Sunday, June 20, 2010

Biomedical Discovery District or

Using the Credit Card For Grand Visions

My friend and fellow University of Minnesota alum, Michael McNabb contributes:

See pp. 1-2 of the March 11, 2010 report of the Board of Regents at

President Bruininks commented that the "investment" in the biomedical science research facilities is one of the most important and transformative investments ever made by the State of Minnesota and the University. It is so significant that it has been "branded" as the Biomedical Discovery District [apparently a subset of the Driven to Discover brand].

Vice President Cerra explained that the proposed facilities are to be built using $292 million in bonding authority [debt] approved by the State of Minnesota in 2008. The State will pay 75% of the capital costs and the University will pay the remaining 25% along will ALL of the operating expenses.

Vice President Pfutzenreuter reported that the one time and on-going operating expenses are anticipated to be $109 million between fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2019 ($40 million in non-recurring expenses and $69 million in recurring expenses). ASSUMING that $31 million will be funded through grants, the remaining "challenge" is $78 million ($40 million in non-recurring expenses plus $38 million in recurring expenses).

[In other words, no one yet knows where the University will come up with the $40 million in non-recurring operating expenses and the $38 million in recurring expenses, not to mention the $73 million to pay its 25% share of the capital costs financed through borrowing (bonds).

The "branding" of the Biomedical Discovery District has started on the University web site. See

Michael W. McNabb
Attorney at Law

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