Staff Directory 6370529

Mila Koumpilova

Reporter | Higher education
Phone: 612-673-4781

Mila Koumpilova writes about higher education at the Star Tribune, where she previously covered immigration and Minnesota's immigrant communities. During more than a decade of reporting, she has been an education, general assignment and features reporter.


A former North Dakota Rookie Reporter of the Year, Koumpilova has received recognition from the national Education Writers Association, the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists and others. She graduated from the American University in Bulgaria and the Missouri School of Journalism. She is passionate about the key role of news in a democracy. Koumpilova lives in St. Paul with her husband and two children.
Recent content from Mila Koumpilova
Portrait of Katie Corwin, a Minnesota State graduate who last year filed a sexual misconduct complaint against a Normandale admissions office staffer.

MeToo era slow to arrive at Minnesota State campuses

Complaints at Minnesota State often result in reprimand or short suspension.
University of Minnesota aims to think bold about tuition costs, enrollment

University of Minnesota aims to think bold about tuition costs, enrollment

In a discussion about the U's budget outlook, regents again suggested the university should not be complacent about the status quo.
Star Tribune community impact in 2019: Covering it all in Minnesota

Star Tribune community impact in 2019: Covering it all in Minnesota

Pai Liu, left, led a group from China on a tour during orientation for parents of incoming U freshmen last summer.

U mines China connection but worries about future

Chinese students now make up 45% of all international students at the U, providing a major cash infusion. But the U's success recruiting students from China is facing fresh threats.
Qingfeng Cao, a U postdoctoral associate from China, worked on measuring the airflow patterns of pleated filters in the Particle Technology Lab. BACKG

U's academic work with China chilled by federal concerns

Collaboration with China has long been a linchpin of U research, but the work has been shaken recently by federal investigations.
Rep. Ilhan Omar and Sen. Tina Smith had called on the Chinese government to release Luo Daiqing.

Email: U student imprisoned in China for tweets is released

Members of Minnesota's congressional delegation and free-speech advocates voiced support for a University of Minnesota student sentenced in China for tweets he made while studying in the United States.
Rasmussen College in Eden Prairie hosted a job fair in 2010.

Twin Cities-based Rasmussen graduating from college to university

Bloomington for-profit school's leaders say the name change signals a renewed push to expand options for students.
Richard Pellow, salvage and towing entrepreneur and a former state lawmaker, has died

Richard Pellow, salvage and towing entrepreneur and a former state lawmaker, has died

During three terms in the Minnesota Legislature, the father of five drew votes and made friends across the political spectrum.
Careful demolition of the Francis Drake hotel has begun. Crew members used hazmat masks because of residue toxic fumes.

Demolition underway at fire-ravaged Francis Drake Hotel

Relocation of homeless families to a nearby downtown Minneapolis church continues.
Rachel Croson has been the name the next executive vice president and provost of the University of Minnesota.

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel makes her first key hire

Minnesota State schools plan 'ambitious' push to shrink achievement gaps

Minnesota State schools plan 'ambitious' push to shrink achievement gaps

New initiative aims to improve graduation rates and other outcomes for minority, low-income and first-generation students.
Globe University, Woodbury, shown in 2015.

Minnesota Supreme Court ruling: All former criminal justice students at defunct for-profit schools may seek refunds

Any of the 1,330 students who attended the programs is eligible for tuition refund.
Community college faculty in Minnesota seek $1.6 million in back pay

Community college faculty in Minnesota seek $1.6 million in back pay

Minnesota community college professors file claims for back pay under settlement.
Minnesota sues companies that allegedly defrauded student loan borrowers

Minnesota sues companies that allegedly defrauded student loan borrowers

State says firms defrauded customers with illegal fees; companies defend their actions.
"As a student of human rights, I believe in rehabilitation and reconciliation," said Nora Radtke, who filed a formal complaint against her faculty adv

Schools walk fine line as they bring faculty back after sexual misconduct findings

As sanctioned faculty return to Minnesota public and private campuses in the MeToo era, administrators are feeling new pressure to talk about their cases more openly.
Incoming University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel. ] GLEN STUBBE • glen.stubbe@startribune.com Friday, June 28, 2019 We speak with incoming

University of Minnesota leaders consider how to tackle renaming campus buildings in the future

The Board of Regents tasked new President Joan Gabel with planning permanent displays and educational activities to address campus segregation as well as with helping to overhaul the renaming policy.
MINNEAPOLIS/USA - July 23: Entrance to the campus of the University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota is a university in Minneapolis and St. P

U leaders say tuition hike strategy for nonresidents is working

The university expects to end double-digit increases, officials told regents.
J. Leonard Frame

Engineer Leonard Frame, who launched firms with global presence, dies at 95

FluiDyne, the company he launched in the 1950s, made inroads in markets from Sweden to Japan, earning a reputation for innovation and reliability.
Gov. Mark Dayton spoke from the podium during Wednesday's press conference.

