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December 14, 2006

Gopher Basketball Promotion for Parents

This winter, the Gopher Athletics Department is going to be offering a special promotion for parents who want to attend Mens Basketball games in the Barn (aka Williams Arena).

Parents will be offered a special rate of $20 per ticket (for tickets that usually run $30) for 3 Saturday Big 10 games--a great value.

I'll post more information as soon as I have it, but just wanted to let you know that this is in the works.

November 29, 2006

University event explores stem cell research

One of the many lessons imparted by this month's midterm elections is that stem cell research is a divisive issue that's not going away.

Emotional--some might say over-the-top--political ads from both ends of the political spectrum offered voters conflicting and probably incomplete information upon which to cast their votes.

How will the sudden and dramatic change in our political landscape affect funding and research on stem cell therapies?

Headliners, a new series of lectures featuring University experts discussing today's most pressing issues, will feature University stem cell researcher Meri Firpo discussing the future of stem cell research next Thursday, December 7, at 7 pm in the Continuing Education and Conference Center on the St. Paul Campus.

Click here for more info, or to register for $10 per person.

October 9, 2006

Tickets to Homecoming game available for parents

This year's Parents Weekend was held in conjunction with the Michigan football game, but we've had some parents inquire about whether Homecoming tickets would be available again at a discounted rate.

I'm pleased to announce that we've negotiated a special parent rate for Homecoming tickets.

Parents can click here and use the promo code PARENTS to get the parent rate of $20 per ticket.

July 11, 2006

Ride-sharing from Madison next week?

A parent writes:

My daughter is enrolled in the CBS Nature of Life session July 19-22 and will be driving from Madison to attend. We’re looking for others who may be attending from Madison at the same time (it’s the honor’s section) – or maybe attending something else and would like to ride together.

Add a comment or contact pblog@umn.edu to be put in touch with the poster.

July 7, 2006

Department of Education endorses tracking college student records

From The Washington Post:

The controversial concept of a national student "unit" tracking system has been floating around for about two years. It was given a boost last month when Education Secretary Margaret Spellings's Commission on the Future of Higher Education released a draft report endorsing such a plan.

The idea, proponents say, is not to invade the privacy of students, but to force colleges to be more accountable to the public by revealing such information as accurate enrollment figures and financial aid percentages, as well as graduation, transfer and dropout rates. The data would come from individual students, but their identities would be protected, supporters say.

Right now, the plan has no legs. The House included in its higher education bill a prohibition on such a plan; the Senate bill ignored it; and some powerful legislators oppose it. Nonetheless, private institutions are fretting that the Department of Education will find a way around Congress to implement it.

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities yesterday released a survey reporting that 62 percent of the respondents oppose a federal data-collection effort, with 45 percent strongly against it.

Read the rest of the article.

April 25, 2006

Mediterranean diet...discovered at the University of Minnesota?

It's true...one of the pioneers in touting the health benefits of eating a diet heavier on fish, vegetables, and olive oil than on meat and potatoes was a University researcher. It just took the rest of the world about 40 years to catch on. Read about Ancel Keys here.

April 19, 2006

Podcasts now available

You may have watched or heard about our workshops for parents, which have been available as streaming video and audio from the Parent Program website. Over the past year, we have recorded workshops addressing broad issues of concern to parents, such as off-campus housing, mental health, and learning abroad.

Now, for your convenience, these same workshops are available as podcasts which you can download to your computer, or place on your iPod or other portable music player, to listen to anytime. Visit the Parent Program website to learn more.

April 11, 2006

Legislature to vote on U funding bill

From the MN Daily:

The state House is set to grant the University close to three-fifths of the requested amount for capital improvements by taking on $121 million in debt for the University system.

The House Ways and Means Committee sent the omnibus capital investment bill to a floor vote Monday afternoon, but University officials said they hope the final figures will resemble more closely those of the Senate.

The House proposal would give the University about $32 million less than the Senate bill. University Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter called the Senate funding “much better.?

“We asked for what we need, and the ultimate numbers are probably a tad low compared to what I think we typically get,? Pfutzenreuter said.

Read the whole story.

April 10, 2006

Advice on the sophomore experience?

It's hard to believe that the Class of 2009 has nearly finished its first year of college.

That's quite an achievement--if you're the parent of a current freshman, you know that this year has brought many new experiences and lessons, not only for your student, but most likely for you as well.

While the upcoming sophomore year may not seem quite as momentous, it will also be full of new experiences.

Parents of students who are currently sophomores (or juniors or seniors), what advice do you have for parents of next year's sophomores at the U?

It's easy to post your comment. Just click on "comments" below.

March 20, 2006

Was your student unfairly booted in an off-campus parking lot?

They may be getting their money back, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Anyone with a vehicle that has been booted behind Stub & Herb’s since Oct. 1 has a refund coming to them.

A boot, used to immobilize vehicles, is a mechanical clamp that locks the front left wheel of a motor vehicle. Boots are used when someone illegally parks in a private lot.

