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February 19, 2014

In Brief

Meliora campaign has record first half

President Joel Seligman reports the largest first-half-year totals in the history of the University for total commitments ($94.87 million), total cash ($73.93 million), and Annual Fund cash ($7.96 million). The total raised for The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester through the first half was $1.039 billion—86.6 percent of the $1.2 billion goal. OneRochester, the faculty and staff campaign chaired by Paul Burgett, Elizabeth McAnarney, and Kevin Parker, has marked more than a 40 percent participation rate and encourages gifts of any size to be earmarked for any department, school, or unit of choice. “Congratulations to the whole team—donors, volunteers, and Advancement staff. These record-breaking results are truly inspirational,” said Board of Trustees Chair Ed Hajim

White House report highlights Rochester’s efforts to enhance access

Rochester was one of nearly 150 colleges and universities whose initiatives to enroll low-income, first-generation, and minority students were highlighted as part of a daylong forum known as the College Pipeline Initiative to Expand College Opportunity, organized by the White House last month.

“The University of Rochester is already engaged in most of the initiatives suggested for expanding the college pipeline except for the remediation activities, which are not applicable to our institution,” said Jonathan Burdick, dean of admissions and financial aid. “These activities engage significant numbers of our faculty, staff, and students across the University, and we devote considerable financial resources each year to these activities, some of which are grant funded.

“We are proactive about seeking new approaches and open to expanding current efforts. For instance, we are currently pursuing programs to expand our reach among transfer students and to expand transfer student enrollment.”

Rochester was featured in a 90-page report, “Commitments to Action on College Opportunity,” which was released by the Executive Office of the President just before the meeting got under way. Download the full report at

Report available for faculty survey

As part of the University’s commitment to meeting the professional needs of the faculty, Rochester has joined the Harvard University Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) for the second time in the 2012–13 academic year. The Office for Faculty Development and Diversity shares a summary of the report’s findings at

Financial Times ranks Simon among top 30 in country

Simon Business School is again listed in the annual ranking of the world’s best business schools by the Financial Times of London. In the Jan. 27 issue, Simon is ranked 29th among business schools in the U.S. and 55th among the top 100 business schools in the world

AlertUR test set for Feb. 27

The spring semester test of AlertUR, the University’s emergency notification system, will occur on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 5:45 p.m. The purpose of the twice-a-year test is to activate the AlertUR system and check that students, faculty, and staff can be reached immediately. In the event of an emergency, alerts are sent by voice, text, or email message. Before the test, be sure to review your contact information at; sign in with your NetID and password to verify the fastest method for reaching you. Employees with a NetID who do not have a University email address may enter a personal email and/or phone number to receive emergency alerts. The Feb. 27 test will not disrupt scheduled activities.

Study addressing memory in pregnancy seeks participants

University researchers are seeking participants for a study of memory and cognitive function in pregnancy and the postpartum period. They are seeking healthy women ages 18–40 in the first trimester of their first pregnancy. They are also seeking healthy women who are not pregnant, have never been pregnant, and are not taking hormonal birth control. Participants receive $125 for study completion. For more information, contact Teresa Steffenella at 273-2046 or

UR Financials moves closer to launch date

UR Financials, the University’s project to replace the aging Financial Records System (FRS) with Workday, is now entering the final months leading up to its launch date in July. The testing phase, consisting of several test cycles to confirm the application’s readiness for use, is now in progress. Formal training for affected users will take place from May to July and updates will be increasing in frequency to ensure user readiness. Visit the UR Financials website,, regularly for more information.

Funding available for student course development projects

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at the College announces a new program that funds student course development projects—projects in which an undergraduate works for a member of the Arts, Sciences & Engineering faculty to help faculty members develop new materials or learning activities for one of the faculty member’s courses. Faculty who wish to apply for funding for a project to be conducted during 2014 should submit a proposal by Feb. 28. A faculty panel will review proposals and announce decisions by March 31. Learn more at