Former Gov. Mark Dayton to complete unpaid U fellowship

He will work with students on an oral history project.
Incoming University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel. ] GLEN STUBBE • glen.stubbe@startribune.com Friday, June 28, 2019 We speak with incoming

U review shows room for improvement in handing over public information

The review came after concerns about the U's handling of an information request.
Joan Gabel, the University of Minnesota's 17th president, shortly after joining the school in 2019.

With vegan chili and less pomp, U installs Joan Gabel as its 17th president

The ceremony was designed to herald a presidency that would honor the university's history while at the same time embracing innovation and more fiscal restraint.
FILE - This Oct. 4, 2018, file photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court at sunset in Washington. More than 200 corporations have signed a friend-of-the-cour

Union pressured Inver Hills college clerk to join, lawsuit says

The case is the first one filed in Minnesota that stems from last year's landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
University of Minnesota students made their way through the cashier lines at Coffman Union's Minnesota Marketplace on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, in Minne

Two more years for U food vendor is too much, students say

Student groups want fresher food and more kosher, halal, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Aramark says it has worked to make the changes.
Incoming University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel.

University of Minnesota president balances optimistic outlook with calls for reform

The Red Lake Singers drum and sing during the ceremony. From left is Chief Greeting Spears, Mike Thunder, Keith Bedeau, Virgil Blacklance, and Sam Str

Red Lake Band, city of Minneapolis break ground for affordable housing complex

Red Lake Band funds most of the $35.8 million complex, with Minneapolis' help.
New Minnesota-made podcast offers student advice on college survival

New Minnesota-made podcast offers student advice on college survival

New series is designed to help first-generation students.
New University students cheered before the Convocation, the official welcome ceremony for incoming freshmen, at Mariucci Arena, Thursday, August 29, 2

At U convocation, year begins with focus on wellness, self-care

The incoming freshman class on the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus is shaping up to be among the U's most academically accomplished.
On Minnesota campuses, a push to rethink remedial education

On Minnesota campuses, a push to rethink remedial education

The Minnesota State system, facing intense pressure, is taking steps to shrink the number of students who take such courses.
Dr. Wesley Miller, retired University of Minnesota doctor, educator and head of medicine, dies

Dr. Wesley Miller, retired University of Minnesota doctor, educator and head of medicine, dies

An early proponent of evidence-based medicine, Miller played a key role in the university's pioneering work in bone marrow and stem cell transplantation
The Board of Regents interviewed Joan Gabel, the sole finalist for University of Minnesota president, on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneap

Minn. colleges hunting for talent lean more heavily on search firms

The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State system together have paid more than $10 million in the past five years for outside help in recruiting administrators.
Concordia University in St. Paul names new president

Concordia University in St. Paul names new president

The Rev. Brian Friedrich will take the helm on Jan. 1.
Joan Gabel, shown in December, was named University of Minnesota president about three months ago after a nearly $260,000 search, compared with the $2

U president orders review of practices and policies on access to public data

The announcement comes after school officials admitted mistakes in handling recent public data request.
iStockphoto.com
Entrance to the campus of the University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota staffer's advice to delete e-mail raises red flag for lawmaker

U admits to mishandling data request for renaming buildings

U admits to mishandling data request for renaming buildings

The request followed the contentious debate over task force recommendations to rename buildings named after U administrators.
Joan Gabel, the new University of Minnesota president, was on a retreat with the Board of Regents in Faribault.

U regents and new leader tackle new efforts at campus inclusion

Some want more greater Minnesota students and conservative ideas to the university.
Joan Gabel, the new University of Minnesota president, was on a retreat with the Board of Regents in Faribault.

New University of Minnesota president strikes upbeat tone

Joan Gabel pledged to address issues ranging from the steady climb of tuition costs to a "crisis" of student mental health.
Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State college system.

