Forum

All Forum articles are collected here.

Annual Updates Due date

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August 31 is the due date for annual reports and updates.  Annual Reports, Toolkits, web page updates, operating document updates and archives collections are all due each year on this date.

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UMN Bridge over Mississippi at dusk

The impact of climate change on life in Minnesota

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Climatologist and meteorologist Mark Seeley joined the U of M faculty in 1978 and has been a weekly commentator on Minnesota Public Radio since 1992. We are honored to welcome him as our guest speaker for UMRA’s May Luncheon Forum and 2024 Annual Meeting. He is always entertaining and informative.

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Mark Seeley

What is generative AI and is it a good thing or a bad thing?

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Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has attracted substantial debate recently because it can be used in many contexts, including educational settings to do things such as answer exam questions and write papers. But what is generative AI? And how can we know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing? Law School Professor Daniel Schwarcz will enlighten us during UMRA’s Luncheon Forum on April 23.

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Daniel Schwarcz

UMRA Summer Social and Picnic

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Picnic under the covered, open-air Como pavilion, gaze at the water, spy some birds, catch up with friends and former colleagues, and meet new members. We’ll have lunch with plenty of time for visiting and then compete in teams as we are challenged by our Quiz master(s)!

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Como Lakeside Pavillion

Making the foreign—and the local—less foreign

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St. Paul-based journalist Fred de Sam Lazaro has reported from 70 countries focusing on the work of change agents to address the consequences of poverty. His remarkable perspective draws us closer to the people he meets and the challenges they confront. Join us to learn why and how he uses storytelling to enhance understanding of today’s pressing global issues.

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Fred de Sam Lazaro

A preview of 2024 Minnesota legislative politics

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Melissa Hortman, speaker of the Minnesota House and a 1995 graduate cum laude of the U of M Law School, will be the guest speaker for UMRA’s February 27 Forum. She will help us understand the 2024 legislative session and efforts at bipartisan cooperation.

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Melissa Hortman

Planning for the (un)expected end

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Pat Miles, former TV news anchor and journalist, lost her husband suddenly and found the financial and legal challenges to be overwhelming during her time of grief. She wrote a book about her experience, Before All Is Said and Done, incorporating wisdom from other unexpected widows, and will share her learnings for the first UMRA Forum of the New Year.

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Pat Miles

Beyond the classroom, the student experience today

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How are today’s students and their experiences different from when we went to college? Beyond grades, what are the greatest challenges they face to completing their degrees? Guest speakers Calvin Phillips and Maggie Towle from the U of M Office of Student Affairs will share their insights and the latest research on student life today for UMRA’s November forum. Don’t miss this eye-opening conversation.

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Calvin Phillips

The alarming movement in the U.S. to ban books

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To help us understand the growing movement in the U.S. to ban books, especially children’s literature, and the critical role of libraries to protect intellectual freedom, UMRA will welcome U of M Librarian Lisa Von Drasek (pictured) and Rochester Public Librarian Kimberly Edson as the guest speakers for our October luncheon forum at Midland Hills. 

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Lisa Von Drasek

The impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent 'blockbuster’ case decisions

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The U.S. Supreme Court has issued several contentious decisions over its past two terms, and the court’s conservative majority has left an indelible mark on American jurisprudence. Professor Jill Hasday, the guest speaker for UMRA’s September luncheon forum, will discuss the meaning and impact of what’s happened. 

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Jill Hasday

Mississippi River Cruise Aboard the Minneapolis Queen

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Enjoy the golden close of summer on an evening cruise on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis with UMRA friends and colleagues.  The cruise fee includes a taco bar, and there will be a full service cash bar available on the boat.

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Mississippi River Cruise Aboard the Minneapolis Queen

The future of intercollegiate athletics at the U of M

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Intercollegiate athletics is undergoing revolutionary changes that may alter the industry’s relationship to higher education. To help us understand the impact of the changes at the U of M, our May forum will feature Director of Athletics Mark Coyle and Jeremiah Carter, senior associate athletic director for name, image, likeness (NIL) policy and risk management.

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Mark Coyle

UMRA welcomes Star Tribune Editorial Page Editor Scott Gillespie to April luncheon forum

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UMRA members will have a rare opportunity to hear from and ask questions of one of the major thought leaders in Minnesota when Star Tribune Editorial Page Editor Scott Gillespie joins us for our April 25 luncheon forum at Midland Hills Country Club in Roseville.

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Scott Gillespie

UMRA welcomes U of M Budget Director Julie Tonneson to March luncheon forum

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UMRA is pleased to welcome U of M Budget Director Julie Tonneson as the guest speaker for our first in-person forum of the new year, which will be held in a new venue for UMRA: Midland Hills Country Club in Roseville. She will speak about the U's funding request for the next two years and goals for obtaining funds from the state surpluses.

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Julie Tonneson

The history and future of elections and democracy in Minnesota

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If you are interested in the history and future of elections and democracy in Minnesota, then UMRA’s February 2023 Forum is a “don’t miss” event. Our featured guest will be Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

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Steve Simon