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Maura Lerner

Investigative reporter | Health
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

Legislature mandates tuition cut at Minnesota's two-year colleges

By the fall of 2016, students at Minnesota’s two-year colleges will pay less in tuition than they do now, thanks to legislation passed this weekend.…
Teaching students rattled as state board penalizes UMD programs

Teaching students rattled as state board penalizes UMD programs

Licenses delayed after a state board penalized the school.

Dorm at Bemidji State is refitted for single parents

In 1990, Bemidji State University thought it was starting a trend when it decided to open its first residence hall just for single parents.The goal…
2nd Minnesota college president cleared of plagiarism allegations

2nd Minnesota college president cleared of plagiarism allegations

Dorothy Duran is second college president to be cleared after critics launched “campaign of personal attacks” on a blog.
U police don't think student was victim of armed assault

U police don't think student was victim of armed assault

The case sparked a wave of concern across campus after the student, an 18-year-old woman, told police that she was sexually assaulted early Sunday in her dorm room by two strangers.

Poster for free-speech forum sets off debate at University of Minnesota

Forum’s use of cartoon image of Mohammed and school’s response draw complaints.
At 91, Prof. John Fraser Hart teaches his last class at the U

At 91, Prof. John Fraser Hart teaches his last class at the U

“There are some people who should never be in front of a classroom; they really don’t enjoy what they’re doing,” the geography professor said. “While I’m having a wonderful time.”

U of M tries weekend on campus to attract minority students

The 75 high school juniors are the first class in a pilot project called the VIP Weekend.

Carleton, Fergus Falls grads rank high in national earnings study

National survey puts both in top 10 for schools with best return on investment.
Phebe Givens, philanthropist, dies at 93

Phebe Givens, philanthropist, dies at 93

When Phebe Givens was growing up in north Minneapolis, her mother worked as a washroom attendant at the Minneapolis Athletic Club to support the family.So…
Cybersecurity team wins kudos at Metropolitan State University

Cybersecurity team wins kudos at Metropolitan State University

It must have felt like a moral victory when a team from Metropolitan State University came in a “surprising second” in a cyber security competition…
Globe U whistleblower collects as school battles Minnesota AG, falling enrollment

Globe U whistleblower collects as school battles Minnesota AG, falling enrollment

It was, experts say, one of the first whistleblower cases in the country to result in a jury award against a for-profit college. But the case has lingered on appeal, until now.
Suspicion strong that Aussie teen wiz hacked Metro State website

Suspicion strong that Aussie teen wiz hacked Metro State website

Secret Service is investigating claims in hacker’s blog, ones identified by a Metro State prof, above

Computer hacker likely exposed data of 160,000 at Metropolitan State University

A computer hacker who broke into a database at St. Paul-based Metropolitan State University likely exposed personal information on as many as 160,000 people, officials…
Minnesota college president cleared of plagiarism charge

Minnesota college president cleared of plagiarism charge

Chancellor says he considers case against SCC head closed.
Hamline U. selects dean from Vermont as its next president

Hamline U. selects dean from Vermont as its next president

Hamline University has named its 20th president: Fayneese Miller, the dean of the college of education and social services at the University of Vermont. Miller,…

Remedial college classes target 1 in 4 students

On the surface, it may sound like an indictment of our public school system: 1 in 4 high school graduates end up taking a remedial…
April 2009: 'A voice for the voiceless' in Somali autism debate

April 2009: 'A voice for the voiceless' in Somali autism debate

A mother in Burnsville who once hid her son's autism is now acting to bring to the public's attention the high number of Somali-American kids in autism classes.
Obituary: U Prof. Josef Mestenhauser championed Czech culture

Obituary: U Prof. Josef Mestenhauser championed Czech culture

For nearly half his life, Josef Mestenhauser lived a sort of double life. In Minnesota, he was a revered professor who won international awards promoting…
Minnesota considers bill to scrap remedial college courses

Minnesota considers bill to scrap remedial college courses

Foes say they discourage students; instructors say they’re needed.
University of Minn. regents vote to suspend psychiatric studies

University of Minn. regents vote to suspend psychiatric studies

For the first time, President Eric Kaler acknowledged that the University of Minnesota made “misleading or inaccurate” statements in the aftermath of the suicide of Dan Markingson, a psychiatric patient who was in a U drug study at the time of his death.
Globe University accused of making illegal student loans

Globe University accused of making illegal student loans

Lawsuit argues students not responsible for loans with “staggering” rates.
Back to the future for new U regent, Darrin Rosha

Back to the future for new U regent, Darrin Rosha

The first time Darrin Rosha was elected to the U’s Board of Regents, he was barely out of his teens. Then, he was the lone…
Surprise vote returns U grad Rosha to Board of Regents

Surprise vote returns U grad Rosha to Board of Regents

He’ll fill remaining term of the late David Larson.

