IN-DEPTH


3/10/2016, 8:14pm

Despite holes in process, universities nationwide continue use of search firms

Finding an executive-level administrator to fill an open position at a university comes at a cost. Some officials say schools lack means to conduct large-scale searches to find the perfect fit, which can take months and lag on for even longer if candidates don’t accept an offer. So nationwide, colleges turn to companies to track down and vet candidates, in order to expedite what can otherwise be a long and tedious process.


3/3/2016, 7:01pm

Every day, every hour

By the end of wrestling practice, the Gophers’ basement training area is limp from exhaustion. Its cushioned floor is slick with sweat smears, and only the athletes’ jagged panting can slice through the thick, muggy air. The 90-minute practices are only part of a daily grind for the University of Minnesota’s 44 wrestlers, who equip themselves for competition through a disciplined lifestyle unique to the sport. Each wrestler maintains a regimen of healthy eating, sleeping and exercising, in hopes of making the most of their seven minutes on the mat. “Having the lifestyle of a wrestler is getting up super early to do extra lifts.


2/11/2016, 7:35pm

Searching for Care

Sammy Miller found herself struggling to shake intrusive thoughts of suicide in her dorm room one night during her freshman year. Diagnosed with depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder, Miller knew what was happening.


12/3/2015, 9:21pm

UMN takes lead in breeding nation's wine grapes

One out of 10,000 vines fruits a cotton-candy-flavored grape. Another produces a grape with a pineapple tang, and a certain dud vaguely tastes of green bell pepper. Through years of testing, hands-on labor and patience, grapes grown at the University of Minnesota’s Horticulture Research Center in Excelsior, Minn., have become a part of a Midwestern resurgence in fruit breeding set in motion in the ’80s. A new grape variety, MN 1285 — created to withstand the state’s cold climate while remaining suitable for Minnesotan wine — is nearing the end of its roughly 20-year testing and naming period. At the start of every fall, University vineyard managers and husband and wife John and Jenny Thull spend their days harvesting ripe grapes, keeping an eye on prospective cultivars and tagging unsuccessful vines for chopping. About 40 percent of the University’s 11-acre vineyard was planted in 2007, said Matt Clark, an assistant professor in grape breeding and enology — the study of wine.  Most of the school’s vines are dedicated to cultivating cold-hardy wine grapes, which thrive in Minnesota’s cool nights and hot summer days and can’t be found in warmer climates, like in California. “I think people are romanced by the idea of growing grapes and making wine,” Clark said. On an autumn harvesting day, Clark joined the Thulls in tasting grapes one-by-one to check for subtle flavors, good and bad, that could set the variety apart. “The acids are really high, really tart, but the flavors are so strong,” Clark says, popping a grape in his mouth.