Friday, January 21, 2011

The Prez’s Budget Update

The budget outlook is gloomy. The state’s projected budget shortfall is $6 billion. The U’s forecast base for 2011-12 is $642.2 million, which is $51.1 million per year higher than this year’s state allocation. The U has asked that this forecast base be maintained, but there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that will happen given the political map and the state’s budgetary constraints. So brace yourself for another round of cuts, which the prez anticipates will hit hardest in 2011-12 academic year. Bruininks announced that there will be no raises in 2011-12 and all units will be asked to model 5 per cent cuts, and as in the past two years, the actual cuts will vary among units. Two-thirds of the budget gap will be closed with cuts and the remaining third with additional revenue. (Translation: tuition will increase, but the higher tuition will be taxed by central via cost pools, then reallocated away from instruction to feed the administration’s other priorities, and students will get screwed again…i.e. they will pay more but get less…) Read the entire message here.

1 comment:

  1. The battle continues. The president has failed miserably at the legislature despite his pep rally the night before at the Mac center.

    For an account of the festivities by an alum who attended, please see:

    Unfortunately, the President had to face the music at the state legislature the next day. They just said no, in committee, to his song and dance. The same song and dance that he has been performing for years. He even had to diss the Daily in answering questions about why he had not delivered on his promises to significantly prune administrative costs and blew the question off as being a minor contributor to our problems.

    Time for a change? For some concrete suggestions, please see my post on the Star-Tribune Voices blog: Research and Educational Expenses at the University of Minnesota: Time to Put All the Cards on the Table? link:

    Since this piece was published, even more evidence - from the UC system - has surfaced to discredit the canard that the humanities are net consumers of resources while the sciences and engineering are not.

    See the summary at: More on Unreimbursed Research Costs at Public Universities The UC Example link:

    Fortunately we will see no more of this president's failed attempts to make proper justification to the legislature for state investment in the U. Hopefully, the next president will be a great improvement in this area as he has already pledged to meet with every member of the state legislature. He seems to be the kind of leader who walks the talk, judging from his record at Stony Brook and Delaware. I look forward to his leadership in moving the University to be one of the best institutions of its kind and not pursuing the false god of "third greatest public research university in the world."

    Bill Gleason, U of M grad and faculty