The thin line between plagiarizing and paraphrasing

In college, plagiarism is serious business. But sometimes, students cross the line without even realizing it, says Melissa Anderson, a professor of higher education at…
Faculty, leaders end feud over MnSCU reform plan

Faculty, leaders end feud over MnSCU reform plan

After a five-month standoff, faculty and administrators have agreed to settle their differences over a controversial plan called Charting the Future to reform Minnesota’s 31…
Two MnSCU college presidents under fire for alleged plagiarism

Two MnSCU college presidents under fire for alleged plagiarism

MnSCU calls plagiarism allegations “reckless’’; experts say blog posts merit investigation.
Legislators put tough questions to university's President Kaler

Legislators put tough questions to university's President Kaler

U wants the state to cover tuition freeze for 2 more years.

Campus beat: Hamline-Mitchell move shows law schools' sagging fortunes

Jerry Organ wasn’t surprised to hear last week that two of Minnesota’s four law schools are planning to merge in the face of dropping enrollment.…
Hamline, William Mitchell law schools to merge

Hamline, William Mitchell law schools to merge

William Mitchell, Hamline join forces as enrollment declines nationwide
Jan. 21, 2015: William Mitchell names new president, dean

Jan. 21, 2015: William Mitchell names new president, dean

Mark Gordon will join the law school in July.
May 1, 2014: Hamline's new law school dean optimistic about legal careers

May 1, 2014: Hamline's new law school dean optimistic about legal careers

Sure, applications have dropped by a third nationwide since 2010, and they’re still falling. But to Jean Holloway, that’s no reason to be discouraged.

March 27, 2014: Hamline offers online law school, for nonlawyers

The master’s program gives them a chance to learn some tricks from the lawyer’s playbook, such as negotiating and conflict resolution, in roughly a third of the time as regular law school, and at a fraction of the cost.

Deadlock leaves 7 finalists in running for 5 seats on U's Board of Regents

A joint committee split, mostly along party lines, over appointees for two districts.

Rasmussen College cuts tuition, again, for popular business course

For-profit college says it hopes to attract more students with its lower tuition prices.

MnSCU 'peace' talks underway between faculty, administrators

Faculty, administrators seek common ground on “Charting the Future” initiative.
Who benefits the most from 'free' college tuition?

Who benefits the most from 'free' college tuition?

Some express concern the plan’s benefits might be misplaced.
Dayton sends budget message to feuding MnSCU faculty, officials

Dayton sends budget message to feuding MnSCU faculty, officials

After monthslong rift, two sides issue joint statement.

Want to know if college student skipped class? There's an app

Parents, do you ever wonder if your college student is skipping class? Now you can find out — for a mere $200 a year. An…
Dec. 21, 2014: U bioethicist tests limits of academic freedom

Dec. 21, 2014: U bioethicist tests limits of academic freedom

Carl Elliott has waged a contentious campaign against the psychiatry department, which he blames for the 2004 death of a mentally ill patient.

Hacker breached Metro State University database with personal information

Officials warn students, staff to take precautions against identity theft.
Tests allow a head start on college by stockpiling credits

Tests allow a head start on college by stockpiling credits

Relatively little-known CLEP exams can help students can save thousands of dollars in tuition before they even set foot on campus.
William Mitchell welcomes its first hybrid 'online' law school class

William Mitchell welcomes its first hybrid 'online' law school class

St. Paul’s William Mitchell welcomes an eclectic, pioneering “hybrid” class.

Ten candidates vie for 5 spots on U of M's Board of Regents

Richard Beeson is the only incumbent seeking reappointment.
Proposal would tighten consumer protections for Minn. college students

Proposal would tighten consumer protections for Minn. college students

Attorney general wants for-profit colleges to dislcose grad, job data.
Harold Pellett, 76: Careful cultivator of lasting beauty

Harold Pellett, 76: Careful cultivator of lasting beauty

He spent 30 years defying Mother Nature, breeding flowering shrubs to withstand the harsh Minnesota climate. Every spring, his Northern Lights azaleas put on a spectacular show.
Claire Richards, 24: Budding scientist, eternal optimist

Claire Richards, 24: Budding scientist, eternal optimist

In her first semester of medical school, she learned that her cancer had returned. She used her last months to send a powerful message to friends and fellow students.

Alums get helping hand at U of M website

Lisa Lewis knows that students aren’t the only ones who may need career advice. Sometimes, so do alumni, even years after they earn their degrees.…

Sept. 8: Faculty challenges U research review

Critics say outside experts are hobbled by conflicts of interest.

