301 19th Ave. S.
330 H. H. Humphrey Center
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Commissioner Jan Callison, 6th District
David Hough, County Administrator
Lois Langer Thompson, Director of Hennepin County Library
Sherrie Simpson, Director of Research, Planning & Development
University of Minnesota
Ed Goetz, Director of the Center for Urban & Regional Affairs
Tom Fisher, Dean of the College of Design
Mary Story, Associate Dean for Student Life in the School of Public Health
Laura Bloomberg, Interim Associate Dean of the Humphrey School
Cathy Jordan, Executive Director of the Children, Youth & Family Consortium
Tom Scott, Director Emeritus of the Center for Urban & Regional Affairs
The Hennepin-University Partnership (HUP) is
supported by the Hennepin County Board and the University of
Minnesota. On behalf of the County Board, I serve as the Board lead, responsible
for providing guidance and monitoring the progress of this important
initiative. This update is intended to communicate within
Hennepin County government and the University of Minnesota about HUP activities
and outcomes. For additional information, please contact Kathie
Doty at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at
The HUP office compiled a report entitled “Overview of
Collaborations between Hennepin County and the University of Minnesota” which
displays the main trends of collaborations that have occurred between
Hennepin and the University from May 2011 - December 2012. The report contains a
summary of findings both from electronic surveys that were sent out to Hennepin
County staff and University faculty and staff as well as collaborations
recorded prior to surveys.
Electronic surveys were sent out to
Hennepin County staff and the corresponding University faculty and staff. 37 surveys were received representing details
of 22 recent collaborative projects. Coupled with the projects recorded by the
HUP staff, there were a total of 44 projects reported during that time
The charts above and below highlight some of the salient findings of the report. To view the full report, click here.
In August 2012, the project entitled “The Risk of Family Homelessness over the Recession:
The Role of Earnings History” was selected by the H-UP Management Team as the
recipient of the 2012 Hennepin-University Collaborative Grant (HUCG).
Lisa Thornquist, Program Analysis Supervisor, Housing and Homelessness
Initiatives and the Office to End Homelessness and Maria Hanratty, Associate
Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, submitted a joint application
proposing to assess the impact of the recent recession on shelter entry of families
on food support in Hennepin County.
To date, they have made significant progress towards
their goals. First, they purchased the data from the Minnesota Department of
Employment and Economic Development on the earning records of families who
entered either Food Support of public shelters in Hennepin County in
2004-2011. Additionally, they hired a
graduate student from the Applied Economics Program at the University of
Minnesota to help with assembling the data and completing the analysis. This
data will be used to assess earnings trajectories of families before and after
entering shelters. They anticipate having a preliminary report ready by May
Click here to link to the top of page.
Lunch at the Weisman Museum with a presentation from Jean King from the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute
On September 28, 2012, HUP hosted a Fall Campus Tour of
the University Of Minnesota. The tour was an opportunity for Hennepin County
staff to get an overview of programs and faculty at the University and
encourage meaningful collaborations.
The tour began at the Carlson School of
Management where the Associate Director of the Center for Urban and Regional
Affairs (CURA), the Director of Career Services for the Humphrey School, and
the Executive Director of the Center for Integrative Leadership welcomed HC
staff and provided an overview of their respective programs. The day was jammed packed with presentations from faculty and staff from various University departments. Some highlights from the day include:
- At the Institute of Child Development we heard from Professor Sera who is conducting research on
the relationship between language and cognitive development. We also took a brief tour of the Shirley G. Moore Lab School.
- We heard from the Associate Dean for Research and Outreach
and a Senior Research Fellow in the Center for Sustainable Building Research
who presented on design thinking and work of the College of Design (photo above).
- We heard two student groups, In the Mix and Students for Design Activism regarding the role of their student groups.
- Finally, we concluded the tour at the Weisman Museum for a lunch presentation with Jean King from the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (photo above).
HUP offers a tour on an annual basis. The next tour will likely be held in Fall 2013.
Click here to link to top of the page.
Environmental Services Department and the Office of Student Affairs
The Hennepin County Environmental Services Department
and the University of Minnesota’s Office of Student Affairs, Office of
Government and Community Relations, and the ReUse Program Warehouse are in the
planning stage for a campaign to reduce tenant-generated waste stream in the
campus-area neighborhoods at peak move-in and move-out times at end of spring and
beginning of fall semesters. The City of Minneapolis and the University District
Alliance have also joined the conversation.
