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U of M student newspaper to cut back print edition to 2 days a week

In a nod to the reading habits of its audience, the University of Minnesota's student newspaper will cut back to two print editions a week this fall while shifting more resources to online and digital reporting.

The Minnesota Daily, which has served the Twin Cities campus for more than a century, used to publish five editions weekly during the school year for most of of its history. But several years ago, it dropped the Friday print edition. Starting in September, the newsprint edition will come out only on Mondays and Thursdays.

The move was prompted, in part, by declining ad revenue and a study that showed students were more interested in getting their news on their smartphones than from old-fashioned newspapers. "It was totally motivated by our readers' habits," said Dylan Scott, 21, the incoming editor-in-chief. "Everyone at the Daily knows that students have trouble really finding the relevance in a print legacy product."

At this point, no one is suggesting changing the Daily's name. If anything, it should be even more timely than ever, at least online, officials say.

The student-run newsroom plans to roll out a "digital first" approach, with staffers working around the clock to update the news site with breaking news, according to a news release Wednesday.

"We feel like we're going to be more relevant and more daily," said Gayle Golden, chair of the Daily's board of directors and a senior lecturer at the U's school of journalism and mass communications.

As part of the transformation, the Daily is investing in a new web platform to improve how its content appears on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, according to the news release.

St. Catherine University president to head Alverno College

Sister Andrea Lee, the president of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, has been named the new president of Alverno College in Milwaukee.

Last fall, Lee announced that she was leaving St. Catherine in July, after 18 years as president.

In a campus e-mail Tuesday, she wrote: “I did not originally imagine my ‘one more thing’ as another presidency.” But she said the offer from Alverno, a Catholic liberal arts college, “spoke to my heart and soul.”

Lee, 67, described Alverno as “a magnificent place, just like St. Kate’s. A strong and confident women’s college.”

Alverno, with about 2,600 students, is about half the size of St. Catherine University. Both were founded as women’s colleges, but now accept male students. (At Alverno, only the graduate programs are open to men).

Lee is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She will be the eighth president of Alverno, which was founded in 1887.

St. Catherine officials launched a search for Lee’s successor last fall, when she announced plans to leave. A spokeswoman said that three finalists will be visiting the campus in the next few weeks, and that the board of trustees is expected to name a new president shortly after.