Abducted girl found safe in north Minneapolis

A man released the 7-year-old two hours later just blocks from her north Minneapolis home.
Kingsley H. Murphy Jr., media executive and political advance man

Kingsley H. Murphy Jr., media executive and political advance man

When he was an advance man on Hubert Humphrey’s presidential campaign, Kingsley Murphy Jr. had one rule for everyone working with him.“Nobody sleeps and nobody…
July 23: Swanson says 2 for-profit colleges in Minn. misled students

July 23: Swanson says 2 for-profit colleges in Minn. misled students

The suit against the Minnesota School of Business and Globe University said the schools have left some of their students saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt and unable to find work in their fields.
Bethel U. launches online course for midwives

Bethel U. launches online course for midwives

The university’s online program takes a new approach to art of delivering a baby.

MnSCU seeks extra state funds to freeze tuition

A proposal to extend a tuition freeze another two years at 31 Minnesota colleges and universities is now heading for the Legislature.On Wednesday, the board…
Metro State students join revolt against MnSCU chancellor

Metro State students join revolt against MnSCU chancellor

More campuses to consider no-confidence votes this week.
In face of faculty revolt, MnSCU chancellor stays the course

In face of faculty revolt, MnSCU chancellor stays the course

In the past two weeks, faculty groups at five Minnesota state universities have passed votes of no confidence against Steven Rosenstone.
Faculty union rebuffs mediation offer from MnSCU chief Rosenstone

Faculty union rebuffs mediation offer from MnSCU chief Rosenstone

Chancellor’s act follows no-confidence votes at five state universities.
Two more no-confidence votes for MnSCU chancellor

Two more no-confidence votes for MnSCU chancellor

Faculty controversy stems from plan to reform 31-school system.
U of M regent David Larson dies at age 70

U of M regent David Larson dies at age 70

The retired Cargill executive endowed a scholarship and “cared deeply for students.”
MCTC culinary arts program is on the chopping block

MCTC culinary arts program is on the chopping block

Minneapolis Community and Technical College Culinary program is on the verge of closing because grads find only low-paid jobs, raising concerns about student loan repayment.
Faculty pulls out from plan to revamp state colleges, universities

Faculty pulls out from plan to revamp state colleges, universities

The unions representing faculty at all 31 state colleges and universities say they will no longer take part in an effort to improve programs throughout the system. But Chancellor Steven Rosenstone says that won’t slow down the project.
U's new dean unveils career map for liberal arts majors

U's new dean unveils career map for liberal arts majors

Should professors of history or philosophy or English literature spend more time contemplating how their classes can help students get jobs? John Coleman, the new…
June 13: Empty student seats at TCF Stadium? U has a plan

June 13: Empty student seats at TCF Stadium? U has a plan

So few students buy season tickets at TCF Bank Stadium that the U is looking for another way to fill the empty seats.
Union tries to woo faculty at University of Minnesota

Union tries to woo faculty at University of Minnesota

Some profs say the organizing effort at U’s largest campus is a long shot.

Concordia College in Moorhead adds wheels to its library

The library at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., has never limited itself to lending books. For years, students have been able to check out laptops,…
U tuition freeze may face chilly reception at Legislature

U tuition freeze may face chilly reception at Legislature

The plan would require the Legislature to increase funding by $65 million.
Crackdown on illegal drinking may prevent crime, U police say

Crackdown on illegal drinking may prevent crime, U police say

U Police Chief Greg Hestness, above, and other officials say intoxicated students are easy targets for criminals.
Jan. 21: U installs new safety measures for campus

Jan. 21: U installs new safety measures for campus

In the wake of a crime-plagued fall semester, the University of Minnesota is launching a “multipronged initiative” to promote safety on and off campus.
Washington NFL team invited to debate nicknames at U of M

Washington NFL team invited to debate nicknames at U of M

The University of Minnesota has invited Washington’s NFL team to join in a debate about a touchy subject: the use of Indian stereotypes in sports mascots and logos

July: Globe University training manual outlines sales tactics

The training manual for recruiters at the Globe Education Network is stamped “Confidential and Proprietary.” But this week, it burst into the spotlight when Minnesota…
Gustavus Adolphus gets ready for its 50th Nobel Conference

Gustavus Adolphus gets ready for its 50th Nobel Conference

Tim Robinson was a student at Gustavus Adolphus College when it hosted its first Nobel Conference in St. Peter, Minn. It was January 1965, and…

Student data glitch at MN Higher Ed less harmful than feared

Investigators found limited security breach at exposed state higher ed database.
Obituary: Thomas Hodne, architecture professor and baseball fan, dies at 87

Obituary: Thomas Hodne, architecture professor and baseball fan, dies at 87

Hodne was an award-winning architect, a one-time professor at the University of Minnesota and an avid Twins fan, despite his disdain for the Metrodome.
Global summit on climate change slated for Minneapolis in 2015

Global summit on climate change slated for Minneapolis in 2015

Dozens of former world leaders are expected to converge on Minneapolis in October 2015 for an international summit on climate change and democracy, organizers announced Monday.

U men share thoughts on sexual consent, assault

In preparation for a spring campaign against sexual assault, a University of Minnesota student group decided to test-market some potential ads on young men on…
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