions

Cartoon figure doing a balancing actLast month the University announced plans to reduce its academic budget by up to $8 million in response to expected future state funding cuts. The reductions are part of a $10-million “worst-case-scenario” budget cut that will take effect in the 2012 fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2011.

The projected 2012 state budget deficit of $5.4 billion is forcing even financially healthy institutions such as Minnesota State Mankato to reduce costs.

The academic reductions were outlined in a Program Evaluation Matrix document shared with faculty and staff on Feb. 22. The document is the result of a comprehensive, institution-wide process that evaluated each academic program according to its cost, enrollment, quality, mission centrality and the employment needs of Minnesota.

“We take these decisions extremely seriously, and we regret having to take this action to help solve our challenging budget reductions,” said President Richard Davenport.

“This is undoubtedly one of the biggest economic challenges our institution has ever faced, and it is especially difficult given the excellence of our faculty and programs. We are retaining a high percentage of our academic programs and majors to help our students meet their career goals. We are committed to helping our current students complete programs that are scheduled to be phased out, so they can graduate from Minnesota State Mankato.”

Scott Olson (Academic & Student Affairs) said “I am so sorry that we must do this. Many of those who cannot be retained are among the best faculty members we have ever recruited.”

Two goals guided the process: Minimize harm to students, and minimize harm to the quality of Minnesota State Mankato. The worst-case budget scenario will let the University restore positions if the budget shortfall is less than expected.

In addition to the academic cuts, the institution has made extensive administrative and staff changes over the last year, and more reductions to non-faculty budgets are anticipated.

All-Academic awards

NSIC logoFifteen senior student-athletes have been named Myles Brand All-Academic Distinction award-winners by the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Minnesota State Mankato has more NSIC all-academic honorees than any other institution.

NSIC Commissioner and Minnesota State Mankato alum Butch Raymond announced the 71 winners of the new award recently. Named for the late NCAA President Dr. Myles Brand, the awards go to senior NSIC student-athletes who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher and are on track to graduate.

The 15 Maverick honorees are: Tegan Bakke (tennis, marketing major); Lindsay Broughten (cross country, nursing); Natalie Bullis (soccer, physical education); Paige Burke (tennis, law enforcement); Lauren Butters (soccer, nursing); Jonathon Herzog (golf, management); Carly Hiedeman (tennis, communication); Jenny Hoese (cross country, nursing); Whitney Kroschel (cross country, biology/ecology); Ally Kwikkel (volleyball, family consumer science); Courtney Magnuson (soccer, elementary education); Gina Paletta (soccer, human biology); Michael Robinson (football, finance); Ashton Schuster (tennis, biochemistry); and Elizabeth Trauger (basketball, accounting).

Each student-athlete will receive a certificate of achievement and a wristwatch. For names of honorees from other schools, see the [PDF] NSIC news release (stream).

Michael Fagin receiving an award from President Davenport

President Richard Davenport (right) presents Michael Fagin with a plaque depicting the renamed Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference.

Pan African Conference renamed

The Pan African Student Leadership Conference was renamed in honor of long-time diversity leader Michael Fagin (Ethnic Studies) in a Feb. 26 ceremony. State and local leaders honored him as namesake of the Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference.

The event was part of the 34th annual Pan African Student Leadership Conference, which attracts more than 1,000 people each year.

Alumnus and Foundation Board director Obie Kipper Jr. hosted the ceremony. Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Trustees member Clarence Hightower and Minnesota State Diversity & Multiculturalism Executive Director Whitney Harris brought greetings from the chancellor, and President Richard Davenport officially renamed the conference. Mankato Mayor John Brady proclaimed the day “Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference Day.”

Michael founded the Pan African Student Leadership Conference in 1977. The conference encourages leadership among students of color and allows scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss issues that affect African people locally, nationally and internationally.

Over the years tens of thousands of Minnesota high school and college students of color have attended the conference, hearing inspirational and educational discussions by African-American leaders from across the Western Hemisphere.

March 4: SPSS workshop

Business people working at a counterFaculty and staff are invited to attend the last of three workshops discussing SPSS, a statistical program often used in research. The workshop, hosted by the Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research, will look at “Analyzing Data in SPSS.”

