Conor Shine


For Bruininks, one last budget battle, then a final bow

Bob Bruininks arrived as a professor on the University of Minnesota campus in the fall of 1968 with his wife and infant son in tow. The country was still reeling from the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, and student protests against the Vietnam War raged throughout campus. âÄúThe campus was very much in turmoil,âÄù Bruininks said. âÄúThe war was not a popular cause, for very good reason. The students had it right back then.âÄù

Audrey Hull: A free spirit “who lived in the moment”

Audrey Hull had a laugh that would ring down the fifth floor halls of the Rarig Center on the University of MinnesotaâÄôs West Bank, announcing her presence the moment she stepped off the elevators to work in the production studios. Hull, a University undergraduate, made her second home at the Rarig Center, where she worked for the College of Liberal Arts Video Services and spent hours in the studios editing audio and film projects.

U’s buildings have lots of leaks and not enough cash

Greg Williams is at war with water. And he is losing. Over the years, it has eaten large holes in a steel rain roof that protects the underground laboratories in the University of MinnesotaâÄôs Civil Engineering Building, which Williams oversees as a district manager. The rain roof has a total of 115 holes âÄî some stretching up to 3 feet âÄî that cause leaks and mold. Fixing all the holes would cost $6 million. âÄúItâÄôs definitely in the works. It just needs to get funded,âÄù Williams said.

Student injured in hit-and-run dies

University of Minnesota student Benjamin Van Handel, who was critically injured in a hit-and-run early last Friday morning, has died. The economics major had been in a coma since the accident, and a statement by his family released Thursday afternoon confirmed Van HandelâÄôs passing. âÄúDespite his heroic efforts, Ben did not survive from the injuries sustained when he was struck by a vehicle last week. He passed away with his family and friends by his side this afternoon,âÄù the statement said.

U aims to up Friday course offerings via scheduling changes

Changes to class scheduling at the University of Minnesota aimed at increasing course access could also mean more Friday classes for students and complications in faculty schedules. The Office of Classroom Management is working on a series of policy changes that would reduce the number of courses without assigned classrooms and push colleges to schedule classes more evenly throughout the week. The new policy has been in the works since 2009 and is currently up for public review. Starting in fall 2012, the policy will remove peak scheduling restrictions.

Last minute deal nixes government shutdown

A last-minute deal struck by Congress and the White House late Friday night averted a federal government shutdown that would have furloughed thousands of federal employees and threatened research operations at universities nationwide. The tentative budget deal came hours before the midnight deadline when funding for government services would have run out. The bill, which will be finalized mid-week, will cut $38 billion in spending this year and sets up a larger battle over next yearâÄôs budget.

Law school applications drop nationwide

Over the weekend, the University of Minnesota Law School brought more than 100 prospective students to the schoolâÄôs largest Campus Preview event ever. But the preview comes at a time when the number of students applying to law school has dipped by nearly 11 percent nationwide, with high tuition costs and uncertain job prospects deterring many would-be applicants. At the University, Law School applications are down about 8 percent from this point last year, Director of Admissions Nick Wallace said.

Regents finalize Sviggum findings

The committee investigating University of Minnesota Regent Steve SviggumâÄôs conflict of interest finalized their findings in a report to the full Board of Regents on Thursday. Sviggum, appointed to the board in Febraury, also holds a paid fellowship in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, prompting an inquiry into possible conflicts of interest stemming from the two roles. The investigating ad-hoc group, comprised of three regents, found a conflict did exist and recommended that Sviggum, who served nearly 30 years in the Legislature, give up one of his jobs.

Sviggum’s roles ruled a conflict of interest

Steve Sviggum has a choice to make. The newly elected regent can either keep his unpaid spot on the University of MinnesotaâÄôs Board of Regents or continue his $80,000 fellowship with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, but not both. The ultimatum was handed down by a committee of three regents who found a conflict of interest stemming from SviggumâÄôs dual roles. Sviggum said he would accept the committeeâÄôs ruling, but that he didnâÄôt agree with it.

Bruininks talks funding and fees

As legislative budget bills near Gov. Mark DaytonâÄôs desk and the University of MinnesotaâÄôs financial planning kicks into high gear, President Bob Bruininks sat down with the Minnesota Daily to talk tuition, axed majors and federal indictments. Legislative Republicans have released their higher education bills. Were you surprised by the severity of the cuts? There are several things about these bills that are deeply disappointing. One is the size of the cut. I keep reminding people that this isnâÄôt a first-time, unique experience for the University of Minnesota.