… in the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the most charitable description of what’s been going on at the clubby University of Minnesota medical school would be “bizarre.”
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The following document was provided to me by a regular reader:
Page 16. “Assume that starting in FY 2012, annually tuition increases 3% for undergraduates on the coordinate campuses, 5% for undergraduate students on the Twin Cities campus, and 5% for all graduate and first professional students.”
This appears to be the minimum tuition increase under consideration to be implemented on an annual basis. Do the Regents also assume that the net incomes of students (and their parents) will increase 20% over the four years of college?
Page 17. “The quality, reputation, and distinctiveness of the academic programs and student experience on the Twin Cities campus have dramatically improved, but still lag behind the very best public and private universities.”
There is no evidence (such as ratings or student surveys) presented to support the assertion in the introductory clause of this statement. Yet even if the assertion is true, there is the stark conclusion that the U of M lags behind the best universities in this country. Since the senior administrators recognize this reality, why do they continue to issue public pronouncements about becoming one of the top three public research institutions in the world?
Page 17. “What should tuition pay for when tuition revenue exceeds the cost of instruction.”
A better question is: Why should tuition revenue exceed the cost of instruction?
Page 19. “Simplify systems, processes, policies, and administrative infrastructure to reduce costs, improve effectiveness, and create flexibility.”
Placing all power in the hands of a few senior administrators will simplify the operation of the University. We can ensure that the trains will run on time (although not on Washington Avenue) if we eliminate any faculty consultation.
Page 20. “Strategy #4: Narrow the scope of the University’s mission to advance a distinctive constellation of excellence.”
The Commitment to Focus returns. The ghost of Ken Keller appears to warn us of our sins.
Page 20. “As the scope of the mission narrows, identify how savings will be reallocated to higher priorities and costs will be eliminated (e.g. by taking buildings off line).”
The legislative strategy of the U of M for securing the necessary HEAPR bonds to maintain and renovate existing academic facilities has failed. The apparent solution is to simply close the buildings. Goodbye Eddy Hall? Folwell Hall? Bell Museum of Natural History?
Michael W. McNabb
University of Minnesota B.A. 1971; J.D. 1974
University of Minnesota Alumni Association lifetime member