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April 29, 2010

Coordinate Campus ITV Forum Next Tuesday

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to remind you of the upcoming ITV conversation with the coordinate campuses, in which faculty, staff, and students will have the opportunity to discuss the State of the University and ask me questions directly. This forum is set for Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at 3 p.m. You can join the discussion at the following locations on your campuses:

  • UMD: 173 Kirby Plaza
  • UMC: 220 Dowell
  • UMM: HFA 7
  • UMR: Rm. 397

Please share this information with your faculty, staff, and students. I look forward to an engaging discussion, and hope to see your campuses strongly represented.

Thank you for your hard work and support.

Robert H. Bruininks

April 16, 2010

University and Met Council Reach LRT Agreement

Dear Colleagues, 

At a special meeting of the Board of Regents on Friday, April 16, the board approved an agreement between the University of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Council, allowing the Central Corridor light rail project to move forward. Negotiations this week have yielded a framework that addresses the University's chief concern—namely, the protection of our research environment during both the construction and the operation of the line. Once the details are memorialized in writing, the agreement will enable the University to support the project without compromising our research mission or the important work of our faculty and staff in laboratories along Washington Avenue. 

While the process has been challenging, and even contentious at times, this agreement is a significant step forward and provides protection so that critically important University research can continue undiminished. The parties are working to finalize a second memorandum of understanding, which will further detail and address these issues and others. I want to thank the mediator and all those people on both sides who have worked so hard to bring us to this point. 

I also want to reiterate the University's strong support for transit in general. The University community will be among the Central Corridor's biggest users and strongest supporters, and we are pleased to see construction move forward. 


Robert H. Bruininks 

April 13, 2010

Upcoming Campus Conversations

Last week I met with the Minnesota Daily editorial board to discuss the 2010 State of the University Address. The extensive interview covered a wide range of topics and was my first occasion to interact with the University community since the speech itself was canceled. 

As promised, I have scheduled two campus conversations during the next few weeks, in which faculty, staff, and students will have the opportunity to discuss the State of the University and ask me questions directly. 

  • Thursday, April 22, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Coffman Theater. Open to Twin Cities faculty, staff, and students. 
  • Tuesday, May 4, 3 to 4:30 p.m. via ITV. Open to coordinate campus faculty, staff, and students. Coordinate campus ITV locations to be announced. 

I look forward to speaking with you and hearing your best ideas and concerns, not just during these two conversations, but also during standing meetings with faculty, staff, and student leaders throughout the remainder of the year. We have much work to do to move the University of Minnesota forward during these challenging times. Please join me if you are able!

Robert H. Bruininks 

April 4, 2010

State of the University Address Available Online

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students, 

As announced last week, I am posting the text of the 2010 State of the University Address below for your review. I have taken the time to expand my planned remarks so that this paper can inform our conversations about our future. 

The State of the University Address is a significant event that requires a great deal of planning and coordination each year, and given the fact that we had already moved the speech later in the semester, we simply don't have the time or capacity to reschedule it before this summer. Instead, I am scheduling a series of less formal forums and meetings between now and mid-May, in which I will be available to faculty, students, and staff to hear your concerns and answer your questions. These sessions will occur at locations across the Twin Cities campus, with at least one session specifically tying in the coordinate campuses via phone or interactive television.

The theme of this year's State of the University Address is Charting the Future: Community Leadership During Transition. In the forums to follow, I want to emphasize that during this time of changing leadership at the University, it is even more important that we pull together as a community. Like many of you, I have committed my career to this great institution, and when I'm no longer president, I will continue to work as a faculty member, alongside you, for the future of the University and the state. Our connections to the University and to each other provide the continuity we need to meet our challenges despite the transitions ahead. 

Thank you for all that you do.

Robert H. Bruininks