We are again sharing a statement from CURA Director Ed Goetz on the murder of George Floyd at the top of this message. The fundamental issues of justice that Mr. Floyd’s murder surfaces for our community and for the entire nation dominate our conversations about what is next for CURA. 

Following that statement, we share a message about CURA’s work in a COVID-19 world.

Statement from the Director of CURA

Our community witnesses again the violence of police brutality ending in the death of a Black man. It is well past the time for people in power, those who can impose…

CURA is pleased to announce the recipients of this year′s Faculty Interactive Research Program grants: 

In the coming decades, Minnesota is poised to lose nearly 10,000 units of rental housing in the United States Department of Agriculture's Section 515 Program. This housing currently exists in nearly every county in Greater Minnesota, and comprises a substantial proportion of rental housing for very low-income households. In partnership with Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP), a nonprofit organization based in St. Paul that supports the work of affordable housing and community development organizations, I propose a mixed-method research project focused on the Section 515 Program in Minnesota. Through analysis of secondary data maintained by USDA and primary data collected from interviews…

This project aims to better serve students in Minneapolis Public Schools who speak a minority language, which is currently 32% of district students. As is true of monolingual English-speaking students, a subset of these bilingual students experience significant language impairment. This negatively impacts their social and academic success. Because most standardized assessments used to identify students with language impairment are English-based, alternative approaches are needed to assess the language skills of students whose home language is not English. Thus, the current study will develop a new assessment approach that uses a test-teach-retest dynamic assessment format to assess…

Representing one of the highest rates in the country, one in every 42 children in Minnesota is identified with autism spectrum disorder. Without intervention, adolescents risk a sharp decline in social support, stalled neurological progress, and a marked increase in depression and anxiety. Often shut off from educational and social supports that were available in childhood, adolescents experience significant roadblocks as they strive for independence. Similarly, young adults with autism can feel isolated and undervalued as members of our community. This project seeks to shift the status quo by pairing teens and adults with autism in one-to-one mentoring relationships as part of a…


University of Minnesota faculty are critical resources in exploring issues and concerns important to Minnesota, such as the criminal justice system, demography, state or local economic development, education, employment, energy, the environment, health, housing, state and local government, welfare and poverty, human and social services, transportation, or land use and development.

The Faculty Interactive Research Program (FIRP) encourages University faculty to carry out research projects that answer questions about these important regional issues, in partnership with community groups, agencies, or organizations in Minnesota. 

Apply…

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) invites proposals for our Faculty Interactive Research Program (FIRP). University of Minnesota faculty are critical resources in exploring issues and concerns important to Minnesota, such as the criminal justice system, demography, state or local economic development, education, employment, energy, the environment, health, housing, state and local government, welfare and poverty, human and social services, transportation, or land use and development.

The FIRP encourages University faculty to carry out research projects that answer questions about these important regional issues, in partnership with community groups…

Minnesota ranks third in the United States for crop production totaling $14.6 billion with nearly half of all lands dedicated to crops. Improving data availability for farmers, government agencies, and researchers will inform decisions in improving conservation practices and crop yields. This project will create and disseminate the first open map of Minnesota farm fields, and produce several examples to demonstrate to policy makers and stakeholders how the farm field data can be used to improve conservation practices and crop yields. We will use satellite imagery and rigorous, reproducible, and robust geocomputational methods running on supercomputers to delineate and map each field. The…

School based mental health programs (SMHP) provide critical services to students in order to mitigate the myriad of negative outcomes associated with mental health problems. However, limited applied, evaluative research has been conducted examining the effects of such programs on student outcomes. In particular, problems exist regarding the measurement of student mental health (needs in school settings. The purpose of this project is to improve measurement of SMH needs by engaging in two related studies. The first study will investigate the psychometric properties of the Minneapolis Public Schools (Behavior Screener Checklist 3 (BSC), which holds promise as a critical indicator of SMH…

Tracking the Trust Building Process in the Minnesota Two Generation Policy Network

How can human service agencies and nonprofits work together for better results? A promising model is the collaborative governance model, which enables state/local/nonprofit organizations to engage in shared decision making. This project is situated in the Minnesota Two Generational Policy Network, a system level service integration and innovation project led by the MN Department of Human Services and its partner organizations to support children and families. Taking a mixed methods longitudinal study approach, this research aims to study how the shift from the contracting model to the…