Throughout January meetings were held regarding Clampdown Parking Enforcement, the company hired to boot in the parking lots shared by Milio’s Sandwiches, Stub & Herb’s, MacNicol, Bona Vietnamese Restaurant, Papa John’s and Enrica Fish Medical Books.

Richard Tuffs, a license inspector for the city of Minneapolis, said anyone who was booted and paid a fine in these lots since Oct. 1 will receive a refund because Clampdown Parking Enforcement violated seven ordinances regarding booting.

March 8, 2006

Adding your comments to the blog

I recently received an e-mail asking how to add a comment to an entry on the blog.

Underneath each entry, you'll see "comments" in red. Click on that, and it will pull up a form, where you can fill in your name and your email address (if you want--it's optional), and enter your comment in a window.

March 7, 2006

Kirby Puckett's lasting legacy felt at the U, too

The University News Service notes that the Minnesota baseball legend, who died yesterday after suffering a stroke on Sunday, in 1994 created an endowment that makes it financially possible for promising Minnesota high school students to attend the University:

“People will forever remember Kirby Puckett as a legendary Minnesota Twin,? said university President Robert Bruininks. “But here at the U, he'll forever be a 'Minnesota Gopher' for his long-term commitment to enabling young people to achieve their dreams.?

Gerald Fischer, president and CEO of the University of Minnesota Foundation said, “The Puckett Scholars program has made a profound difference in the lives of young people. To date, these scholarships have changed the lives of 45 students, and over time, the program will help hundreds more. Because the Puckett Scholars program was set up as an endowment, it will forever be helping young people achieve a college education. What a legacy.?

Ibanga Umanah, a senior in the university's Carlson School of Management and a Puckett Scholar, said, “Kirby was a great man, it was an honor to have met him, and it means a lot that he would give back to students like me so generously.?

March 6, 2006

On the horizon:spring break

How is your student spending spring break?

Students will encounter lots of spring break deals for heading south, but if the package deals sound too good to be true, they probably are. If your student is thinking about booking a package deal, encourage him or her to find out the names of the airline and hotel the deal includes and verify the information with those vendors. They should also find out the trip's total cost and any restrictions or cancellation penalties that may apply before making payment.

If your student hasn't made plans yet, service learning options may still be open to them, some even in warmer climes. The University YMCA offers immersion trips to undergraduates interested in examining social justice issues in destinations as varied as the Caribbean, New Orleans, New York City, San Diego, and San Francisco. Immersion trips will also be available during May term.

Another option is participating in the 2006 Pay It Forward Tour. A group of University undergraduates designed this spring break community service opportunity which will take ten busloads of undergraduates to the nation's capital, each bus stopping to serve in five communities along the way. This is the third annual Pay it Forward Tour, inspired by the book and the film of the same name.

March 2, 2006

President Bruininks gives annual "State of the U" speech

from the Morris campus this afternoon. Afterwards, the speech will be available to read on the President's Office website.

February 10, 2006

Still time to send your student a Valentine

The University Bookstores is offering special Valentine's Day balloon bouquets which can be delivered to your student's residence hall room, apartment, or campus work location.

Also, Radio K, the U's student-run public radio station, will be offering special programming on Valentine's Day. From the press release: "Tune in to Radio K February 14th from noon to 6pm to hear six hours of Valentine's Day-themed music. Join DJs Marcus Lewis and Alison Stolpa from noon-3pm as they play their favorite songs about love and romance. Then stay tuned from 3-6pm as Keri Carlson and special guest DJ Joel Stitzel battle it out- Love versus Anti-Love. Joel will fight for love using romantic songs while Keri will compete for anti-love by playing music about lonliness, heartbreak, and sadness. Find out who will win!"

Sounds like an entertaining show--those out of Radio K's broadcast range can stream it online.

January 31, 2006

Zipcars now available to U students

Does your student get tired of lugging groceries home on the bus? Parking and Transportation Services has teamed up with Zipcar to offer car sharing to University students and staff who need occasional access to a car. One catch: users must be at least 21 years old.

January 30, 2006

New resource for parents

Hello and welcome to the Parent Program Connection. We are excited to be able to use this new (to us) technology to give parents of University of Minnesota students greater opportunities to interact with each other and with Parent Program staff. We hope that this blog will strengthen parents' ability to support their students throughout their undergraduate careers at the University of Minnesota.

This is a place for you to share both your questions and your expertise as a parent of an undergraduate student. If your student encounters an issue or problem you're not quite sure how to handle, and you would like advice from other University of Minnesota parents, please email your question or a description of your situation. We will not disclose your email address or identity.

Although only Parent Program staff will be able to make an entry for a new topic on this blog, readers are free to leave their own comments after each entry. You will be able to leave a comment without revealing your identity or email address by clicking the "comments" link after each entry. The Parent Program reserves the right to remove any comments it deems inappropriate or offensive.