… 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.”
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
(Or are the lambs just being prepared for slaughter...)
From the Daily:
Last week, University President Bob Bruininks e-mailed faculty and staff an update on the University of Minnesota’s budget process.
In his message, Bruininks warned of a further 2.75 percent cut to both academic and support units that already absorbed a larger cut this year. He also reaffirmed plans to increase tuition by 7.5 percent, though a portion of that will be offset this year by federal stimulus funds. In a welcome departure from past statements, however, there was acknowledgement of growing resistance to tuition increases.
The budget cuts may require further reductions in staff or salaries. To the extent that staff furloughs must be implemented, they should be done in such a way as to impact students as little as possible. This will require focusing them away from front-line staff, teaching assistants and faculty and instead toward administration, managers and back-room functions.
This weighting would help correct for massively unbalanced recent growth. In the past decade, administrative staff has grown by 75 percent while faculty increased by only 14 percent. This disparity means that administrative salaries are fully one-third the size of teaching salaries.
Though any budget cut will be painful, the University’s leaders have a responsibility to implement it in a way that keeps the University’s essential focus on teaching intact.