News Release

New Center for Collaborative Research

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The establishment of a dedicated research space at the University of Minnesota Crookston will open a myriad of possibilities. A new laboratory officially referred to as the University of Minnesota Crookston Center for Collaborative Research (UMC-CCR), will become a reality thanks to investment by the U of M Crookston and a grant from the University of Minnesota’s Office of the Vice President for Research.

The project was one of 13 funded through the U of M’s 2017 Research Infrastructure Investment Program and will benefit scientists in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and the Math, Science and Technology Department at the U of M Crookston as well as the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC).

The grant award of $288,361 from the Research Infrastructure Investment program and a match of the same from the University of Minnesota Crookston provides a total of $576,722 to convert and equip the space in 107 Sahlstrom Conference Center. The schematic design phase has been completed, and the project is moving into the construction document phase.

UMC-CCR will be the first self-contained facility on the Crookston campus allowing work in analytical chemistry, microbiology, and molecular/cellular biology to be carried out from start to finish and support much-needed laboratory space vital to faculty research.

The funding provides for the purchase and installation of equipment not currently available anywhere on campus, thus enabling faculty to broaden the scope of their research and to increase research productivity. Faculty members carefully selected and prioritized the equipment with a focus on achieving the maximum impact on productivity.

Collaborators on the grant and key users of the Center for Collaborative Research include associate professors Brian Dingmann, Katy Chapman, Timothy Dudley, Venugopal Mukku; Professor Joseph Shostell; assistant professors Anthony Schroeder from U of M Crookston and Madeline Smith from the NWROC; along with Ranjit Riar, a lecturer in agriculture and Karl Anderson a teaching specialist in biology and researcher from the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Fargo, N.D. Mukku serves as the grant’s corresponding investigator. Associate Professor Adorrahman Alghamdi also was heavily involved in the collaboration on the grant and the design process for UMC-CCR.

“The construction and equipping of the University of Minnesota Crookston Center for Collaborative Research would not have been possible without support from across campus,” says Mukku. “Without Barbara Keinath, who was serving as interim chancellor; Soo-Yin Lim Thompson, who was serving as the interim Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs; Harouna Maiga, head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department; and John Loegering, who was serving as interim department head for Math, Science and Technology, this project could not have happened. We are grateful for their support and understanding of the importance of this research space. We are excited and elated that the OVPR decided to invest in the Crookston campus.”

The new laboratory will enable U of M Crookston to recruit faculty interested in pursuing research in an undergraduate setting, to train even more undergraduate students and to provide infrastructure support for submitting external grants. It is an investment that will benefit the entire campus community from the day it is operational.

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 23 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations