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Maura Lerner

Higher education reporter | Higher education
phone: 612-673-7384
Maura Lerner is the higher-education reporter. Her reporting has been recognized by the National Press Club, the Society for Professional Journalists, the Minnesota Associated Press and the Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Award. Before joining the Star Tribune, Lerner was a senior producer for the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour on PBS, and a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Recent content from Maura Lerner
U toughens policy against sexual assault and harassment

U toughens policy against sexual assault and harassment

All University of Minnesota employees will be required for the first time to report incidents of sexual harassment directed at students.

University of Minnesota plans 15% tuition hike for nonresidents

"I think this tuition price reflects the value that a University of Minnesota degree can command," President Eric Kaler said.
U conservatives say: Bring on the protests at our gatherings

U conservatives say: Bring on the protests at our gatherings

So far, Minnesota has largely escaped the kind of violence that has erupted elsewhere over campus visits by right-wing pundits and provocateurs. Yet in many ways, college campuses are turning more hostile than ever to conservative views, said Madison Faupel, president of Minnesota College Republicans.
Minnesota universities bucking trend on foreign student enrollment

Minnesota universities bucking trend on foreign student enrollment

U, St. Thomas defy trend of drop in international admissions.
Lawrence Yetka, former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, dies at 93

Lawrence Yetka, former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, dies at 93

Yetka, who continued to volunteer as a hometown judge until his mid-80s, died Nov. 12 at age 93.
U report calls for 'bystander intervention' training to curb sex assaults

U report calls for 'bystander intervention' training to curb sex assaults

"It's got to stop. We have to stop it," said President Eric Kaler. "And history shows we have to confront it every day at the university."
University of Minnesota law professor takes rights battle to global stage

University of Minnesota law professor takes rights battle to global stage

U professor takes her defense of civil liberties to global stage.
University of Minnesota organizers back off faculty union vote

University of Minnesota organizers back off faculty union vote

Rather than appeal recent court ruling, group will form "workers' association."
St. Mary's University president to step down in 2018

St. Mary's University president to step down in 2018

Brother William Mann will leave in 2018
Free tuition draws Minnesota students to online university

Free tuition draws Minnesota students to online university

At a time of mounting anxiety over college costs and student debt, the online University of the People is doing its best to smash the mold.
U leak probe cost $74K, caught no one

U leak probe cost $74K, caught no one

A $74K investigation into who leaked confidential information about a University of Minnesota athletic official has ended — with no culprit in sight.
Attorney Jeff Anderson gives Mitchell Hamline Law School $2M for 'Zero Abuse Project'

Attorney Jeff Anderson gives Mitchell Hamline Law School $2M for 'Zero Abuse Project'

Gift will create new law clinic specializing in child abuse litigation.
University of Minnesota announces $4 billion fundraising campaign

University of Minnesota announces $4 billion fundraising campaign

Some $2.5 billion has been pledged by private donors in its largest campaign, flying under the radar so far.
Eric Kaler earns 'commendable' grade as University of Minnesota president

Eric Kaler earns 'commendable' grade as University of Minnesota president

Regents happy with his work but noted year's distractions.
Minnesotans react to Betsy DeVos' plans to change how colleges handle allegations of sexual violence on campus

Minnesotans react to Betsy DeVos' plans to change how colleges handle allegations of sexual violence on campus

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' plans to change the way colleges and university handle allegations of sexual violence on campus drew a mixed reaction in…
Appeals Court deals setback to U faculty union effort

Appeals Court deals setback to U faculty union effort

Tenured profs, instructors cannot join same unit.
Minn. private colleges try to soften blow of tuition sticker shock

Minn. private colleges try to soften blow of tuition sticker shock

With price tags that are double or triple those of public universities, many private schools say they're spending more than ever on financial aid — effectively slicing tuition in half for the average student.
Hamline University to build center for 'racial healing,' with help of $30K grant

Hamline University to build center for 'racial healing,' with help of $30K grant

With help from a $30K grant, school will build a center to dispel biases and tension.
Report: U followed rules in football suspensions, cites 'breakdown in trust'

Report: U followed rules in football suspensions, cites 'breakdown in trust'

The report, released Wednesday, blamed much of the turmoil surrounding the high-profile case on "weak leadership" of the coaching staff and the influence of unnamed "third parties."
University of St. Thomas project offers new hope for 'food deserts'

University of St. Thomas project offers new hope for 'food deserts'

At BrightSide Produce, college students and local teenagers team up to deliver fresh produce, at discount prices, to corner stores in low-income neighborhoods.
St. Thomas' new 2-year college lures low-income students

St. Thomas' new 2-year college lures low-income students

The Dougherty Family College is believed to be only the second college of its kind in the country. So far it has filled about half of its 150 seats.
Public Minnesota universities see few effects from Trump plan

Public Minnesota universities see few effects from Trump plan

Race just one factor in U admission, official said.
Globe, School of Business issued illegal student loans, high court rules

Globe, School of Business issued illegal student loans, high court rules

Court ruling could wipe out $20 million in student debt.
Emergency grants help Minnesota's strapped students stay in college

