Josh Verges / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL—An Augsburg University professor is meeting with immigration officials Friday, March 9, about his possible deportation. Kenya native Mzenga Wanyama, an associate professor of English, came to the United States in 1992 as a J-1 nonimmigrant exchange visitor, court records show. His wife and two children followed in 1995. When his visa expired in 2005, Wanyama applied for asylum. He said he feared government persecution after writing three newspaper articles supporting the former Kenyan president's political opponent.
ST. PAUL—The University of Minnesota's longest-serving member of the Board of Regents is leaving her post this spring. Patricia Simmons, a retired Rochester physician, said Wednesday, March 7, that she wants to free up time to spend traveling and with family. She's been on the board since 2003. "This feels like the right time to refresh myself, refresh the board," she said. Lawmakers will appoint a replacement for the unpaid position to serve through 2021.
ST. PAUL—A second nationwide search in as many years has again failed to produce a new chancellor for the Minnesota State higher education system. Trustees on Friday, March 2, committed to three more years under Devinder Malhotra, a former state university administrator who was plucked from retirement last year to be interim chancellor. "He has performed brilliantly as interim chancellor. He has never been a mere placeholder," trustees chairman Michael Vekich said before the board voted unanimously to lift Malhotra's interim label.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota State trustees plan to appoint the higher education system's next chancellor Friday morning, March 2, after two days of public and private interviews. The three finalists socialized with trustees Tuesday, then spent about an hour each on Wednesday publicly answering questions from students and staff at the St. Paul system office.
ST. PAUL—High school graduation rates inched up across the state, according to Minnesota Department of Education data released Tuesday. At 83 percent, the state's on-time graduation rate improved by one-sixth of a percentage point. High school completion has been trending up in Minnesota and across the country for several years, even as standardized math and reading test scores largely have been flat.
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn.—St. John's University and a student who was suspended for sexual misconduct have agreed to dismiss a lawsuit that alleged he was unfairly punished. Aaron Wildenborg sued St. John's and the College of St. Benedict in October 2016 after the coordinate schools suspended him for two years for a sexual encounter with a St. Benedict student. Wildenborg sought a clear disciplinary record, a return to school and the restoration of more than $50,000 in scholarships, plus cash damages.
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota's largest higher education system has named three finalists for chancellor, a year after trustees passed on every candidate from the initial search. The finalists are scheduled to interview next week with Minnesota State trustees, college and university presidents and members of the chancellor's cabinet. They also will participate in a forum open to employees and students Feb. 28. The candidates are:
ST. PAUL—Students and staff could be punished if they fail to obtain affirmative consent for sex through "words or clear, unambiguous action" under a policy change approved Wednesday, Feb. 21, by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees. The policy applies to some 375,000 students at the state-run system's 30 colleges and seven universities, as well as faculty and staff and anyone who has sex on campus.
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ST. PAUL — A St. Paul Public Schools teacher strike sidelining more than 4,000 employees and some 34,800 students could be less than two weeks away. The St. Paul Federation of Teachers said all three bargaining units voting Wednesday, Jan. 31, easily authorized their leadership to strike. That includes 85 percent of voting teachers, 90 percent of educational assistants and 82 percent of school and community service professionals.