The event will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 4, in ACC Room 125. It will teach participants how to perform basic analyses, covering independent samples t tests, paired samples t tests, one-way ANOVA, correlation and linear regression.

Faculty and staff needn't have attended the first two workshops to attend the last. Because space is limited, only the first 15 people to register will be accepted. Those who wish to register may visit the Professional Development website.

March 16: Reggae

Taj WeekesReggae musician, songwriter and humanitarian Taj Weekes and his band Adowa will perform in concert Tuesday, March 16. Weekes and his band will perform at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

Earlier that day — at 1 p.m. — Weekes will be a guest on KMSU’s “Good Health — It’s Your Choice.” He also will visit the Mankato YMCA’s Discovery program and Movement in Music class Wednesday, March 17, from noon to 1 p.m.

Weekes, of the Caribbean island republic of St. Lucia, has released two albums during the last five years and has toured the country sharing his reggae music. His music weaves social consciousness with a reggae groove, confronting such issues as global warming, Hurricane Katrina and the Darfur crisis.

In 2005, Adowa released its debut album, “Hope & Doubt,” to critical acclaim. In 2006 and 2007 the group toured extensively throughout the U.S., performing with such reggae icons as Gregory Isaacs, Toots & the Maytals, Third World and Yellowman.

The March 16 KMSU program will focus on nutrition and exercise related to early onset Type II Diabetes, as well as Weekes’ non-profit organization, They Often Cry Outreach.

General admission to the concert is $15; tickets for Minnesota State Mankato students with a valid MavCard are $10. Advance purchase for the evening performance is encouraged; those who wish to may purchase online. Those who want more information may call the Performance Series office at (507) 389-5549.

March 19: Diversity sessions

Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend three remaining diversity education sessions, sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity.

  • “Safe Zone” Friday, March 19, 2-4 p.m., CSU 204, presented by Jessica Flatequal (LGBT Center);
  • “African American Women in the Leadership Race and the Hurdles That Have to be Jumped” Thursday, March 25, 10-11 a.m., CSU 204, presented by Maria Baxter-Nuamah (Multicultural Affairs);
  • “Violence-Free Zone” Tuesday, April 27, noon-2 p.m., CSU 201, presented by Lauren Pilnick (Women’s Center).

March 19: Women of Courage

Faculty and staff may submit Women of Courage and Vision nominations no later than Friday, March 19. The Women's Center, the President's Commission on the Status of Women and the Panhellenic Council are accepting nominations for any female faculty or staff member.

The Women of Courage and Vision recognition reception will be Tuesday, March 30, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Scott Olson (Academic & Student Affairs) will speak, and the Women’s Center student group will give a short presentation.

Nominations may be submitted to the Women's Center in Centennial Student Union Room 218 or via the online form.

Those interested in more reception information may visit the CSW website. Those who want more program information may contact Jenelle Haddad, (507) 389-6146 or Kerry Diekmann, (507) 389-2486.

March 19: 'Bella Notte'

Cartoon of an auctioneerThe Student Art League will host "Bella Notte," its first dinner and silent art auction Friday, March 19. The event, open to students, faculty, staff and the public, will be at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Bella Notte marks the first such Art Department event for the community at large. Those interested in attending should RSVP by calling (507) 389-3235 or registering online. More information about the event and about the Student Art League is on the Art Department website.

March 20: Swim lessons

Child jumping into a pool and her mother reaching out to catch herChildren are invited to participate in the Learn to Swim program beginning Saturday, March 20. Swim lessons will be offered at the Highland Center pool. Dates and times:

  • Saturday mornings, March 20-May 1: 9:15, 9:50, 10:25 and 11
  • Monday evenings, March 22-April 26: 5:15, 5:50 and 6:25
  • Tuesday evenings, March 23-April 27: 5:15, 5:50 and 6:25
  • Wednesday evenings, March 24-April 28: 4:40 and 5:15
  • Thursday evenings, March 25-April 29: 5:15, 5:50 and 6:25

Students from the swimming and diving program will instruct. Cost is $65 for one child; $110 for two children; and $50 per child for three or more children. Only the first 20 children to register for each session will be accepted. Those interested may register online.

March 25: Good Thunder

Major Jackson

Major Jackson

Philip Levine

Philip Levine

Poets Philip Levine, Major Jackson and Jorge Evans (English) will read at a Thursday, March 25, Good Thunder Reading Series event that was to feature eminent American poet Lucille Clifton at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Clifton died Feb. 13 after a long illness.

