Friday, December 5, 2008

Time to put the head back on?

Or, we have no money, therefore we must think.

From MPR

Education could take a big hit
during budget deficit

The University of Minnesota is planning to ask lawmakers for more than $200 million in new money to fund an increase in salaries, prop up scholarships, build a new natural history museum and fix infrastructure problems on campus.

Has OurLeader lost it?

The U of M's chief financial officer, Richard Pfutzenreuter, said the school still hopes to discuss those proposals with lawmakers, but with the state's budget problems in mind.

"When we get a chance to talk to legislators we'll be talking about our priorities," Pfutzenreuter said. "But we know full well the focus of this upcoming session is going to be on balancing the budget, and closing that budgetary gap."

It's uncertain what the dire budget forecast will mean for tuition at the U, where a year of classes now costs nearly $10,000. President Bob Bruininks has said if the university doesn't get the money it's asking for, tuition will be raised more than the 4.5 percent increase already planned in the next two years.

Others are not so arrogant...

One thing is for certain, Minnesota's colleges are likely to rethink the budget proposals they bring to the legislature next year.

MnSCU recently dropped its budget request from $126 million to $71 million in the next biennium.

Bob, you are doing none of us any favors by behaving in this pig-headed manner. Do you somehow think that funding for the U of M is more important than that of K-12 education, than MNSCU, than children's health care? Do you really have the nerve to go over to the state legislature and ask for 200 million in new money? If you do this, then I seriously suggest that you think about another line of work. I'm sure that your skills would be very valuable in private industry or at another university. Maybe the Regents would fund a buy-out? It would be a lot less expensive than your buy-out of coaches recently.


Some concrete suggestions of the type you asked for at the University Senate meeting yesterday:

1. A ten percent cut in the number of administrators at the U of M.

2. A pay cut of 10% for all U of M employees making more than 250K per year.

3. A pay cut of 5% for all U of M employees making more than 100K per year.

4. No new Bell Museum

5. No new biomedical research buildings

6. No new spending on Northrup auditorium

7. No new spending on MoreU Park

8. The end of Driven to Discover as soon as is legally possible.

I doubt you'll take any of these suggestions based on past performance, but you may not have any choice. A little leadership here would be greatly appreciated.

By the way:

The hiring pause on post-docs for funded grants is idiotic. At least get out of people's way if you can't lead or follow. This is an excellent example of how your cluelessness is actually a hindrance to getting work done, and in the long run grants funded, at the U of M. Which leads to another recent big blunder...

And about EFS - how much money has that saved us?

"The University is not being paid money owed to it, reports are not generated, and so on; unless there is a clear message that these problems [with EFS] will be resolved in the next two-three months, the situation will reflect badly on the entire central administration." Senate Committee on Finance and Planning (9/23/08)

"At the departmental level, I can say that no innovation at UM over the past 20 years has been so expensive in human hours. Staff in our college now do virtually nothing but thrash at EFS, curse, and plan early retirement." (comment on PTII, 10/29/08)

1 comment:

momo said...

Check out the comments on the STrib story about the U's funding request. I know it's not a representative sample, but the consensus seems to be that the U is arrogant, a black hole, wasting money on a new stadium, unfair to beer drinkers, filled with rich professors who never teach, laden with fat ready to be cut, out of get the idea. I think the Prez just put the nail in the coffin on public good will for the next five years.
All but 5-6 searches (of about 47-8) in my college were canceled. These are replacement searches for for people who are gone. Next year, we will see programs closed as well as tuition rising.