While you were out: A campus news recap

by Mike Enright

Though the campus slowed down during the summer, news didn’t take a vacation. Plans for the stadium and realignment plan are well under way, and the University has appointed new people to top positions.

Gopher stadium
In late May, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill approving an on-campus football stadium.

The state will pay for 55 percent of the project – $10.25 million per year for the next 25 years – while the University will cover its share with student fees, TCF Bank naming rights and private contributions.

The University hired a Kansas City, Mo., architectural firm to design the stadium, which is set to open fall 2009.

Bonding bill
State lawmakers passed the state bonding bill during the same weekend session of the stadium bill. Lawmakers allocated $116 million for University construction and maintenance projects, $90.1 million less than the $206.1 million requested by the University.

Projects rejected by legislators included a $41.3 million request to replace the aging Science Classroom Building.

The Legislature did approve funding for a medical biosciences building and a $26.6 million expansion of the Carlson School of Management building.

Violent crime still up

During the last two years, University police saw an increase in both robberies and aggravated assaults, said Steve Johnson, deputy chief for University police.

He said the amount of crime this summer was generally similar to last.

Between May and July there were seven robberies and three aggravated assaults reported, compared with four robberies and one assault at the same time in 2005, according to University of Minnesota Police Department crime statistics.

One assault was reported during the same months in 2004. There were no reports of robberies or assaults between May and July 2003.

University realignment
Six University colleges merged into three in July with the creation of the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Design.

The University also appointed Darlyne Bailey to run the College of Education and Human Development. Bailey is the University’s first black female dean.

Grant funds Asian studies
The University received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help fund new programs that focus on the study of South Asia.

While the University’s East Asian studies program has a strong emphasis on Chinese and Japanese studies, the new grant will help to add new areas of study, including Arabic languages and India.

VP focuses on diversity
Rusty Barceló became the new associate vice president for multicultural affairs this summer.

She said she hopes to make diversity more of a University-wide responsibility, specifically focusing on creating new diversity models for the school.