Distinguished poet Levine and emerging poet Jackson will meet with individual writers the morning of March 25. At 3 p.m. that day they will lead a discussion on the craft of writing in Ostrander Auditorium, and at 7:30 p.m. Levine, Jackson and Evans will read from their published work in Centennial Student Union Room 253. The events are free and open to the public.

An interview with the writers, part of the “Authors in Transit” series on public-radio station KMSU 89.7 FM, will air March 25 at 1 p.m., and Friday, March 26, at 11 a.m.

Levine, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Fresno, Calif., is known as the poet of the working class, dedicated to writing “for people for whom there is no poetry.” The most recent of his 20 collections of poetry is “News Of The World” (Knopf, 2009). His “The Simple Truth” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995, and “What Work Is” won the National Book Award in 1991.

Jackson is author of two collections of poetry, “Hoops” (Norton, 2006), a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry, and “Leaving Saturn” (University of Georgia, 2002), winner of the 2000 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

Jorge is a Nadine B. Andreas graduate assistant.

Those who want more information about the series may call Richard Robbins (English) at (507) 389-1354, or visit the Good Thunder website.

March 24, 31: Writing workshops

LaptopFaculty and graduate student “Writing@Minnesota State Mankato” brownbag lunches and writing development workshops are scheduled for Wednesday, March 24 and 31. Both sessions will be facilitated by Kirsti Cole (English).

A March 24 graduate student workshop, "Preparing for and Writing the Thesis/APP," will be at 4 p.m. in Centennial Student Union 256. It will look at thesis and APP writing situations, discussing the rhetorical situation of a thesis, how to prepare for a final project, and steps to take early in the program.

A March 31 faculty workshop, at noon in Centennial Student Union 204, will address "Writing Assessment," allowing participants to use, discuss, analyze and implement a variety of assessment strategies focused on writing. The assessment techniques will focus on student content and time management.

No reservation is required for either event. Faculty members are invited to bring their lunches to the noon discussion.

Another faculty “Writing@Minnesota State Mankato” brownbag lunch ("Writing Pedagogies") is scheduled for April 21. That event will provide an overview of the historical development of the practices of writing in the classroom, as well as current strategies in use across the disciplines. Participants will receive an up-to-date bibliography of useful texts for the writing classroom.

Another graduate student workshop, "Writing the Teaching Philosophy and Preparing a Portfolio," will be April 21 at 4 p.m. in CSU 204. The workshop is the first in a two-part series focusing on writing effective teaching philosophies and building teaching portfolios. The second part of the workshop will be April 28 in CSU 204, and will provide feedback to participants about their teaching philosophies and portfolio materials.

April 10: Scholarship walk

Scholarship Walk logoThe Walk for Women’s Scholarships will be at Myers Field House Saturday, April 10, with registration at 8:30 a.m. Exhibits and activities will be open from 9-10 a.m., with the walk through campus at 10 a.m. and breakfast courtesy of Hy-Vee foods at 10:30.

Each walker who raises $50 or more will receive a "goody bag" filled with gift certificates, coupons and a free T-shirt. After registering, walkers can meet Maverick teams, play interactive games (children are welcome) and sample products and services from a variety of sponsors.

The event provides a way to meet and mingle with other walkers and to show support for women’s athletics.

More information is available on the Maverick website.

April 12: Jane Brody

Jane Brody

Jane Brody

Best-selling author, international health authority and award-winning New York Times personal health columnist Jane Brody will present the fifth annual Center on Aging Chesley Lecture on Monday, April 12.

Brody’s talk, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, will be from 4-6 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

She will discuss suggestions from her latest book, Jane Brody’s Guide to the Great Beyond: A Practical Primer to Help You and Your Loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally and Economically for the End of Life. After the lecture she will sign books at the Centennial Student Union Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Light refreshments will be available.

Brody is author of more than a dozen books, including two best-sellers, Jane Brody’s Nutrition Book and Jane Brody’s Good Food Book. She has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and starred in her own 10-part public television show, “Good Health from Jane Brody’s Kitchen.”
She is a sought-after speaker who lectures frequently about health and wellness, including end-of-life preparation and care.

