The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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March 31, 2014

Education recaps

GustieLeaks voices concerns about Gustavus

Numerous Gustavus Adolphus College faculty, students and alumni were calling for President Jack Ohle's resignation in early 2013 following years of complaints about his leadership.

For several years, members of the faculty, students and alumni have voiced concern regarding what they call Ohle's business-minded administration, his lack of concern for academic quality, and disregard for faculty involvement and concerns, among other things.

The turmoil boiled over into the public forum, growing in intensity due in part to an anonymous and controversial student-run website called GustieLeaks that has publicized documents, some confidential, regarding the Ohle administration.

Ohle announced last summer he will retire June 30, 2014, when his contract is up. Ohle said his decision has to do with timing. At the end of his tenure, he will be 67 and will have worked in higher education administration for 44 years.

Mankato Schools enrollment booms

The Mankato Area Public School Board released district demographic data in February with all signs pointing to the need for a new middle school facility in the near future.

The district studied a variety of pre-school census data, including new births, families moving to the area who have registered for pre-school, and younger sibling information taken when older siblings are enrolled in a Mankato school, among other pools of data. That information supports enrollment projections released earlier in the 2012-13, which showed a huge boost to kindergarten through sixth-grade enrollment.

Instead of a 1 percent average growth each year, a 2 percent growth is anticipated each year over the next five years, said Supt. Sheri Allen.

MSU has $452 million economic impact

Minnesota State University learned in March that it has an estimated $452 million impact on the regional economy, according to a Wilder Research study.

That's $75 million or 20 percent more than the Wilder Research study released five years ago, the last time it was conducted.

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