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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 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.
$99M upgrade of U's historic Pioneer Hall proposed

$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.
To the U, he's Dr. Prince now

To the U, he's Dr. Prince now

Nearly two months after his death, Prince has been awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the University of Minnesota . President Eric Kaler said the…
University of Minnesota rethinks steep tuition hike for nonresidents

University of Minnesota rethinks steep tuition hike for nonresidents

In the face of pushback from students and others, President Eric Kaler proposes 7.5 percent increase, rather than 10, with a vote coming Friday.

Minnesota hosts first summit on campus sexual violence

This fall, Minnesota colleges and universities will be under more pressure than ever to amp up efforts to prevent sexual assault on campus. For the…
Al Garcia, onetime Minneapolis lobbyist and powerbroker, dies at 56

Al Garcia, onetime Minneapolis lobbyist and powerbroker, dies at 56

Lawyer, lobbyist a power broker for years, then faced disbarment and prison time after drug bust.
Banned Minnesota college instructor allowed back on campus

Banned Minnesota college instructor allowed back on campus

Dave Berger was put on 'investigative leave' from Inver Hills Community College in February.

Minnesota lawmakers OK tax breaks for college savers and debtors

If you were waiting for another reason to start saving for college, you may have one soon. For the first time, Minnesotans would be eligible…
University of Minnesota offers working option for third-year law students

University of Minnesota offers working option for third-year law students

"Residency" mimicking med school gives hands-on experience and job guarantee.

Tuition drops, but pressure rises at Minnesota's public colleges

MnSCU schools looking to Legislature for $21 million to save staff, programs.

MnSCU scraps rule allowing it to inspect employees' personal cellphones

Employees had denounced the policy as an invasion of privacy.
U of M Morris chancellor pick backs out on eve of appointment

U of M Morris chancellor pick backs out on eve of appointment

Just before his appointment was to become official, Rodney Hanley backed off, citing personal and family reasons.

Regents' committee approves Coyle hiring; final vote on Friday

U President Eric Kaler "enthusiastically" backed Coyle in committee meeting.
Banned Minnesota college instructor reflects on 'exile'

Banned Minnesota college instructor reflects on 'exile'

Ordinarily, as 2016 Faculty Member of the Year, Dave Berger would have the honor of marching at the head of the procession at Thursday’s graduation…
Banned instructor sues Inver Hills Community College, saying he was defamed

Banned instructor sues Inver Hills Community College, saying he was defamed

The sociology teacher has been on investigatory leave since February.

University of Minnesota proposes tuition hikes, for some

Tuition hikes would range from 2.5 percent for state residents to nearly 10 percent for nonresidents, but thousands of undergrads would see no hike at all.
Drum corps show will go on at TCF Bank Stadium, university says

Drum corps show will go on at TCF Bank Stadium, university says

After bumping Drum Corps International twice in two years, U officials apologize and say it can have the football stadium July 16.
St. Catherine University names Becky Roloff its 11th president

St. Catherine University names Becky Roloff its 11th president

Academic outsider boasts business, nonprofit acumen.

Carleton grad sues over handling of her rape complaints

Her lawsuit says college failed to suspend or expel attackers in two assaults.
U forces out marching show again from TCF Bank Stadium, costing thousands

U forces out marching show again from TCF Bank Stadium, costing thousands

Drum Corps International organizers, told they would have to move the July 16 event from TCF Bank Stadium because of a private football camp run by Gophers coach Tracy Claeys, are crying foul.