Emergency grants help Minnesota's strapped students stay in college

Starting this year, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education is launching its own emergency fund program for students, inspired in part by an administrator's success.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson joins letter warning against weakening rules on campus sex assault

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson joins letter warning against weakening rules on campus sex assault

The attorneys general of 20 states, including Minnesota, expressed “serious concern” Wednesday that the Department of Education is preparing to weaken rules designed to crack…
Coyle cites department's academic, athletic success to U of M regents

Coyle cites department's academic, athletic success to U of M regents

Mark Coyle, just finishing his first year as athletic director, made only passing reference to the turmoil that began when a student accused multiple U football players of sexually assaulting her at a party.
Minnesota school attracts working adults with flexible online courses

Minnesota school attracts working adults with flexible online courses

Riverland Community College in Austin launched FlexPace, in which students take a series of six-week classes, working on their own timetable and taking online assessments to prove that they've mastered the material.
University of Minnesota unveils a 3-minute lesson on its $3.8 billion budget

University of Minnesota unveils a 3-minute lesson on its $3.8 billion budget

New "Our Budget" video seeks to explain all in less than three minutes.

Minnesota State raises tuition at 37 colleges and universities

Tuition increase for two-year colleges is first in five years.
In-state University of Minnesota undergrads will see 2% tuition rise

In-state University of Minnesota undergrads will see 2% tuition rise

Regents resisted first plan but agreed to shift more of increase to nonresidents.
Minnesota State proposes 'modest but necessary' tuition increases

Minnesota State proposes 'modest but necessary' tuition increases

If approved, two-year public colleges will see first tuition increase since 2012.
Sarah Lipsett-Allison, cantor, dies at 60

Sarah Lipsett-Allison, cantor, dies at 60

Sarah Lipsett-Allison was a classically trained singer with the “voice of an angel,” in the words of her admirers. So it was no surprise that…
David McMillan, Ken Powell to lead U's Board of Regents

David McMillan, Ken Powell to lead U's Board of Regents

The latter, chairman of General Mills, has served for just four months.

In-state tuition hike gets pushback from University of Minnesota regents

"I suspect there will be compromise," chair said of 3 percent raise.
At Bethel University, eight special students celebrate a milestone

At Bethel University, eight special students celebrate a milestone

First graduating class of Bethel University Inclusive Learning and Development program is filled with pride and excitement.
Minn. public colleges eye tuition hikes, program cuts as funding falls short

Minn. public colleges eye tuition hikes, program cuts as funding falls short

Facing shortfall in state funds, U and Minnesota State schools look for ways to balance their budgets.

Journalists petition University of Minnesota to halt leak investigation

More than 260 journalists have signed a petition urging the University of Minnesota to halt its investigation into the source of news leaks about an…
Minnesota public colleges face tuition hikes and cuts, commissioner warns

Minnesota public colleges face tuition hikes and cuts, commissioner warns

Budget gap between GOP, Gov. Mark Dayton would mean hard decisions.
May 4: U hires two to review case of 10 football players accused of sex assault

May 4: U hires two to review case of 10 football players accused of sex assault

Lawyers will "not rehash the investigation," but see if the university followed its own rules.
Liberal arts majors get a career boost at the University of Minnesota

Liberal arts majors get a career boost at the University of Minnesota

"Career Readiness Initiative" helps give grads an edge
Scientists prepare to march 'into the streets' Saturday

Scientists prepare to march 'into the streets' Saturday

A dozen Minnesota cities will host March for Science events.
Kathleen Ridder, champion of women in politics, dies at 94

Kathleen Ridder, champion of women in politics, dies at 94

She was driven to "advancing the role of women in society."
U of M bias response team walks fine line of free speech, hate speech

U of M bias response team walks fine line of free speech, hate speech

U moves to act quickly after reports of bigotry, but critics worry about chilling effect.
U plans 'independent review' of handling of Gophers football sex assault allegations

U plans 'independent review' of handling of Gophers football sex assault allegations

Regents seek lessons from new scrutiny of high-profile incident involving football players.
Century College names Millender as president

Century College names Millender as president

Angelia Millender has been named the next president of Century College in White Bear Lake. Millender, who is now president of Olive-Harvey College in Chicago,…

Police pursuit leads to fatal crash near Bloomington light rail

Incident disrupted light rail service, but no trains were involved, spokesman says.
St. Olaf to strip prof's name from building after reports of sex misconduct

St. Olaf to strip prof's name from building after reports of sex misconduct

Reidar Dittmann was a Holocaust survivor who taught art and Norwegian at the Northfield college for more than 45 years and died in 2010 at age 88.
U regents vote has some asking: What happened to diversity?

U regents vote has some asking: What happened to diversity?

