Wednesday, September 3, 2014

U of M Scoreboard: Athletics Department 84, All Other Departments 16

U of M Scoreboard: Athletic Department 84  

All Other Departments 16

The U of M administration has announced a $25 million donation from Land O' Lakes. Of the total amount $21 million (84%) goes to the athletic department and $4 million (16%) goes to all other (academic) departments.

This new commitment and innovative model of support . . . will further position the U as a continued leader in addressing society's pressing challenges.

President Eric Kaler in the September 3, 2014 Star Tribune report at (emphasis added).

Especially that pressing challenge of winning football and basketball games.

The writer of a letter to the editor in the September 5 Star Tribune argued for excellence in both sports and academics at the U of M. But there is a limit to available funds. Most large universities, including the U of M, continue to provide annual multi-million dollar subisdies (in direct and indirect support) to their atheltic departments despite the exponential increase in TV revenues. See Athletic AccountingBeyond the cost, big time sports are simply irrelevant to the purposes of a university.

The window to the U of M is not athletics (as President Kaler claimed in the September 5 column of Sid Hartman) but rather its performance in the fields of education, research and public service. Imagine the effect of the Land O' Lakes $25 million donation if the U of M administration had persuaded the company to give most of the funds for those purposes. A donation for agricultural research would have promoted the University and the state economy as well as the corporate purpose of Land O' Lakes, the purpose of its foundation, and the financial interests of its shareholders.

Michael W. McNabb

University of Minnesota B.A. 1971; J.D. 1974

University of Minnesota Alumni Association life member 

Comment by Bill Gleason:

I noticed a tweet from the Ministry of Propaganda this morning:

Seems a little misleading in light of the distribution of the loot ...

Perhaps they are embarrassed? 

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