Human Services and Public Health Department and the School of Public Health
Human Services and Public Health Department (HSPHD)
is collaborating with Jamie Stang, Associate Professor, and Chrisa Arcan,
Research Associate, from the School of Public Health to conduct research around the
most effective use of the $1.2 million that is allocated annually to food shelves and food
banks. The researchers will be conducting interviews, holding focus groups, and
preparing a report. The report is expected to be completed late summer.
Taxpayer Services Department and Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Taxpayer Services Department is working with Ryan
Allan, Assistant Professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, around
Hennepin County’s Tax Forfeited Land Program. Allan will assist in conducting a programmatic
review of the program, including evaluating existing processes and data.
Additionally, Allan will conduct a policy review of the State of Minnesota’s
delinquent tax enforcement and tax forfeiture process. Finally, as a result of
this work, Allan will create a set of policy recommendations for Hennepin
County around processing tax-forfeited land. Allan will begin the work this
Virajita Singh is a Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Design. She
leads Design Thinking @ College of Design, an initiative to
apply design thinking in teaching, research, and outreach to many
sectors including higher education, health care and others with a
special focus on non-profit sectors and local governments.
In spring 2012, Virajita worked with the Hennepin County/City of
Minneapolis Office to End Homelessness on applying design thinking to
the redesign of the homeless single adult emergency shelter delivery
system and involved staff, community stakeholders and shelter guests in
the process. In 2010, Virajita worked with Hennepin
County Property Services and other stakeholders on applying design
thinking to the interactive waiting spaces in the Hennepin County
Juvenile Justice Center.
Virajita's work also includes leading
the Design for Community Resilience (DCR) program at the Center for
Sustainable Building Research that provides design assistance to
community and local governmental clients while engaging students in the College of Design. DCR worked with Hennepin
County Environmental Services for the research and envisioning design
ideas around water efficiency, green roofs, sustainable materials and
messaging for Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) in 2008. For more information on the above projects or to collaborate with Virajita, please her contact at: email@example.com
A Hennepin County Environmental Services capstone
proposal was selected for a project titled "Strategies for Increasing Commercial
Recycling and Organics Diversion". The project took place during summer 2012. Students from the Humphrey School evaluated the impact and
effectiveness of incentive-based strategies to stimulate commercial
recycling/organics participation in Hennepin County. The three incentives under
study were business technical assistance, targeted programs for food rich
locations, and “starter” grant programs. In early August, the project team reported
out their findings and recommendations on which strategies to pursue to
Environmental Services. Their recommendations included:
1. Engage commercial recycling participants
Identify target participants
Develop outreach strategies
Convene players quarterly
Use certification and recognition programs
Support recycling infrastructure and tend
to the whole loop
2. Focus resources on and implement the three
Provide multifaceted business technical
Develop the organics program
Offer grants and incentives
Use strategies in combination
3. Continue research and development
Measure and report on outcomes
Undertake additional research and planning
For more information on the results click here.
Interested in being part of a capstone project? Contact your Cohort
member or the HUP office for more information. Click here to link to top of the page.
Vanee Dusoruth joined the HUP team in September 2012.
Vanee is a Master’s in Public Policy candidate at the Humphrey School of Public
Affairs, focusing on labor policy, social policy, and foreign affairs. The HUP
is happy to have Vanee as part of the team! Vanee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-625-9885.
New Cohort Members
The Hennepin County Cohort has three new members. The new members include:
- Charlene Hatcher, County Attorney's Office
- Paul Kroening, Environmental Services
- Michele McGraw, Library
Not sure who your department cohort member is? Click here for a complete list.
Cohort Member Reports
Cohort member, Amy Luedtke, reported out to the rest of the group in October about the outcomes of one of the collaborations occurring in her department. Hennepin County Library (HCL) collaborated with
students in a “WRIT 4501: Usability and Human Factors in Technical
Communication” service-learning course taught by Professor Lee-Ann Breuch. The
service learning program at the University of Minnesota focuses on getting
students involved in the local community through volunteering, service-learning
classes, and other unique opportunities.
The course involved usability tests of web sites. Students in the course worked in teams to
design a usability test for the HCL’s web site.
Student teams designed the test based on questions that HCL had about
the site, recruited individuals to participate in the usability test, conducted
the test in the UMN usability lab, gathered data, and finally reported and
presented their key findings and recommendations to the Hennepin Couty staff.
The testing has helped HCL articulate and focus on best
practices for web site usability. These best practices inform the HCL’s
current, daily work and future projects.
Click here to link to the top of the page.