Board of Control Approves New Degree Programs

by Jennifer Donovan, director, public relations

At its regular meeting on Friday, Dec. 9, the Board of Control approved two new master's degree programs, two new bachelor's programs and a new PhD program. The new degrees--in medical informatics, biomedical engineering, biochemistry and molecular biology, physics and physics for high school teachers--now must go to the academic affairs officers of the Presidents' Council, State Universities of Michigan, for review and approval.

The new master's degrees reflect Michigan Tech's commitment to providing the kind of education that industry is seeking. "The demand for master's degrees is growing in industry," said Provost Max Seel, "and we are trying to be proactive in meeting that need."

The advancement of technology in the medical field, accompanied by the need to track and analyze vast amounts of data while keeping sensitive data confidential, created the need for the biomedical and medical informatics programs, he added.
The master's degrees are professional degrees, designed to prepare students to work in the increasingly complex and demanding STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) specialties, Seel explained.

The University has also put in place an accelerated master's degree framework, Seel noted. "We want students to know that at Michigan Tech, you can go straight through to a master's degree," he said.

The accelerated master's program will enable students to complete a master's degree in a shorter period of time than previously was possible. Biomedical engineering, the School of Technology and mechanical engineering are the first ones planning to offer an accelerated master's degree.

The new PhD is a nondepartmental program in biochemistry and molecular biology, drawing on existing faculty and existing courses, Seel said.

The two new physics degrees are a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Physics with a concentration in secondary education.

"The motivation for offering a BA degree in physics is to give students who are not planning to study physics in graduate school a strong foundation in physics but significantly fewer physics course requirements than our current BS programs," Seel explained. "The resulting flexibility will allow students to pursue other scholarly interests and career goals in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, entrepreneurship, medicine and law. Physics can provide an excellent foundation for interdisciplinary endeavors in all of these fields."

Seel said the University is also following a recommendation of the Gender Equity report of the American Physical Society to increase participation of women in physics. The recommendation reads: "Make it easier to enter a physics program after the first year to allow for late starters or those with lower initial preparation in mathematics. Create flexible tracks for physics majors to allow interdisciplinary studies or to pursue an education degree."

The BA in Physics with a concentration in secondary education is designed to prepare more students to become high school physics teachers.

"The preparation of teaching professionals in the sciences has become an issue of national concern," President Glenn Mroz said. "We are very fortunate in our local school districts to have excellent high school teachers with strong science credentials, but this is simply not true nationally. And if students don't have good science teachers in K-12, they will not be prepared to pursue the math and science-related degrees in college that are in the highest demand for jobs."



Strategic Plan Update

The Board also heard a report from David Reed, vice president for research, on progress in updating the University's Strategic Plan. The new plan is three-tiered, Reed said. A new section called "Portrait of Michigan Tech in 2035" sets out the long-range goals for the University. The plan itself spells out a five-year path toward those goals and the budget is the annual process of prioritizing activities in accordance with the plan, he explained.

A draft revision of the Strategic Plan, led by the dean, is now on the Michigan Tech website, where the campus community is invited to comment until Feb. 10, 2012. The Board of Control will review recommended changes at its May 2012 meeting.

In other business, the Board:

* Granted emeritus rank to retiring Professor of Mechanical Engineering Sheryl Sorby.

* Heard a report from Michigan Tech Fund Chair George Butvilas on the progress of the ongoing capital campaign, "Generations of Discovery." As of Oct. 31, 2011, the campaign has raised $157,069,868 toward its goal of $200 million.

* Learned from Vice President Reed that Michigan Tech received $15.1 million in sponsored funding from federal and state governmental agencies, industry, foreign sources and other sponsors during the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, which ended Sept. 30, 2011.

Board of Control Extends President Mroz's Contract

by Jennifer Donovan, director, public relations

At its regular meeting on Dec. 9, the Board of Control voted unanimously to extend the contract of President Glenn Mroz for two years. The contract will run to June 30, 2016.

The action followed a formal review of Mroz's performance, which the board conducts on an annual basis. His performance is measured against specific criteria and measures tied to the University's Strategic Plan and to the overall management of the institution.

The board's action reflects its satisfaction with Mroz's leadership and its desire to have him guide the institution to higher levels of achievement in an increasingly challenging environment.

"What Michigan Tech has accomplished with Glenn at the helm is truly remarkable," said Board Chair Marty Richardson. "Michigan Tech is thriving under Glenn's leadership because there is a sound strategic plan and he insures that all major decisions connect to it. Also, he recognizes that we are only as good as our people--faculty, staff and students--and that supporting their work is a top priority."

Julie Fream, chair of the board committee responsible for assessing presidential performance, cited several key successes as evidence of Tech's progress. "The board is pleased with our strong enrollments, financial stability, increased research activity, physical plant enhancements, fundraising growth and greater public awareness of Tech's quality," Fream explained.

Richardson conveyed the board's optimism going forward. "We are excited about the future and the challenge of meeting our ambitious goals and further raising Michigan Tech's profile. The Board's desire is for Glenn to build on the current momentum and take Tech to even greater heights"

Rozsa Presents "A Christmas Carol," Outreach

submitted by Bethany Jones, marketing manager, Rozsa

Bring the entire family to the the Rozsa Center for the holiday classic, Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," in a spectacular, heartwarming production performed by the Nebraska Theatre Caravan

The performances will be at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16, and Saturday, Dec. 17. Tickets for adults are $28, seniors $24, and students $20.

