Rilyn Eischens


UMN task force releases mental health recommendations for faculty

A University of Minnesota task force released a report Thursday with more than 100 recommendations for instructors and administrators to structure their courses to support student mental health. In a 26-page report, the task force outlined suggestions encouraging faculty to pace coursework and interact with students exhibiting signs of mental illness, among other recommendations, in hopes campus-wide changes will follow. Instructors, University officials and students formed the Joint Taskforce on Student Mental Health last year in response to rising concerns around faculty response to student mental health. Still, faculty will require additional training, like workshops, before making adjustments.

New UMN sick policy that eases absence verification delayed until fall

The University of Minnesota’s revised sick note policy — over a year in the making — was implemented then quickly withdrawn earlier this month after negative feedback. Under the policy, which the University Senate Committee on Educational Policy approved in January, instructors can’t require doctors’ notes to excuse single-day medical absences.

Wilson Library renovations at a standstill unless UMN gets state funding

The Wilson Library renovations will be at a standstill unless the University of Minnesota receives project funding from the State Legislature this year. The University requested $4 million from the state for the design phase of the Collections and Contemporary Learning project, which includes library improvements.

Bill at MN Senate barring anti-Israel contractors draws unease

A controversial bill moving through the Minnesota Legislature would prohibit state agencies from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel. Authors of the bill, which awaits a Senate vote after the House passed it in February, say it aims to prevent discrimination, but First Amendment advocates have raised concerns that it might limit speech rights.

UMN groups push for equality in parental leave

Three weeks after the birth of her first child, Austin Calhoun returned to work, shut her office door and cried. Calhoun took the two weeks paid parental leave guaranteed to her as a University of Minnesota academic employee, plus a week of vacation when her wife gave birth to their son.