Head of Minnesota State higher-ed system blitzes state, seeking students to train for high-demand jobs

The system faces another enrollment dip this fall.
"The goals that we're setting aren't fixes. There isn't this sense that things have gone awry and that we really need to fundamentally redirect," inco

Joan Gabel takes the helm at U today with a focus on teamwork

Gabel inherits an institution enjoying strong student demand and stable finances but one that also is facing formidable challenges, including renewed calls to control costs and a need to better serve an increasingly diverse student body.
Outgoing president Eric Kaler organized his bookshelf as he unpacked boxes in his new office at Amundson Hall. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souf

As Eric Kaler leaves U, intense debate over his legacy builds

Kaler wraps up his eight years at the helm of Minnesota's flagship research institution Sunday.
Students at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul listened in a microbiology class as Dr. Gwantwa Mwakalundwa talked them through the steps in the

Trustees OK 3% tuition increase for Minnesota State system

Because of another projected dip in enrollment this fall, the system is poised to see less revenue from tuition despite the new higher rates.
2% tuition increase approved for U undergrads on Twin Cities campus

2% tuition increase approved for U undergrads on Twin Cities campus

The increase is less than the 2.5% President Eric Kaler was seeking, the result of pushback from university regents.
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler.

University regents push back on tuition increase proposal

The University of Minnesota's governing board is pushing back on President Eric Kaler's proposal to raise Twin Cities undergraduate tuition by 2.5%, urging leaders to consider ways to limit that increase.
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler.

U of Minnesota president pitches 2.5% tuition hike for next year

President Eric Kaler's proposed tuition hike would affect Minnesota undergraduates on the Twin Cities campus.
The University of Minnesota's governing board voted against changing the names of Coffman Memorial Union and three other Twin Cities campus buildings.

E-mails reveal U's rushed effort to rename 4 Twin Cities buildings

Intense deadline pressure, hurdles to tracking down records and skepticism about administrator support plagued a task force that weighed renaming the buildings.
Minn. court rules closed for-profit schools must fully repay illegal loans

Minn. court rules closed for-profit schools must fully repay illegal loans

The state estimates a total of $7.2 million is owed to 6,000 former students.
Duluth's College of St. Scholastica names community college leader as new president

Duluth's College of St. Scholastica names community college leader as new president

The head of North Hennepin Community College will lead the private nonprofit college in August.
Renee Sande was one of ten Dougherty Family College student recipients of scholarships to St. Thomas. ] Shari L. Gross • shari.gross@startribune.com

Minnesota colleges get creative to court low-income students

St. Thomas college-within-a-college gets creative, with free meals, laptops and $1,000 tuition
The new Minnesota State logo.

Minnesota community college faculty to receive up to $1.9M in back pay

The agreement, signed Wednesday, settles a lawsuit filed by the union representing faculty.
Michael Hemesath, president of St. John's University

St. John's University President Michael Hemesath to step down

Michael Hemesath has served for seven years as the school's first lay president.
Duane Addison

Duane LeRoy Addison, theologian and social justice advocate, dies at 88

Rachellee Sigler, a certified vet tech, fed Gary, a 4-year-old goldendoodle, before she and fourth-year vet student Andrew Kaplan did an examination a

U cuts $90M in overhead costs, but critics say it's not enough

More than 600 positions on five campuses, a plant pathology library and the water coolers in the law school — that's what the University of Minnesota cut to keep a pledge its president made to lawmakers six years ago.
Fans sat in the stands during the third period Friday night during the Gophers men's hockey game against the Penn State Nittany Lions. The announced a

Regents signal support for alcohol sales at Williams and Mariucci

"We've got to get creative to get fans to come back to our venues," the University of Minnesota's Athletic Director told regents.
Sanjit Sethi was named president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design names new president

New leader comes from George Washington University's arts and design school
Cybersecurity programs mushroom on Minnesota college campuses

Cybersecurity programs mushroom on Minnesota college campuses

Demand for skilled tech workers fueling boom on local college campuses.
U regents vote to keep names on Coffman Union, 3 other campus buildings

U regents vote to keep names on Coffman Union, 3 other campus buildings

Regents voted 10-1 to preserve the former leaders' names, despite calls by U president, students and a faculty task force to change them.
The University of Minnesota's governing board voted against changing the names of Coffman Memorial Union and three other Twin Cities campus buildings.

U regents slated to reject name changes at four campus buildings

U regents plan to act on a resolution keeping the names of Coffman Memorial Union and three Twin Cities halls, defying recommendations by President Eric Kaler and a faculty task force.
Students in yearbook class worked on their pages Tuesday afternoon at Anoka High School.