At Minnesota state colleges, faculty fear a one-size-fits-all curriculum

The final report isn’t due for two months. But already, faculty members are getting nervous about changes that may be in the works at Minnesota…

MnSCU officials back off demand to inspect employee cellphones

After pushback from employees and legislators, MnSCU officials agreed to shelve the rule until a compromise can be worked out.
Arthur named Metro State president; Hensrud to lead Bemidji State

Arthur named Metro State president; Hensrud to lead Bemidji State

Virginia Arthur, the executive vice president and provost of Metropolitan State University, has been appointed president of the St. Paul-based university. Arthur, who has been…
Obituary: Terry Dosh, who led movement for married priests, dies at 85

Obituary: Terry Dosh, who led movement for married priests, dies at 85

Terry Dosh spent the better part of three decades in a monastic setting — as a student, monk and priest at St. John’s University in…

Minnesota helps low-income kids reach summer camps on campuses

During the summer, it’s not unusual to find kids as young as third-graders taking classes on college campuses. Throughout Minnesota, there are summer enrichment camps…
MnSCU chancellor, often a lightning rod for criticism, to retire in 2017

MnSCU chancellor, often a lightning rod for criticism, to retire in 2017

Tenure has been marked by clashes with faculty.
St. Olaf student protests sexual misconduct policy with T-shirt

St. Olaf student protests sexual misconduct policy with T-shirt

The private college in Northfield insists that it's doing its best to crack down on sexual assault, but it is asking the federal government to review how the college handles those complaints.
U endorses plan to boost nonresident tuition

U endorses plan to boost nonresident tuition

Some fear sharp increases will scare away national students; supporters say low rates are a subsidy.

New rule on personal cellphones enrages Minnesota faculty unions

Move will let personal phones be inspected if used for work; unions raise privacy alarm.
Hands-on Augsburg history prof had the circus as his first stage

Hands-on Augsburg history prof had the circus as his first stage

For the better part of 20 years, Phillip Adamo has been inspiring students to study the past, not for its own sake, he says, but for what it can teach them about the present.
Sharon Pierce named president of Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Sharon Pierce named president of Minneapolis Community and Technical College

She sees past problems at school as "opportunities to make a large difference."
Inver Hills Community College instructor active in union banned from campus

Inver Hills Community College instructor active in union banned from campus

Faculty, college president have clashed in recent weeks.
Students compete in person for scholarships at University of Minnesota's Rochester campus

Students compete in person for scholarships at University of Minnesota's Rochester campus

This weekend, about 60 newly admitted students will gather at the University of Minnesota’s Rochester campus to compete in person for $200,000 in merit scholarships.…
Conservative pundit draws protesters at University of Minnesota

Conservative pundit draws protesters at University of Minnesota

Milo Yiannopolous has emerged as a hero of the right in campus culture wars.
Concordia College criticized for cuts in language majors

Concordia College criticized for cuts in language majors

Concordia College's move to drop language majors vexes students, alumni.

2016 college job fair season sees lots of employers

Two weeks from now, thousands of college students will converge on the Minneapolis Convention Center in hopes of lining up a job or internship. And…
MnSCU leaders back embattled presidents at Inver Hills, Ridgewater colleges

MnSCU leaders back embattled presidents at Inver Hills, Ridgewater colleges

They profess "complete confidence" in heads of Inver Hills, Ridgewater.
2 Minn. community college presidents face faculty uprisings

2 Minn. community college presidents face faculty uprisings

Inver Hills plans a no-confidence vote while a Ridgewater College group will meet with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system leaders.

Minnesota offers free counseling for student borrowers on the brink

Two years ago, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota started a pilot program to help people on the verge of defaulting on their student loans. Now,…
University of Minnesota faculty to file for union vote

University of Minnesota faculty to file for union vote

Goal is better job security and pay for instructors.
Obituary: Paul Eid, 92, social worker who found his calling helping AIDS patients and adoptions

Obituary: Paul Eid, 92, social worker who found his calling helping AIDS patients and adoptions

As the son and son-in-law of Lutheran ministers, Paul Eid thought he would become a preacher himself. But he found his true calling as a…
Joyce Helens is acting head of embattled Rochester community college

Joyce Helens is acting head of embattled Rochester community college

Helens will replace embattled McClellon.
University of Minnesota Physics Force troupe wows with physics tricks

University of Minnesota Physics Force troupe wows with physics tricks

Next week, Prof. Shaul Hanany will lie on a bed of nails while someone takes a hammer and smashes a cement block on his stomach.…
U of M tests reflective film to head off bird collisions with glass

U of M tests reflective film to head off bird collisions with glass

The university is something of a magnet for birds because of its proximity to the Mississippi River flyway. It's the same reason that activists have been warning about birds colliding with the new Vikings stadium.
Did play props cost a Minnesota college instructor his jobs?