DFL Rep. Jennifer Schultz is leading the charge to reform the way regents are chosen after her fellow legislators elected four white men last month.
Helene Burton Kaplan, pioneering ad exec, dies at 98

Helene Burton Kaplan, pioneering ad exec, dies at 98

Kaplan, who died at age 98 on Feb. 2, was one of the first female advertising executives in Minnesota and a mentor to younger generations who would follow in her path.
University of Minnesota launches new crackdown on sexual assault

University of Minnesota launches new crackdown on sexual assault

Mandatory training for faculty and staff is part of the plan.
Augsburg College to become a university in fall

Augsburg College to become a university in fall

Name change at Minneapolis liberal arts school will take effect in September.
'Widely liked' leader steps in at Minnesota State

'Widely liked' leader steps in at Minnesota State

Former Metropolitan State head Devinder Malhotra drew praise from trustees and faculty members.
Minnesota lawmakers choose General Mills CEO, three others as U regents

Minnesota lawmakers choose General Mills CEO, three others as U regents

Ken Powell was the surprise as the Legislature picked four for the University of Minnesota's governing board.
Minn. professor's 'rant' on immigrants, refugees sets off a backlash

Minn. professor's 'rant' on immigrants, refugees sets off a backlash

Philosophy professor at University of Minnesota, Morris campus triggers outcry with comments on immigrants.
Athletes need better training on sexual misconduct, U says

Athletes need better training on sexual misconduct, U says

Months of training sessions on code of conduct preceded alleged sexual assault.
Sviggum, in surprise comeback, may return to U regents

Sviggum, in surprise comeback, may return to U regents

Former House speaker was tapped at last minute for vacancy, five years after he was forced to quit.
Immigration crackdowns led to regrets, say University of Minnesota experts launching new website

Immigration crackdowns led to regrets, say University of Minnesota experts launching new website

She helps create a website to show how past immigration crackdowns went awry.
U panel clears 4, still penalizes 6 others in alleged sexual assault

U panel clears 4, still penalizes 6 others in alleged sexual assault

A University of Minnesota disciplinary panel has cleared four of the 10 Gophers football players who had been accused of sexual misconduct in the alleged assault on a female student in September. But penalties remain for the other six players.
Dallas Bohnsack, devoted University of Minnesota regent, dies at 78

Dallas Bohnsack, devoted University of Minnesota regent, dies at 78

The first time Dallas Bohnsack tried to win a seat on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, things didn’t go as planned. When state…
Kaler: U 'did the right thing' in suspending players, firing Claeys

Kaler: U 'did the right thing' in suspending players, firing Claeys

Eric Kaler said Gophers coaches could have done more to address the concerns of other players, who threatened to boycott a Dec. 27 bowl game in anger over the suspensions.
Gophers' turmoil and buyouts get the attention of the Legislature

Gophers' turmoil and buyouts get the attention of the Legislature

Debate over the university's handling of allegations against football players shifts to State Capitol.
'Fire Claeys' rally turns into celebration

'Fire Claeys' rally turns into celebration

Protesters had planned rally to press for Claeys' ouster.
Colleges now forced to judge challenging cases

Colleges now forced to judge challenging cases

A Minneapolis attorney who is becoming an expert in the field notes it's not an easy task for people who typically don't do this sort of thing for a living.

Video trains students 'how not to be a perpetrator'

You might think it's consensual, attorney says, but be careful.
U can take action in sexual assault cases, even if police or prosecutors don't

U can take action in sexual assault cases, even if police or prosecutors don't

Campuses can take action, even if police drop the case.

Student protest disrupts U of Minnesota regents meeting this morning

SDS protests tuition, U decision on sanctuary demands.

Report counts nearly 300 sexual assault cases on Minn. campuses

Nearly 300 complaints of sexual assault were reported to Minnesota colleges or universities in 2015, and 79 resulted in disciplinary action greater than a warning, according to information made public under a new state law.

Adjunct instructors at Augsburg College vote to form union

It could become third local school in two years to do so.

College classes in Minnesota high schools face costly changes

It is, almost everyone agrees, a great way to earn college credits for free. But the popular “College in the Schools” program, which allows Minnesota…
Michelle Behr named chancellor of University of Minnesota Morris campus

Michelle Behr named chancellor of University of Minnesota Morris campus

She will succeed Jacqueline Johnson in February, pending approval of regents.
Students call for 'sanctuary campus' at University of Minnesota

Students call for 'sanctuary campus' at University of Minnesota

Organizers hope to deliver petition with more than 1,100 signatures to U President Kaler on Wednesday.
University of St. Thomas to launch 2-year college for low-income students

University of St. Thomas to launch 2-year college for low-income students

Special 2-year degree may cost low-income students as little as $1,000 a year.
Guaranteed: Get two-year degree, get into Minnesota State university

Guaranteed: Get two-year degree, get into Minnesota State university

Four-year schools adopt same standards for accepting students.
Gustavus president announces $4 million donation

Gustavus president announces $4 million donation

Former Medtronic executive's husband, a neurosurgeon, joins with her to endow a new neuroscience professorship.

Minnesota State strategy to avoid financial crisis includes nearly $40 million in cost-cutting

Chancellor Steven Rosenstone has come up with a three-pronged strategy to save the Minnesota State colleges and university system from a looming financial crisis. The…
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