Minnesota graduation rate hits all-time high; racial gap narrows

More than 83 percent of students graduated on time, with some progress in narrowing the achievement gap.
Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State college system.

Minnesota State extends contract of chancellor Malhotra

Move keeps continuity at time of enrollment decline, other challenges.
Linda Thompson, the former administrative assistant in the dental hygiene program at Argosy University, hugs a student after the hearing.

Former Argosy students implore Minnesota lawmakers for help after school shuts down

Many are still struggling to regroup after the abrupt closure of the Eagan campus.
Rosenberg chatted with international studies junior Amalia Chiapperino and psychology junior Lilli Kay as they worked outside on campus. ] MARK VANCLE

Macalester College President Brian Rosenberg to step down

A national advocate for liberal arts education, Rosenberg has served 16 years as president of the St. Paul college.
Melanie Galloway, an adjunct professor of physics at Hamline University, prepped for her course Thursday at Gingko Coffeehouse near campus.

Adjunct professors unionize at 3 private colleges in Minn.

As number of adjunct faculty swells, efforts to form alliances grow.
Augsburg University history Prof. Phillip Adamo led a classroom discussion about the N-word this school year, saying the racial slur rather than the e

Minnesota professor's suspension fuels academic freedom debate

Today's increasingly diverse, student-centered campuses is at the middle of the argument over the future of the long-standing policy.
President Donald Trump held up an executive order he signed Thursday requiring colleges to certify that their policies support free speech as a condit

Minn. colleges say they already comply with free-speech order

Some local higher education officials voiced skepticism that the order will have much of an impact.
Coffey Hall on the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota is among the namesakes that were targeted by U President Eric Kaler and Provost Ka

U leaders break into war of words over possible renaming of buildings

Rift widens between top officials, regents over handling of report urging changes.
LeRoy "Buster" Brown agreed to coach swimming at what is now St. Thomas Academy even though he did not know how to swim.

LeRoy Brown, advocate for private education, dies at 105

The longtime St. Thomas Academy physics teacher was instrumental in integrating private school teams into the Minnesota State High School League.
University president reflects on his tenure during annual address

University president reflects on his tenure during annual address

In his final State of the University speech, Eric Kaler spoke of his accomplishments and a few regrets.
Joan Gabel, shown in December, was named University of Minnesota president about three months ago after a nearly $260,000 search, compared with the $2

Recent search for new president cost the U almost $260,000

The costs include $165,000 in fees for outside search consultants, more than $22,000 for search committee and regent travel, and about $15,000 to a local four-star hotel.
Chris Middlebrook, grandson of former University of Minnesota administrator William Middlebrook, was photographed in front of Middlebrook Hall Thursda

Proposal to rename U of Minn. buildings faces pushback

Plan to rename buildings unfairly maligns relatives, they say.
Eagan, MN, Tuesday, February 3, 2004 -- Susan Brown, 48, is training to become a radiation therapist and is pictured here in class at Argosy Universit

Argosy's Eagan campus will close Friday, school confirms

For-profit university has withheld students' loans while in receivership.
Students at Minnesota's Argosy University campus brace for possible closure

Students at Minnesota's Argosy University campus brace for possible closure

For-profit university has reportedly withheld loans while in receivership.
Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State college system.

Minnesota State colleges and universities system seeks to reinvent itself — again

Leaders seek outside ideas to address enrollment.
Chloe Williams, a senior who headed the Minnesota Student Association's diversity and inclusion committee, stands in front of Coffman Memorial Union.

U's Kaler wants to rename Coffman Union, 3 other buildings

If U's governing board backs Eric Kaler's proposal, the names of campus buildings will change for the first time in the U's 167-year-old history.
Bethel University president to step down next year

Bethel University president to step down next year

Jay Barnes, president since 2008, is retiring after 25 years at the school.
Coffman Memorial Union is one of four buildings a task force has recommended undergo a name change.

U task force: Rename Coffman Union, 3 other buildings over racist, anti-Semitic links

History of racism, anti-Semitism factored into the recommendations.
The University of Minnesota's Board of Regents, as seen at a meeting in December 2018.

U's Board of Regents could see influx of diversity

State legislators are making a push to appoint more women and people of color to the University of Minnesota's male-dominated governing board — an effort that led one of its veteran members to drop out of contention.