Did play props cost a Minnesota college instructor his jobs?

In a drama now playing out like a Greek tragedy on a national stage, a Winona college instructor has lost two jobs in a clash over a campus production of "Medea."
Embattled Rochester community college president resigns

Embattled Rochester community college president resigns

Hiring, spending issues dogged head of Rochester community college.
Relax. It's finals time at the University of Minnesota

Relax. It's finals time at the University of Minnesota

Libraries offering 'stress busters' to students in need of a study break
Hamline adjuncts reach tentative agreement on 'historic' first contract

Hamline adjuncts reach tentative agreement on 'historic' first contract

Hamline instructors' tentative pact includes first pay raise in 10 years.
U President Eric Kaler wants tighter rein on athletics department spending

U President Eric Kaler wants tighter rein on athletics department spending

Move follows audit's findings of misuse of department funds.
U may boost nonresident tuition by $12.8K by end of decade

U may boost nonresident tuition by $12.8K by end of decade

After years with the lowest rates in the Big Ten, the University of Minnesota is considering raising tuition for nonresident students by $12,800, more than 60 percent, by the end of the decade.
U athletics probe details serious violations of spending rules

U athletics probe details serious violations of spending rules

Payments for booze, parties and hair stylists were among improper receipts found, but investigators say there is little evidence of sexual harassment at the U's athletics department during Norwood Teague's tenure.
U's athletic department investigation will be public this morning

U's athletic department investigation will be public this morning

The results of two investigations into the University of Minnesota’s athletics department will be presented Tuesday at a special meeting of the Board of Regents.…
Bisexual prayer leader's ouster sparks rally at Concordia

Bisexual prayer leader's ouster sparks rally at Concordia

A march, complete with a bullhorn and protest signs, capped a week of events designed to rally support for Nikki Hagan, a 19-year-old biology major from Woodbury.
Rochester college up in arms over president's spending, moves

Rochester college up in arms over president's spending, moves

Rochester Community and Technical College is in open rebellion against President Leslie McClellon, just 17 months after taking office as the overwhelming favorite of faculty, staff and students alike.

University of Minnesota vows to honor 9/11 victims after outcry over student vote

A student group's vote triggered a backlash, so leaders responded.

U student group faces backlash for voting down 9/11 remembrance

Proposal to create "moment of recognition" stirs backlash, triggers debate over inciting racism.

St. John's/St. Ben's insider ponders a 'stomach-churning' trend as his own kids head to college

Jon McGee has been a college administrator for two decades. So he has a pretty good grasp of why, for example, it costs so much…

University of Minnesota named one of nation's most bicycle-friendly campuses

The University of Minnesota is now, officially, one of the most bicycle-friendly campuses in the nation. This week, the League of American Bicyclists awarded the…
Protesters disrupt Israeli professor's lecture at University of Minnesota

Protesters disrupt Israeli professor's lecture at University of Minnesota

Protesters' defend actions denounced by a U law professor, others.
Minnesota college graduates cope with the debt that follows

Minnesota college graduates cope with the debt that follows

Minnesotans staring down years of payments ask themselves the big question: Was it worth it?

University of St. Thomas considers adding two-year college

Is there a place at the University of St. Thomas for a two-year college? For the first time, St. Thomas officials are seriously considering the…
Minnesota ranks 5th among states for highest student debt

Minnesota ranks 5th among states for highest student debt

Seven in 10 seniors who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2014 had student loan debt, with an average of $28,950 per borrower, according to the survey.
U takes lead in promoting free college textbooks

U takes lead in promoting free college textbooks

In the past, Irene Duranczyk would assign her students a $180 textbook and hope they had the money to pay for it. Now, she still…
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