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MnSCU chancellor facing more complaints from students and faculty

Courtesy of MnSCU
Steven Rosenstone

MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone has become a pinata. Alex Friedrich at MPR says, “Winona State student leaders have joined university faculty in expressing concern in the leadership of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. Aside from concerns raised by one student leader, it appears to be the first formally announced list of student complaints. … The main areas of complaint: lack of transparency, dismissiveness, and failure to effectively represent the system in his dealings with the state legislature.” The “transparency” complaint involved his accepting “a significant increase to his compensation, and bonuses.

Oh, and while he’s at it, Friedrich also reports, “University faculty union leaders say Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system Chancellor Steven Rosenstone acted in ‘bad faith’ when he announced early Thursday that a state agency would mediate their dispute with him over plans to overhaul the system. In a statement sent out Thursday evening, they suggest his announcement was political maneuvering: ‘This morning, Chancellor Rosenstone informed the news media and MnSCU faculty that he was proposing that Minnesota’s Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution (OCDR) should mediate a conversation between the Chancellor and the two faculty unions, the IFO and MSCF, about the unions’ withdrawal from Charting the Future. The chancellor released news of his request only minutes after notifying the two unions and the OCDR. Neither union has seen the request.

Ok by me. The Strib’s Dave Shaffer reports, “Minnesotans who heat with natural gas may feel less strain on the budget this winter. Customers of CenterPoint Energy, the state’s largest gas utility, can expect small refunds on their December natural gas bills and slightly lower rates compared with last winter, when an interim hike took effect just as record cold sent heat bills soaring. Utilities, meteorological services and the federal government also are predicting that this winter won’t be quite as bad as it was in 2013-14.”

Another hotel for downtown Minneapolis. Kristen Leigh Painter of the Strib writes, “M.A. Mortenson Co. … the real estate and construction firm announced Thursday its plans for developing and building an AC Hotels by Marriott at 401 Hennepin Av. S., across 4th Street from the Minneapolis Central Library. The nine-story, 244-room hotel will cost $48 million.”

The year in Big Gummint spending. According to the AP, “Minnesota has wrapped up its 2014 road construction season. The state Department of Transportation says major bridge construction, highway lane additions and road resurfacing were among the 308 projects underway during the season. … The $1.1 billion construction program included 74 projects in the Twin Cities and 194 projects in Greater Minnesota.”

And now … the intramural brawl. Rachel Stassen-Berger and Patrick Cooligan of the Strib report, “[Current House Minority Leader Kurt] Daudt is facing a stiff leadership challenge from Reps. Matt Dean, of Dellwood, and Rod Hamilton, of Mountain Lake, with other contenders possible. The Republican caucus, which has some history of factionalism, meets Friday to vote on its leadership. And the winner will need more than just a plurality. Republicans require 60 percent to win leadership — 44 of the 72 Republicans elected Tuesday.”

Maybe a change of sweatshirt is in order. Nick Ferraro of the PiPress has the story of a creepy character. “The man sitting by himself in the gym bleachers and wearing a blaze-orange sweatshirt stood out from the crowd. But it wasn’t his bright clothing that caught the eye of parents, students and others at a Henry Sibley High School volleyball game last month. Joseph Paul Zeimet was shooting pictures and videos of the players with his cellphone, which concerned some and eventually led to the 49-year-old St. Paul man being asked to leave the school, Mendota Heights police said. … In 2001, Zeimet was charged with interfering with privacy after off-duty St. Paul police officers working as security guards saw him lying on the ground outside a canvas tent at the Irish Fair of Minnesota at Harriet Island Regional Park and secretly videotaping girls changing costumes, charges say.”

Mom and Dad must be so proud. Says Dave Chanen in the Strib, “At 25, Henry Lee Devon Moore is a notorious and unabashed career criminal. He’s been arrested and charged with dozens of crimes big and small across Minnesota, and has spent time in countless jails and three prisons. Before he allegedly severely beat and tased a check-cashing employee in Minneapolis last month, at least three counties had issued arrest warrants or scheduled sentencing hearings for him for recent drug and robbery offenses. Moore, of Columbia Heights, now sits in the Hennepin County jail facing five fresh felony charges and the reality of a prison term that’s likely to be lengthy.”

That Strib story about “the worst teachers in the poorest schools” had more than a few teachers a tad PO’d. In a Strib commentary, Greta Callahan, a teacher at one of the poorest, explains the reality of the situation. “The district uses three different tools to evaluate teachers: classroom observations, a student survey and student achievement data. Let’s put that into the perspective of a Bethune kindergarten teacher. … At Bethune, many of our students are what most Americans would define as starving. At least a third are HHM (homeless/highly mobile), see violence in their homes or neighborhoods regularly and come to school with baggage many of us couldn’t imagine, let alone at age 5. Yet they are expected to meet the standards of kindergartners at upwardly mobile neighborhood schools like Burroughs and Hale. As far as the tests are concerned, a teacher is a teacher and a student is a student.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/07/2014 - 03:11 pm.

    The Only Thing Stories Like the Strib’s

    “worst teachers in the poorest schools” reveals is the embarrassing ignorance of the current writers and editors of what was once a great newspaper.

    NOT ONE of the people involved in writing that story would ever live in the neighborhoods from which the schools about which they are so loudly whining draw their students,…

    nor would they, if given the opportunity, have even the slightest clue how to deal with the problems those students bring in the door with them each day,…

    let along teach those students anything,…

    nor do they have any realistic basis by which to actually evaluate the quality of the work being done in those schools.

    How long has it been since the Strib stopped trying to inform and educate it’s readership,…

    and shifted to trying to frustrate and titillate those readers in order to try to grab eyeballs,…

    and confirm, for the ignorant and the arrogant (often the same folk) what they want to hear?

    Can’t you do better than this, Mr Taylor?

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