Learning Goes Under a New Microscope

Health-sciences major at U. of Minnesota tests models for teaching and tenure

Putting Learning Under a Microscope 1

Tom Roster for The Chronicle

Yuko Taniguchi (right), a writing specialist in the U. of Minnesota at Rochester's health-sciences program, works with a student. The faculty includes some nonteaching advisers, like Peter Larsen (center).

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Tom Roster for The Chronicle

Yuko Taniguchi (right), a writing specialist in the U. of Minnesota at Rochester's health-sciences program, works with a student. The faculty includes some nonteaching advisers, like Peter Larsen (center).

Almost everyone in academe daydreams about scrapping the conventional university model and building something from scratch, but few people actually get the chance to try it.

Stephen W. Lehmkuhle did, when he was hired in 2007 as chancellor of the University of Minnesota's fledgling Rochester campus. He had been told to create a new undergraduate program in health sciences—a natural role for a campus two blocks from the Mayo Clinic.

But Mr. Lehmkuhle fervently wanted to