Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dear President Kaler,

The following letter was sent from Minnesota State Senator Bonhoff and Majority Lead Bakk to the President of the University of Minnesota. A pdf of the original letter may be found here

January 8, 2013

Dear President Kaler,

Thank you so much for our meeting yesterday. We appreciate your willingness to meet on such short notice and your openness to our conversation. We are fortunate to have you at the helm of this great University.

As we discussed the current discourse regarding the administrative costs at the University of Minnesota has taken on a life of its own. Stories like this too often become sensationalized and can be challenging to deal with. Working through complex issues in the press is often counterproductive. We believe it is in our mutual best interest to establish a working relationship to formulate real and attainable benchmarks. I sensed from our meeting that you share in this belief. Raising these issues together offers us an opportunity to be catalysts for greater change.

Senator Bakk, our Majority Leader, and I have discussed our meeting. We both appreciate that you openly welcome our request to use a data driven approach to analyzing the cost of delivering educational services. We understand the complexity of your varied missions, and also understand how important it is to have clear and measurable analytics so that efficiency goals can be met. As a scientist you have a reverence for data that most certainly surpasses ours.

As we discussed, we ask that you enact both a short-term analysis, such as a Span and Layers analysis, as well as exploring the in-depth analysis that other Big Ten Universities have conducted. Because we are dealing with the legislative calendar, we ask that you provide us with an interim report no later than March 15. We understand that a thorough analysis will likely take more time, yet having this interim report will provide us with a strong tool as we formulate and hope to pass our 2013 budget.

Your success is imperative to the vitality of this state and its economy. We look forward to parnering with you in this session to ensure that we both fulfill our obligations on behalf of the great State of Minnesota.


Senator Teri E. Bonhoff
Chair Higher Ed/Workforce Development

Senator Thomas M. Bakk
Majority Leader

Let us hope that this request marshals in a new era of openness and transparency at the University of Minnesota that makes it possible to do a much better job for the State of Minnesota.

It is time for the game of "Who's On First?" to end.  

No comments: