Already past their self-imposed deadline to leave the Capitol, state legislators are still working to finish two significant legislative components — a bill that funds construction projects and another for a new Vikings stadium. The size and scope of a bonding bill has been talked about since the session began in January, but lawmakers are still working to agree and get one finished that would fund many statewide construction projects, including some at the University of Minnesota.
A Board of Regents committee met Thursday for the first of a series of meetings reviewing executive compensation and administrative leave packages at the University of Minnesota. The meeting emphasized the struggle between staying competitive and keeping budgets reasonable. “This is an industry that’s short of administrators,” committee Chair Regent Richard Beeson said “The pressures that these jobs bring … are such that it’s a challenge to recruit and retain people for these positions for any length of time.
The Minnesota Daily sat down with President Eric Kaler for the last time this semester to talk about the bonding bill, the new athletics director and his first year on the job. I know you were at the Legislature for a last-minute meeting Wednesday, what was that about?
Behind the University of Minnesota’s most powerful entity, the Board of Regents, are eight student representatives that try to ensure student voices are heard. Interviews for four positions for the Twin Cities are being held this week as some of the representatives get ready to pass the torch. The eight-member representative board is made up of four Twin Cities campus members and one student for each of the satellite campuses: Crookston, Duluth, Rochester and Morris.
In an effort to improve four-year graduation rates, a proposal making its way through the University of Minnesota’s Faculty Senate would give more flexibility to advisers and departments to issue holds on registration. It would, in certain cases, allow advisers to put a hold on students’ records with less than 60 credits completed if they haven’t yet declared a major. Currently, advisers can use the major declaration requirement hold only when students have completed 60 credits or more.
The University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents will review executive compensation and administrative transitional leave packages later this month, the University announced Friday.
Since his graduation from the University of Minnesota in 1979, Tom Devine has stayed heavily involved with his alma mater. And now, he will hold one of its most powerful positions as a newly appointed regent. Devine will take over for former Regent Steve Sviggum, who left the board in March after a lengthy conflict of interest review concluded he could not simultaneously serve as a regent and the communications chief with the Senate Republican Caucus.
The loud noise of construction on campus is expected to quiet down by November. All heavy construction of renewing and replacing roads as well as installing and embedding light-rail tracks will be completed by the end of the year, said Laura Baenen, spokeswoman for the project. Currently, the focus is on the east side of Oak Street, where tracks and pavement have already started to be installed. Work is also being done on the sidewalks and traffic signal systems.
University of Minnesota officials are concerned that a provision in the House’s omnibus higher education bill could change how the school handles health insurance coverage for students.
Since it became law in 2010, President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been a focal point of powerful and partisan debate. Last week, that dispute made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court for three days of tense oral arguments. The court is expected to make its decision in June.
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