Rebecca Harrington


Violent crime victim and witness data stolen from laptop, hard drive

The theft of a University of Minnesota professor’s laptop, portable scanner and external hard drive last February resulted in a data breach of the personal information of 119 victims and witnesses of violent crimes. Law professor Barry Feld and several law students were researching interrogation techniques in violent crimes prosecuted in Hennepin and Ramsey County District Courts during January and February 2005.

The new guard: effects of administrative turnover

Since Eric Kaler began his presidency at the University of Minnesota in 2011, all but four administrators on his 18-person senior leadership team have left their old posts. It’s an unspoken rule in higher education that when a new president comes in, key administrators offer their resignation so the new leader has the opportunity to choose his or her new hires. After Kaler was hired, eight administrators retired or returned to teaching, six got promotions at other universities or companies and one took another position in the senior leadership team.

Poster kiosk catches fire outside Vincent Hall Monday night

One of the pillars covered with posters caught fire on the University of Minnesota east bank campus Monday night.  A University police officer responded to the incident outside of Vincent Hall around 7:40 p.m. and tried to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, but was unsuccessful, according to the police report. The Minneapolis Fire Department then arrived on the scene and put out the fire. Animal science freshman Krista Alvord was leaving a chemistry review session in Smith Hall just before 8 p.m. when she said she smelled the smoke.

University proactively prevents research misconduct

  Researchers from the universities of Wisconsin and Washington reportedly falsified data. A social psychologist in the Netherlands fabricated more than 50 scientific articles over the course of his career. While reports of research misconduct at other universities have had an uptick this year, University of Minnesota officials tout the institution’s ethics program as an example for other schools. Proactive measures Most University research oversight exists to prevent research misconduct from occurring in the first place.

U pharmacy prof ‘unrivaled’ in her field

  For Gunda Georg, writing scientific papers on a weekend is fun. It’s often the only time she has for that part of her job because the week is full of her other responsibilities. The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy professor loves what she does, and her colleagues say that’s what keeps her so dedicated to her many roles. Georg is the director of the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development, head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Pushing the limits

The University of Minnesota’s chemical engineering major is pushing its limits, and many students say the major’s higher demand has increased its difficulty. Although designed to accommodate about 100 seniors, the major has admitted 30 percent more students over the last several years, which is putting space constraints on the curriculum. Department head Frank Bates said the nationally ranked major can’t keep growing and still offer the same caliber of education.

University closed data centers instead of upgrading them

The University of Minnesota’s data centers manage and store everything from grades and financial data to the websites’ servers. Data centers use more than 2 percent of the electricity in the U.S., according to a 2011 study from Stanford University. In 2010, the Office of Information Technology had plans to purchase portable data centers to increase energy efficiency, which would have cost up to $7 million.

Farmers look to bridge disconnect

Lauren Servick grew up on her family’s dairy farm in Le Roy, Minn., that her uncles and great-grandfather still run today. Not many of Servick’s cousins or siblings are going back to the farm, but the University of Minnesota agricultural education sophomore said they all share their stories to fill the disconnect that many farmers say exists between them and consumers. The average person is three generations removed from a farm, and only 2 percent of Americans still live on farms.

University creates new program to allay sequester cuts

  The dust has settled after sweeping budget cuts known as the sequester went into effect last month, and federal agencies have responded with how they’re going to implement them. University of Minnesota Vice President for Research Brian Herman said the University’s $749 million research enterprise will be largely unaffected this fiscal year, but the future is less certain. Congress cut a total of $85 billion from this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, and without further legislation, will cut billions every year until 2023.