Josh Verges / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS—In the wake of a political maelstrom over the Senate confirmation of his newest colleague, Chief Justice John Roberts told a University of Minnesota crowd Tuesday, Oct. 16, that the U.S. Supreme Court "must be very different" from Congress and the office of the president. During his opening remarks and in response to questions, the 2005 George W. Bush appointee described his efforts to keep the justices working together and independent of political influence. The justices pause to shake hands before hearing cases, he said.
MINNEAPOLIS—A 26 percent drop in new nonresident students this fall has University of Minnesota leaders pulling back on plans to aggressively increase the cost of attendance. Over the past four years, the U has raised tuition by 49 percent for students who live in other countries or in states outside of Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas and Manitoba, who pay a lower, in-state rate. Still, the U's nonresident, nonreciprocity charge of $30,438 for tuition and fees remains lower than all but two Big Ten schools, Purdue and Nebraska.
MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota Board of Regents on Thursday, Oct. 11, approved a three-year contract extension for athletic director Mark Coyle. The agreement contains no salary increase but reduces the amount Coyle would have to pay the U if he were to leave his job early. Coyle left Syracuse University for the U in 2016, accepting a five-year contract that pays him an $850,000 salary plus $100,000 in annual retirement contributions. The extension keeps him under contract through June 2024.
ST. PAUL—A free, four-week summer program has enabled hundreds of underprepared students to get their remedial classes out of the way before starting college. The Minnesota State system created its Summer Scholars Academy last year with a $1 million donation from Richard Fink, former head of the uniform company G & K Services, and his wife, Beverly.
ST. PAUL — A judge has cleared Macalester College of wrongdoing after it fired a faculty member for having sex with a recent graduate. Kristin Naca, an assistant professor of poetry, sued the college in 2016 in U.S. District Court on dozens of counts related to discrimination, hostile work environment and disability accommodations. U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz last week rejected the final remaining claims and dismissed the case at Macalester's request.
ST. PAUL—Several University of Minnesota buildings soon could get new names as leaders confront the school's racist history. President Eric Kaler this week called for a new task force composed of faculty, staff and students to bring him specific recommendations for name changes by Nov. 15. That group will pick up on the work of a committee Kaler convened last September to "guide our thinking about appropriate modern responses to historical issues on our campuses." A library exhibit highlighting discriminatory housing practices on campus inspired the look back.
MINNEAPOLIS — University of Minnesota leaders plan to ask the Legislature for an additional $87 million next biennium with no promises for how they'll spend it. That would represent a 6.7 percent increase to the two-year, $1.3 billion base appropriation the U regularly gets from the state. "We think it's attainable," Finance Vice President Brian Burnett said.
FARMINGTON, Minn. — Farmington High School marching band leaders are making changes to their football halftime show in response to complaints from supporters of President Donald Trump. The performance of "Dystopia" during last Friday's game sparked emails and phone calls, Farmington High School Principal Dan Pickens said. Pickens, who attended Friday's game, said the show built dramatically to "kind of a cool ending" when the word "RESIST" was spelled out on 10-foot boards.
MINNEAPOLIS — When Eric Kaler leaves his job next year as University of Minnesota president, he'll keep his salary and retirement benefits for a year. Kaler is moving into an ambassador and fundraising role for the U next summer, one year before his contract was to expire. The Board of Regents approved an amended contract Thursday, Aug. 9, that preserves, for that final year, Kaler's $625,250 presidential salary and $325,000 supplemental retirement contribution.
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."