Josh Verges / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — The names of four former University of Minnesota leaders should be scrubbed from Twin Cities campus buildings, according to a task force appointed by President Eric Kaler. A 125-page report made public Wednesday, Feb. 20, says the four white men, who promoted racist and anti-Semitic policies at the university, were not simply a product of their times. Rather, they discriminated against students despite significant activism on and off campus and while other universities chose integration.
ST. PAUL -- More University of Minnesota students are graduating without student debt, and those who do go into debt aren’t borrowing as much as they used to. Twin Cities student borrowing has steadily declined since 2011-12, when 64 percent of new university graduates carried student debt averaging $27,578. Last year, just 56 percent of University of Minnesota graduates had student debt. The average was $25,573, according to a recent report to the board of regents.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota schools will not be punished if they fall short of the state’s instruction time laws because of this week’s dangerous weather, Gov. Tim Walz’s office said Wednesday. “The Governor has assured local school districts that they will not be penalized for keeping their students safe,” a spokesman for the governor said. Classes are canceled across the metro Thursday, Jan. 31, for a fourth consecutive day due to snow and cold.
ST. PAUL — A St. Paul lunch lady and her husband are suspected of growing marijuana in California and having it shipped back home for sale. In May, police at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport intercepted a UPS package containing 18.3 pounds of marijuana addressed to the East Side home of Vang Xiong and his wife, May Yang. It was the seventh large package shipped to their home from California in five months, according to a recent filing in U.S. District Court.
ST. PAUL - A St. Paul special education teacher has been suspended for seven days for shoddy recordkeeping and demeaning her students on Instagram. Kjerstin Hagen was hired in 2012 and teaches students with disabilities at the preK-8 American Indian Magnet School. For each child on her caseload, Hagen was out of compliance with state rules requiring review and revision of students’ individualized education plans, according to an October discipline letter released in response to a Pioneer Press records request.
MINNEAPOLIS - A lawyer, business school dean and South Carolina provost will be the first woman to lead the University of Minnesota as president. The Board of Regents voted unanimously Tuesday, Dec. 18, to name Joan Gabel its 17th president. “Right after she interviewed, I knew it was going to be her,” said Steve Sviggum, one of three regents to serve on the search committee.
ST. PAUL — The University of Minnesota’s presidential mansion in St. Paul could get close to $1 million in upgrades before its next residents move in. Mike Berthelsen, vice president of university services, told the Board of Regents on Thursday, Dec. 13, that Eastcliff needs new heating infrastructure and electrical wiring, which could cost as much as $970,000. Rent proceeds from other university venues will pay for the improvements.
ST. PAUL — The University of Minnesota is hiking tuition again on nonresident students. The Board of Regents on Thursday, Dec. 13, approved a 10 percent tuition increase for nonresident, nonreciprocity students. The new rate will apply to next year’s freshmen, while current nonresident students will see a 5.5 percent increase. Tuition and fees this year are $30,438 — third-lowest in the Big Ten.
MINNEAPOLIS — In her first public job interview Monday, Dec. 10, in Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota’s presumptive next president said the U does not need a “turnaround.” Joan Gabel said the school is a research leader that attracts top students and has strong relationships with corporations and state lawmakers. Asked which university presidents she admired, she named the U’s current leader Eric Kaler first. “The work that he’s done here is a very big part of why I want to succeed him,” she said.
ST. PAUL — A former ticket sales supervisor for the University of Minnesota admitted Friday to stealing $361,336 from the athletics department over five years. Brent Holck, 37, pleaded guilty to felony wire fraud under an agreement with federal prosecutors. He’ll be sentenced May 6. Federal guidelines call for a prison term of 33 to 41 months, plus one to three years of supervised release. He could be fined anywhere from $15,000 to $150,000.