This lavish, full-scale, Broadway-style production, boasting a cast of 27 people and live musicians, has now been touring for over 30 years. This time-tested tale blends the classic story with rousing arrangements of traditional carols, such as "God Rest Ye' Merry Gentlemen," "Wassail, Wassail," "Good King Wenceslas," "Greensleeves" and more.

Combining the supernatural and the sentimental, this treasured theatrical event will please both children and grown-ups.

The performance is sponsored by the James and Margaret Black Endowment.

Join the staff of the Rozsa Center and the cast of "A Christmas Carol" in a "Class Acts Children's Outreach Series," "A Toast to the Holidays!" at 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17. Tickets for this fundraiser are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Profits from the event benefit the Class Acts Children's Outreach Series, which helps to present a diverse program of performing arts events for young audiences in the Copper Country Intermediate School District.

The program is designed to entertain and educate students and to enrich the school curriculum with performances by professionals from a broad range of disciplines. Sing carols, raise a glass, or dance with Ole Fezziwig; a rousing good time will be had by all--in the name of charity and goodwill.

Don't overlook the food, cider, cocoa and cookie decorating.

For more information, contact Bethany Jones at 487-1836 or at bjones@mtu.edu

Soccer Team Earns Academic Honor

by Ian Marks, assistant director, athletic communications and marketing

The soccer team recently earned the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic Award. The Huskies posted a 3.12 cumulative team grade point average and was one of six GLIAC teams to receive the award.

"We are very proud of our players' dedication to both soccer and academics," said head coach Michelle Jacob. "Their achievements in the classroom are of the utmost importance to us, and the cumulative GPA they have earned reflects their hard work and ability to find the correct balance of athletics and academics."

Physics Seminar

Michael Kelley, the James A. Friend family distinguished professor of engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, will present "45 Years of Space Research, The Highlights" today in Fisher 139. The event is intended for an interdisciplinary audience and is open to the public.

The Office of Compliance, Integrity and Safety Announces New Electronic Submission of Application Software

CIS announces the rollout of a new software tool, IRBNet, which is a suite of electronic solutions that drives compliance and productivity for researchers, administrators and committee members. IRBNet provides design, management and oversight tools to support human (IRB), animal (IACUC), and biosafety and recombinant (IBC) boards with a unified solution.

Use of IRBNet will streamline submission and review processes and allow researchers to access project data anytime, anywhere and provide a clear audit trail with appropriate documentation and versioning.

Who should attend?

Anyone who has or will be submitting a new application involving the use of human subjects, animals, or biosafety and recombinant DNA--this includes faculty, staff and students who will be a principal investigators, coinvestigators and departmental coordinators who may be involved in a research study.

The hands-on training, provided by CIS staff, will show you how to complete:

* IRBNet registration--you will register yourself to submit projects.

* IRBNet NEW submission--a human subject (IRB) scenario will be presented but the same process will also apply to applications submitted for animal use (IACUC), and biosafety (IBC).

Training sessions will be held for all types of research submissions. Each session covers the same content, so only register for one session day/time. To register, click on the date and time for the session you want to attend:

Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 10 to11 a.m.

Thursday, Jan. 26 from 10 to 11 a.m.

Implementation of software will be on Wednesday, Feb. 1, when all submission requests will only be accepted through IRBNet.

Location information will be provided by email after registration completion. Registration ends two calendar days prior to scheduled session date. For more information, contact Cheryl Gherna at 487-2902 or cagherna@mtu.edu .

Flags at Half-staff Today

Flags throughout the state will be at half-staff today in honor of Staff Sgt. Vincent Bell, 28, of Detroit, who died Nov. 30 in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion of the 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Flags should be returned to full-staff on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Job Postings

Staff job descriptions are available in Human Resources or at http://www.admin.mtu.edu/hro/postings . For more information regarding staff positions, call 487-2280 or email jobs@mtu.edu .

Faculty job descriptions can be found at http://www.admin.mtu.edu/hro/facpers/facvac.htm . For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Staff Assistant 6 (UAW internal posting only)
Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts

Custodian (AFSCME internal posting only)
Facilities Management

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer.

In the News

The Keweenaw Research Center was featured in the Collaborative Partnerships edition of the TARDEC magazine Accelerate. The article, "Connections Build Bridges," reviews KRC's role in testing the MRAP Blade, an ultra-heavy-duty grading tool used to fill craters left by roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Previously, soldiers often had to fill craters by hand using shovels, a time-consuming and potentially dangerous activity.

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Michigan Tech was described as "an internationally recognized university with world-class programs in science, engineering and business" in a feature on the Copper Country in the October 2011 issue of Lakeland Boating magazine.

New Funding

Associate Professor Gregory Odegard (ME-EM/MuSTI) has received $47,441 from the University of Oregon for the first year of a potential two-year, $69,073 project, "Multiscale Modeling of Liquid Crystalline/Nanotube Composites."

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Associate Professor Zhi (Gerry) Tian (ECE) has received $193,053 from the National Science Foundation for a one-year project, "Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA)."