Best of Neighborhood News 2/12/19: Change is coming to racist murals in St. Paul City Hall

Change is coming to racist murals in St. Paul City Hall

Four racist murals hung at St. Paul City Hall are at the center of a countywide kerfuffle going as far back as the 1970s and now re-emerging as part of the national debate about the place of public art. They were first installed in 1931, shared originally by the Ramsey County Commission and the St. Paul City Council. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 1/2: University of Minnesota names its first female president

University of Minnesota names its first female president

The Board of Regents voted to confirm Joan Gabel with a five-year contract as the next president of the university. Gabel visited all five campuses during the interview process and answered questions about her vision of higher education. When asked about student debt, Gabel said, “We really need to be thinking about clever ways to make sure students can afford education and I think it’s very clear that we are starting to inch up on what the marked can bear, even for students who don’t have fiscal constraints.”

While she ultimately earned high praise from stakeholders, the appointment process was not without controversy, as she was named as the sole finalist, which has drawn criticism in terms of transparency. In addition to the process, there were questions about her non-traditional background; Gabel has a JD not a PhD and she was a dean of a business school. Find out more at MNDaily. Continue Reading

Her dream came true: Meet Husna Ibrahim

When Husna Ibrahim stuck her hand inside the envelope and pulled out her acceptance letter for the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, her life’s dream came true. “Every day just being able to say that you go to the University of Minnesota and walking up and saying ‘oh my gosh, I’m a college student.’ That’s a huge deal,” Ibrahim said.  
Ibrahim is currently a sophomore student at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and is an alumnus of Project SUCCESS, a program that showed her college was possible.  
Ibrahim was originally born and raised in South Africa. Growing up, her mother wanted her and her four sisters to be independent and educated. Continue Reading

Higher ed committee approves omnibus bill ignoring U of M increase request

The House Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee approved an omnibus higher education bill Wednesday that would increase spending by $53.4 million —to $2.95 billion — over the next biennium.But absent from HF845 are funds that would have covered a tuition freeze for students at public four-year universities, much to the dismay of University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler.In light of a $1.9 billion budget surplus, “I believe a zero-percent increase is not an acceptable outcome,” Kaler told committee members Wednesday. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.Kaler said that inflationary increases, much needed technology upgrades and the university’s commitment to recruiting and retaining a world-class roster of faculty and staff are major factors in its request for $148 million in increased funding over the next biennium.About $65 million of that requested increase would be allocated to freezing tuition for students at all five of its campuses through 2017. Instead, under provisions of the bill, undergraduate students at the U of M would see a 3 percent increase in tuition and graduate students can expect a 3.5 percent increase, Kaler said.While DFLers expressed disappointment in the bill’s failure cover a tuition freeze, several Republican legislators grilled the president about the university’s professed inability to find more funds anywhere else but in the form of tuition increases.Rep. Bob Barrett (R-Lindstrom) asked Kaler why the university hasn’t considered increasing the price of tuition for non-resident students, which was lowered in recent years in an effort to attract more out-of-state students..“If we just correct that situation there is millions of dollars available at your disposal,” Barrett said. “Would it cover (the) total amount (needed to offset a tuition freeze)? Probably not. Continue Reading