She has won numerous awards for her column, published in The Times’ “Science Times” section every Tuesday, and in many other newspapers around the country. She joined The Times in 1965 as a medicine and biology specialist in after a two-year stint as a Minneapolis Tribune reporter. She earned a degree in biochemistry from the New York State College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Cornell University, and in science writing from the University of Wisconsin.

More information about the Chesley Lecture is available from Donald Ebel (Gerontology). More information about Brody is at The Center on Aging is dedicated to enhancing the process and prospects of aging through education, research and service.

April 19: 'Extravaganza'

The Faculty and Staff Extravaganza talent show is rescheduled for Monday, April 19. The show was originally set for Feb. 9.

Those who have questions may contact the Center for African American Affairs in Centennial Student Union Room 243 at 389-6300.

Commission on the Status of Women Banner

Status of Women grants

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women is accepting applications for grants of up to $500. Students, faculty members and staff who plan to conduct research or attend professional conferences about the status of women and gender issues are encouraged to apply.

Spring applications are due March 17.

Grant information and the application form are available on the CSW website. Hard-copy applications can be submitted to Jenelle Haddad in Centennial Student Union Room 218. Those who want more information may email Jenelle or call (507) 389-2486.

Project of the Year

Students and faculty may submit original work to the Commission on the Status of Women to be considered for a Project of the Year award.

Each spring the commission gives awards to an undergraduate student, a graduate student and a faculty member. The awards recognize achievements in the arts and through academic work about women and gender-related issues.

Submissions are due Wednesday, March 17. Award-winners will receive $350 and be honored at the annual Women of Courage and Vision Reception Tuesday, March 30, from 3-4:30 p.m.

Those who want project guidelines and submission details may visit the CSW website or contact Jenelle Haddad through email or by calling (507) 389-2486.

Henry Morris: Interim dean of diversity

Henry Morris (University Extended Education) has been named interim dean of diversity while a national search is conducted for a permanent dean. Henry's appointment was announced last week by Scott Olson (Academic & Student Affairs).

"His experience and enthusiasm will serve the university well during this transition period," Scott said of Henry. "Please join me in offering congratulations as he assumes this important leadership role, and provide him your support as together we continue to hold up diversity as a key marker of excellence for Minnesota State Mankato."

Scott thanked Linda Duckett (Music), who "was willing to step in on very short notice to serve as acting dean and keep the work of the office on track. Dr. Duckett’s commitment to diversity and to Minnesota State Mankato is a model we all should follow," Scott said.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

David Engen (Communication Studies) was keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Blue Earth County Historical Society.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning) presented an all-day workshop on integrated course design for faculty at California State Maritime in February.

Maria-Claudia Tomany (Modern Languages) attended the 16th annual Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference at Arizona State University in February. She presented the paper “Water Connects, Land Divides: Rethinking the topography of the Old Norse Sagas.”

Forensic Team

Computer-animated figure speaking through a megaphoneThe Forensic Team placed fifth in the National Tournament Preview event in Eau Claire, Wis., in February. Minnesota State Mankato was the only Minnesota college or university to place.

The team also competed at the Minnesota Collegiate Forensic State Tournament at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., placing third overall.

At the National Tournament Preview three students received awards. Suzanne Lumberg (Speech Communications) placed second in Communication Analysis. Jason Reisch (Marketing) placed fourth in Dramatic Interpretation and second in Duo Interpretation with partner Brad Wakefield (Mass Communications).

Brad also won After-Dinner Speaking at the Collegiate Forensic State Tournament, and Duo Interpretation with partner Jason. Ariel Klugman (Speech Communication) placed second in Persuasive Speaking -- one of two from Minnesota qualifying for the national tournament in Norman, Okla., in April.

Student achievements

An essay by Megan Orcholski (Speech Communication), “Emotion, Chaos and Commotion: A Family Narrative,” was published in the December 2009 issue of Philament. You can read the article online.

Derek Scheevel, Kyle Braulick, Jarett Peikert and Karina Swanberg (Athletic Training) won the Minnesota Athletic Trainer’s Association Student Symposium Quiz Bowl at TRIA Orthopaedics in Bloomington, Minn., in February. They will compete at the Great Lakes Athletic Trainer’s Association winter meeting in Detroit in March.


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