Tuesday, March 30, 2010

University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks

to deliver

2010 State of the University Address

From a news release:

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (03/30/2010) —University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks will give his 2010 State of the University Address at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 1, in Coffman Memorial Union Theater, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis.

Bruininks’ speech, “Chart the Future: Partners for the Public Good,” will call for a higher education renaissance in Minnesota, in which both the state and the university reaffirm the importance of education, research and public engagement and seek to better align goals and systems with the needs and expectations of the state and its citizens.

President Bruininks, this alignment is long overdue. Many have been trying to call your attention to this topic for years, e.g.

Such a renaissance, according to Bruininks, will require the entire university community to devote itself to strategically refocusing the university's academic mission and aggressively reducing costs and growing non-state revenue.

Are you serious? Based on your past track record, I doubt it. Let me hear you say: "No more of this top three public research universities in the world stuff." Then I'll believe you.

In addition to specific to strategies secure the university's financial future, the president will propose an independent commission on the redesign of higher education in Minnesota and encourage a common vision and stronger partnerships, both within the university and between the university and the state.


Is this like the blue ribbon panels at the U? Is this like the compacts that supposedly set standards of performance? Compacts that most faculty have never seen.

Common Vision?

You mean the kind of common vision that should have been developed over your tenure. Instead what we saw was manipulation. Charges were made and work orders issued. Anyone who dared to disagree with you about the direction in which the university was moving was labeled a doubter by you.

Between the University and the State?

You have poisoned the well. Your lack of leadership on light rail and your crude attempt to extract money from the legislature by blackmail and threats of massive tuition increases have finally caught up with you. Poor financial management and priorities have been exposed.

It is time to return to our mission as a land grant university. I am sorry to say that you seem to have forgotten what this means.

I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Stand and deliver.

A live video stream of the address can be viewed here: http://www1.umn.edu/pres/stateoftheu2010.html.

Added: 31 March 1:09 pm

State of the University Address canceled

The 2010 State of the University Address, scheduled for Thursday, April 1, has been canceled as President Robert Bruininks works to recover his voice from a case of laryngitis.

"Each year I look forward to discussing our best thoughts and ideas for moving the University forward in this forum," he said. "Unfortunately, I am currently unable to speak audibly for extended periods of time—and while I remain hopeful that my voice will return to full capacity soon, we needed to make this decision today in order to communicate it with the Regents, the coordinate campuses, the media and the public in a timely manner."

Since the spring semester will end next month, the speech will not be rescheduled. Instead, the president intends to post his remarks in full on the Office of the President web site on Monday. President Bruininks also indicated his intention to look for additional opportunities to interact with the University community this spring and next fall.

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