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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
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.
U hires two to review case of 10 football players accused of sex assault

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…

Campus speech codes under fire at Minnesota Morris, Winona State

On the face of it, the University of Minnesota’s Morris campus says it’s merely trying to promote tolerance, respect and civility by regulating what kind…
Obituary: Burton Levin, former ambassador and Carleton professor, brought the Cold War to life

Obituary: Burton Levin, former ambassador and Carleton professor, brought the Cold War to life

Burton Levin was the U.S. ambassador to Burma when he called his daughter at Carleton College as gunfire raged outside the embassy. It was 1988,…
Minnesota State system may offer $500 incentives to stay in school

Minnesota State system may offer $500 incentives to stay in school

In Minnesota, nearly 40 percent of minority students drop out of community college by the end of the first year, and many more never make…

Faculty union approved at Minneapolis College of Art & Design

Meanwhile, adjunct instructors at Augsburg College petition to hold their own election.

Minnesota State schools would trade tuition freeze through 2019 for $178 million

Minnesota State’s 37 public colleges and universities would freeze tuition through 2019 in exchange for a $178 million increase in state funding, under a proposal…
Historic grain silos to be razed by University of Minnesota

Historic grain silos to be razed by University of Minnesota

The rare steel structures, which were built from 1901 to 1914, were considered significant enough to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, but they never quite made the mark.

University of Minnesota seeks a raise from lawmakers to hold down tuition, advance research

The University of Minnesota will ask the Legislature for a 10 percent raise over the next two years — an extra $126 million — to…

University of Minnesota rolls out Smart911 service

Not long ago, a University of Minnesota student accidentally dialed 911 when she was at a busy restaurant. Because the call came from her cellphone,…
Alzheimer's researchers at U reverse memory loss in mice

Alzheimer's researchers at U reverse memory loss in mice

The research could lead to new treatments for humans, but that would be 10 years away.

Minneapolis art school faculty to vote on union

Election is part of a national organizing effort.
State, students are surprised as Regency beauty schools close

State, students are surprised as Regency beauty schools close

Regency Beauty Institute, with headquarters in St. Louis Park, has shuttered all of its 79 beauty schools, including five in Minnesota, without warning.
Sept. 26, 2016: Colleges' crackdown on sex assaults provokes questions of fairness

Sept. 26, 2016: Colleges' crackdown on sex assaults provokes questions of fairness

As schools crack down on campus assaults, lawsuits ask: Where are rights of the accused?
Fargo mother turns sex-assault case against son into national campaign

Fargo mother turns sex-assault case against son into national campaign

She says schools are creating a new class of victims; one was her son.
Inver Hills college fuss began with some union pens

Inver Hills college fuss began with some union pens

Instructor banned from Inver Hills campus for 3 months is challenging the discipline.

University of Minnesota faculty union vote clears hurdle

A ruling Tuesday has cleared the way for a vote this fall on forming a faculty union at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus.…
U of Minnesota approves $104M upgrade to Pioneer Hall

U of Minnesota approves $104M upgrade to Pioneer Hall

The project will preserve the historic red brick exterior while gutting much of the interior to create more spacious living areas and a brand-new $23 million dining hall.

Virtual job fair for students, and grads, of Minnesota private colleges

In another sign of a national job market that is recovering, employers are once again lining up for the chance to recruit and hire Minnesota…

Minnesota program helps graduates with high-cost student loans

This year, for the first time, Minnesota is offering an alternative to residents stuck with high-interest student loans. In January, the Office of Higher Education…

Welcome letter to students of color triggers backlash at Concordia U

The Aug. 1 letter from the dean of diversity affairs was an invitation to a special orientation session for minority students. But it was one particular sentence in bold caps that sparked an outrage: "ALL NEW STUDENTS OF COLOR ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND THIS MEETING."
Racial profiling protest cost U employee her job, lawsuit says

Racial profiling protest cost U employee her job, lawsuit says

Alysia Lajune says she was fired for raising concerns over wording that was used in campus crime alerts.

Minnesota colleges face new rules on sexual assault cases this fall

Law requires new training and reporting on campuses this fall.

July 26, 2016: U creates sex-assault panel to weigh in on discipline

Under the plan, training will be increased for those deciding whether to discipline accused students.
Melania Trump's speech may be a lesson for students

Melania Trump's speech may be a lesson for students

Melania Trump’s convention speech may well turn into a teachable moment at college campuses this fall as a real-life lesson in the dangers of plagiarism.…
St. Olaf College urged to hire 'case manager' for sex misconduct complaints

St. Olaf College urged to hire 'case manager' for sex misconduct complaints

Advisory group suggests a full-time staffer to respond to sexual misconduct claims.
July 7: $99M upgrade of U's historic Pioneer Hall proposed

July 7: $99M upgrade of U's historic Pioneer Hall proposed

Face-lift would preserve exterior of one of the oldest dorms on campus and bring it up to 21st century standards.
Regents give U President Kaler positive review in 'challenging' year

Regents give U President Kaler positive review in 'challenging' year

After what he called an “extraordinarily challenging” year, President Eric Kaler got a positive — but not glowing — job review Wednesday from the University…
Minnesota colleges examine future of liberal arts at conference

Minnesota colleges examine future of liberal arts at conference

Full disclosure: Once upon a time, I was an English major. Back in the 20th century, it never occurred to me to abandon Shakespeare or…
U's new digital platform makes black history archives accessible

U's new digital platform makes black history archives accessible

Sarah Carlson gave the students fair warning about what to expect when they reached the caverns, 80 feet below ground. “It’ll be pretty chilly down…

Minnesota community colleges clear a path for four-year degrees

For many students, community college is the first step toward earning a bachelor’s degree. But many others never finish. Now, officials at the newly named…
MnSCU ditches name no one likes in favor of Minnesota State

MnSCU ditches name no one likes in favor of Minnesota State

Apparently, nobody liked the name MnSCU, including the people who run it. Now, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has decided to ditch the…
Minnesota State colleges are on 'unsustainable' path, report says

Minnesota State colleges are on 'unsustainable' path, report says

The report, eight months in the making, blames the slowdown in state funding for the dire situation facing the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

St. Kate's shaken up by protests of 'rape culture'

St. Catherine University cut ties with an event organizer, Heartland Inc., after protesters accused the school and the company's owners of being insensitive to rape survivors.
St. Cloud State President Potter killed in I-694 rollover crash

St. Cloud State President Potter killed in I-694 rollover crash

Earl H. Potter III was on his way to the Twin Cities for a meeting with the Foundation Board Chair when the crash happened. Provost Ashish Vaidya has been appointed as acting president.
U boosts tuition for students at Twin Cities campus

U boosts tuition for students at Twin Cities campus

Protesters disrupt meeting but fail to block increase.
6 protesters arrested after disrupting U regents meeting over tuition

6 protesters arrested after disrupting U regents meeting over tuition

Protesters disrupted the Friday morning meeting of the University of Minnesota regents. Six people were arrested after they refused a police order to leave.
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