U of M Board of Regents to discuss recent action steps to improve human subjects research

March 20, 2015

What: University of Minnesota Board of Regents meeting
When: Friday, March 27, 2015 (9:15 a.m. – Noon)
Where: Sixth floor, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S.E., Minneapolis

Media note: A swearing in ceremony for three new and two returning Regents will take place at 8:45 a.m. Friday, March 27 in the Boardroom.

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (03/20/2015) — At its Friday, March 27 meeting, the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents will consider a resolution endorsing immediate and longer-term actions outlined by President Eric Kaler to strengthen the University’s human research subjects practices, including ongoing Board oversight and monitoring.

Two independent external reviews of the University’s human research protection practices have recently been completed. An independent external review focused on current practices, and a report by the Legislative Auditor focused primarily on Dan Markingson’s participation in, and 2004 death during, a clinical drug study at the U.

The Board will review the findings of both reports and hear a presentation further detailing  the administration’s actions and plans to implement the recommendations. Chair Richard Beeson has designated Regent Patricia Simmons, M.D., to serve as the Board’s liaison with the administration in crafting an action plan. The resolution also calls for Board oversight to occur through the  Audit Committee.

Implementing the Twin Cities campus strategic plan
F
ollowing unanimous approval from the Board in October 2014, work began immediately to integrate the goals of the Twin Cities strategic plan. Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Karen Hanson will review these efforts and discuss the framework to track progress and effectiveness of the plan. She will be joined by Institutional Analysis Director Lincoln Kallsen.

Emphasizing ambition, innovation and impact, the strategic plan sets priorities for the next decade. The plan builds on the campus’ exceptional strengths and opportunities as one of the country’s most comprehensive research universities and one of the few located in a large metropolitan area. It calls for creating new 21st century learning, research and career pathways for students, building stronger campus-community partnerships and combining university strengths broadly and deeply to address “Grand Challenges”— the most pressing and complex problems facing the state, nation and world. More than 200 faculty members, students and staff were involved in developing the plan.

Through the current budgeting process, colleges and units have been directed to identify strategic priorities that align with the plan, and to identify activities that don't serve strategic priorities, either the units or the campuses. Changes to curriculum are underway, too. “Grand Challenge courses” are being developed for undergraduates to take beginning this fall. Team-taught by faculty from different units, topics will include: water, food and political reconciliation, among others. Grand Challenge research priorities are also being identified.

To measure the success of the plan, the University will align strategic plan measures with the current university performance metrics while recognizing some goals require more nuanced tracking. A Strategic Planning Continuity Team will finalize this framework in the coming months.

New Regents
Three newly elected Regents: Thomas Anderson (Seventh District), Michael Hsu (Sixth District), and Darrin Rosha (Third District) will take the oath of office administered by Minnesota Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson at 8:45 a.m. Friday in the Boardroom.  Current Board Chair Richard Beeson (Fourth District) was elected to a second term and Regent Patricia Simmons (First District) was elected to a third term. Both will also be sworn in by Justice Anderson.

Other items on the agenda include:

  • 2015 McKnight Land-Grant Professors. The Board will formally recognize eight junior faculty members chosen for their potential to make important contributions to their field.
  • Student representative’s report. This year’s report will focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, graduate outcomes, sustainability and financial literacy.
  • Long-range planning on the Twin Cities campus. The campus is in a unique urban area. This place-based experience guides the Twin Cities Campus Master Plan, approved by the Board in 2009. University leaders will discuss 10 core questions that help project future needs to ensure an integrated, beautiful, well-maintained campus that continues to advance the U’s academic mission.
  • Operational Excellence. An update on improvements and cost savings in human resources, finance and procurement, technology and student systems will be shared. Information on the enterprise systems upgrade, spans and layers recommendations and President Eric Kaler’s goal to reallocate $90 million in administrative costs in six years are also included.

There are no committee meetings on Thursday, March 26. Instead, the Regents will visit the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) to learn about current research and issues affecting the educational landscape, as well as experience new classroom technologies.

More information, including meeting times and locations, can be found on the Regents website.

Media Contacts

24-hour line
Unit: 
News Service
Phone: 
(612) 293-0831
Email: 
unews@umn.edu
U News main line
Unit: 
News Service
Phone: 
(612) 624-5551
Email: 
unews@umn.edu