Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fewer professors. Fewer classes. Cuts in pay.

From today's STRIB...

So Bruininks' proposed budget is out. Some highlights:

* 4.4% increase for in-state undergrads (would be more without the stimulus $$$)

* Pay cuts (but they still found money for raises, since the admin will never let bargaining unit employees get a raise when non-unionized workers do not!)

* Layoffs

* Firing adjuncts

* CLA lost 52 faculty positions, which means that 145 fewer courses will be offered, which in turn means that the average class size will have to increase in order to provide the same number of seats

On the draconian cuts to CLA, Bruininks noted:

"If you cut hundreds of sections, and you cut them quickly because of the size of this budget cut, I think we'll have some short-term dislocations and some short-term problems."

But no matter, there is still loads of money available to fund the new cancer and cardiovascular research center, which is part of the proposed Biomedical District. The STRIB reporter quotes from FRPE's open letter to the Board, which called for a moratorium on all new construction:

"We fear that new building projects will saddle the University with increased debt and ancillary costs that will hobble the institution in future years."

1 comment:

  1. My comments on the Strib website about this article:

    True costs of biomedical research buildings?

    "The project will cost the University $109 million from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2019 over and above the cost of construction."

    "Of this,$40 million will be for startup costs,$18 million for facility operations and overhead, and $51 million on programs and faculty."

    "Forty new faculty principal investigators will be hired to work in the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research and the Cancer/Cardiovascular facility. The administration claims that $31 million of this will be paid for with grants. Aside from the risk of counting chickens before they hatch, the assertion that grants cover the cost of new faculty lines is simply false."

    "Vice President for Research Mulcahy observed at a recent presentation to the Senate Committee on Research that grants do not cover their costs."

    [From the FRPE website: ]

    It should also be noted that the U of M is on the hook for a significant fraction of the construction costs, these are not funded 100% by the state backing of so-called "university" bonds.

    This financial profligacy is inappropriate for an institution that has declared itself under conditions of "financial stringency" and where faculty, staff, student services and programs are being severely cut.