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U of M regents approve $500,000 salary for new provost

U of M Board of Regents
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
In the Star Tribune, Ryan Faircloth reports, “After lively debate, University of Minnesota regents voted Thursday afternoon to approve a salary of nearly $500,000 for President Joan Gabel’s first major hire. With the 8-4 vote, Rachel Croson, dean of Michigan State University’s College of Social Science, will become the U’s next executive vice president and provost. Croson, an economics professor, replaces retiring Provost Karen Hanson.”

In the Pioneer Press, Bob Shaw writes, “One of the metro area’s largest housing projects ever may be moving forward on land in Oakdale where officials have waited more than 50 years for development. The 1,410-unit development in Oakdale is being proposed by Lennar Corp., a Miami-based housing company. The company has submitted a preliminary plat for the 208-acre property, according to Oakdale Community Development Director Bob Streetar. … The property is north of the former Imation campus, once a 3M spin-off company, now occupied by furniture retailer Slumberland.”

For MPR, Matt Sepic says, “Two of the last three Kmart stores in Minnesota are set to close Sunday. That means the Minneapolis store that blocks Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street — as it has for more than four decades — will be the retailer’s sole remaining outpost in the state.  City leaders have long hoped to reopen Nicollet. But given the history of development at the site, that won’t be easy. … Even if the twice-bankrupt Kmart closes its last Minnesota location —and there’s no indication it will — the Kmart affiliate that rents the land from the city has a lease that doesn’t expire until 2053. This affiliate also has the right to sublet the land to someone else without the city’s consent.”

The Star Tribune’s Maya Rao writes: “Many in Minnesota’s long-established Liberian community will have an opportunity to finally apply for U.S. citizenship under an amendment in the defense authorization bill expected to pass the U.S. Senate next week. The measure would give permanent resident status to Liberians living in the United States under the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program that has allowed them to stay here temporarily for in some cases decades without an opportunity to pursue citizenship.”

Adam Uren at BringMeTheNews says, “Fresh off the first season as the stars of HGTV’s ‘Stay or Sell,’ Heather and Brad Fox are expanding their footprint in the Twin Cities. The couple, whose business Fox Homes comprises both real estate and property renovation, are taking over a space at 4400 France Ave. S – on the Edina-side of France and 44th. They’re in the process of transforming the 4,000-square-foot former home of Linhoff Photo into a design studio, retail shop and realty office called Foxwell, with a view to opening it in the late spring.”


Says a BBC story, “The US and China are close to signing a trade deal that averts another round of tariffs due to start on Sunday. The deal could be announced as soon as Friday, after US President Donald Trump reportedly signed off on the terms. The US has agreed to remove some tariffs as part of the agreement. In exchange, China would boost purchases of US farm goods. Many of the more difficult issues are still to be addressed, but the progress sent US share markets to record highs.”

A note from WCCO-TV says, “CBS Television Stations and CBS Interactive today announced the launch of CBSN Minnesota, the fifth of CBS’ 13 local direct-to-consumer streaming news services in major markets across the country. CBSN Minnesota features anchored programming, coverage of live breaking news events in the region, as well as an extensive library of local news content that will be available for on-demand viewing.”

This from Mike Mullen at City Pages, “Personally, we were never big fans of Bernd Schmidt. Also, we didn’t know who he was. Turns out Schmidt, a German, held the Guinness World Record for the largest ‘mouth gape,’ a term we’re frankly sorry to inform you exists. In 2016, Schmidt proved to the record keepers his piehole measured 8.8 centimeters (or 3.46 inches), top to bottom.  … Suck it, Schmidts: This year, Isaac Johnson of Bloomington, Minnesota, got his mouth officially measured and shattered the existing mark. Johnson’s mouth gape (we’re sorry!) is 9.67 centimeters (3.67 inches), a leap of almost 10 percent over the old record.”

WCCO-TV’s Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield reports: “Evelyn Kleine, the oldest-known person in Minnesota, has died at age 112. Born in Columbia Heights in 1907, Kleine lived most of her life in Minneapolis, working for years as a seamstress. She told WCCO in 2014 that she sewed until she was 100, and she drove a car until she was 99.”

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/13/2019 - 08:25 am.

    I’ve only lived here a decade, but would love to know what public officials were so dense (or perhaps the appropriate word is “desperate”) that they gave K-Mart what seems like the most one-sided lease agreement (not to mention one of the longest for a commercial property) I’ve ever heard of. Griping about the K-Mart property blocking the street connection has been going on since I got here, but how did the city get itself into that bind? This strikes me as one more in a long list illustrating the municipal downside of granting favors in order to persuade a business to locate in your town rather than someone else’s.

    • Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/13/2019 - 01:04 pm.

      If I recall correctly, the decision was made in order to create space for an anchor to reinvigorate what was then one of the worst commercial districts in town. I know, it’s hard to imagine anyone believed K-Mart would be an upgrade.

  2. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/13/2019 - 08:46 am.

    Letting K-Mart block Nicollet was, without question, the dumbest planning decision ever made by the city. With recent changes in the eminent domain laws, we’re stuck with it unless whoever owns/leases the property decides to relinquish it voluntarily.

    • Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/13/2019 - 01:02 pm.

      What changes are those? The cost of condemning a street easement would itself be prohibitive, given the term of the lease.

  3. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 12/13/2019 - 08:56 am.

    $500,000 for a provost?

    It is profoundly destabilizing for this society, those young people carrying that 1.5 trillion in student debt, seeing the shameless economics of higher education. It is instructive that this new provost has a background in economics, there being so little awareness among economists generally of how destructive to society gaping income inequality can be.

  4. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 12/13/2019 - 10:35 am.

    Its really weird, but have you ever heard a Republican whine about the Salaries College Coaches are getting?

  5. Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/13/2019 - 01:09 pm.

    The dollar amount of the provost’s salary aside, I don’t understand how a newcomer with no experience in the position warrants a 10% increase over the salary of the retiring incumbent’s salary after 11 years in the position.

    As for college coaches’ salaries: I have long believed that these salaries serve to increase salaries throughout colleges and universities, particularly at the upper levels.

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