Friday, February 8, 2013

Representative Glen Gruenhagen and Richard Pfutzenreuter

Discuss University of Minnesota Budget 

I have attended meetings  of the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee at the state capitol this week. It has been instructive to hear what the University administration has presented our representatives.  An excerpt is above. Those with an interest in this matter may wish to consult the Minnesota House of Representatives video archive

As regular readers know, I have been writing about the UMore Park situation for some time. In my opinion Mr. Pfutzenreuter has not given a fair picture of what has happened at UMore  Park. 

For example:

See section 3 of The Rest of the Story 

On the matter of deteriorating University facilities please see:

My friend and fellow U of M alum, Michael McNabb, sent a  message to members of the committee earlier this week.  A slightly shortened version  follows. The full version is available for download in pdf format here.

At the January 28, 2013 hearing of the House higher education committee the chair remarked:

Where it [U of M] appears to have great difficulty is showing us where it's had to make tough choices.
The reason is that the U of M administration has not made really tough choices--despite a reduction in state appropriations.  In fiscal year 2002 the total operating expenses for the University were $2,005,138,000.  In fiscal year 2012 the total operating expenses were $2,948,366,000.
The fuel for this billion dollar explosion was skyrocketing tuition.  In fiscal year 2002 the administration collected a net amount (after scholarships and grants) of $293,127,000 in tuition and fees.  In fiscal year 2012 the net amount of tuition and fees collected was $696,278,000.
The senior administrators and the Regents have shown no mercy to the students (and their parents).  This skyrocketing tuition far exceeded the reduction in state appropriations.  In fiscal year 2002 the University received $643,088,000 in state appropriations.  In fiscal year 2012 the amount was $572,075,000. 
The U of M chief financial officer testified that the administration has cut $228 million since 2006.  See the January 31 Star Tribune report on House Asks U Big Questions on Budget.  From fiscal year 2007 through fiscal year 2012 the total operating expenses for the University were just under $17 billion.  See the U of M annual financial reports. 
So the cuts amount to 1.3% of the total operating expenses.  Does the administration view this as making tough choices?  Or making a serious effort to contol costs and tuition?
Michael W. McNabb

University of Minnesota B.A. 1971; J.D. 1974
University of Minnesota Alumni Association life member

No comments: