Josh Verges / St. Paul Pioneer Press
Since he was sentenced for assault three years ago, Christian Burch has edited the prison newspaper, tutored fellow inmates and sold graphite portraits he drew while earning an art certificate. His next goal is a bachelor’s degree in communications, which he expects to receive through Ohio-based Ashland University shortly before he is released in 2021.
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.
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.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota State leaders will spend several months and $300,000 learning from trailblazers outside of higher education in hopes of inspiring innovation across the 375,000-student system. Chancellor Devinder Malhotra and Board of Trustees chairman Michael Vekich this week said the system must take risks and try new things in the face of slumping state investment and declining public confidence in higher education. Innovation, Malhotra said, is "critical to our future."
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn.—An alumnus who gave $300,000 to St. John's University wants the money back, but the school says it doesn't have the authority. California attorney Roger Lindmark says the Collegeville, Minn., institution has mismanaged his gifts by awarding endowed funds to several students who didn't earn them. "Universities need to learn there are consequences when they don't do their job in fulfilling the parameters of an endowment set up for a specific purpose," he wrote in a 2017 letter to the school's president.
ST. PAUL—Achievement gaps between whites and students of color are closing somewhat at Minnesota State two-year colleges but growing at the system's seven universities. Over the past four years, the 30 colleges saw broad improvement in their three-year completion rates. Fifty-eight percent of white students finished school on time, up 3.2 percentage points, while students of color as a group improved 4.6 points, to 43.5 percent.
ST. PAUL—The leader of Minnesota's largest higher education system will get $507,000 in annual salary and benefits when his new contract starts Aug. 1. Minnesota State trustees Wednesday approved a three-year contract for Devinder Malhotra, who has been interim chancellor since August. Trustees made Malhotra the permanent successor to the retired Steven Rosenstone this month after agreeing that a second national search did not produce the right candidate.
ST. PAUL—The University of Minnesota will ask the Legislature for an extra $10 million to finance a tuition freeze next year for Minnesota residents at all of its campuses. The two-year budget lawmakers adopted last year awarded the university $658.7 million in base funding this year and $10 million less than that in 2018-19. Knowing that funding would decline, the university spent $10 million last year on one-time repairs and renovations.
ST. PAUL—Students and staff could be punished if they fail to obtain affirmative consent for sex through "words or clear, unambiguous action" under a policy change approved Wednesday, Feb. 21, by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees. The policy applies to some 375,000 students at the state-run system's 30 colleges and seven universities, as well as faculty and staff and anyone who has sex on campus.
ST PAUL—Most Minnesota State colleges and universities lost money in 2016-17 as overall enrollment fell for a sixth consecutive year. The state's low unemployment rate and a declining number of young adults have had the state's largest higher-education system in budget-cutting mode for years. Full-year equivalent enrollment totaled 131,640 last year, down 17 percent from 2010-11. Another 1.9 percent decline is expected this year. Twenty-two schools operated the 2016-17 school year at a loss while 15 made money.