University of Minnesota research drives Minnesota’s economy, health, culture

December 8, 2017
A microscope

University of Minnesota researchers at the forefront of microbiome research are finding that their work has applications for agricultural, environmental and human health challenges. CoreBiome—one of the University’s record 18 startup companies launched in fiscal year 2017—provides businesses in those fields with microbiome analysis using cutting-edge genomics and informatics techniques developed at the University. At its December meeting, the University’s Board of Regents will hear an annual report of the University’s research accomplishments during fiscal year 2017, including University startup companies such as CoreBiome.

“Investments in discovery can and often do result in important practical uses, and the application of research to advance the public good is a central component of the University’s research enterprise,” said Vice President for Research Allen Levine. “Both solution- and curiosity-driven research are important components of our research portfolio, and the University continues to be a national leader in research and technology commercialization.”

Levine will discuss the University’s national ranking as a top public research university, as reported by the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development Survey— the most accurate and frequently referenced guide to research expenditures in the U.S. Levine will also outline University performance in technology commercialization.

Levine will also highlight the success of MnDRIVE, the University’s landmark research partnership with the state that launched in 2013. During its 2017 session, the Minnesota Legislature expanded MnDRIVE with resources to create the Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network, which will increase Minnesotans’ options for patient care through new knowledge and cancer prevention and treatment trials.  

2017 University Plan, Performance, and Accountability Report

Additionally, the Board of Regents will review the 2017 University Plan, Performance, and Accountability Report, presented by President Eric Kaler and Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson. Throughout the year, the report is used by the Board of Regents and others as a reference guide to the University’s progress toward strategic goals. The Accountability Report is used to fulfill the annual reporting requirement as stated in the University's charter.

The discussion will include an overview of other essential data and context most relevant to Systemwide Strategic Planning. In fall 2017, Kaler charged the Systemwide Strategic Planning Oversight Committee (SPOC) to lead the development of system priorities in focus areas that align with the University’s mission and the Systemwide Strategic Framework: Teaching & Learning; Research & Discovery; Medicine & Health; Outreach & Public Service; and Supporting the Mission.

This work will build on last year’s efforts to develop the framework, which highlighted ways to better connect, leverage and align the system’s statewide resources. The 2017–18 phase will focus on the development of an academic program investment strategy and a long-term financial framework.

A draft of the 2017 University Plan, Performance, and Accountability Report is included in the Board’s docket.

The Board is also expected to:

  • Receive the twice per year report of the Faculty Consultative Committee (FCC) from the FCC Chair, Professor Joseph Konstan. The FCC is the executive committee of University governance that represents the faculty at large. The report will focus on the FCC’s current initiatives and recent accomplishments.
  • Discuss current and future student housing at the Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Rochester campuses. The discussion will address safety and security, the correlation between academic success and residential life, the use of residence halls in the summer months, housing demand and future needs of housing and residential life.
  • Welcome three new University leaders. Vice President of University Services Mike Berthelsen; Vice President for Research Allen Levine; and Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth Robert Kase will be introduced.

Committee meetings begin at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, December 14. Committee work continues Friday, December 15 at 7:45 a.m., followed by the full Board meeting expected at approximately 9:15 a.m. For more information, including meeting times and locations, visit the Regents website at Regents.umn.edu

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