Monday, October 25, 2010

"A Plethora of Platitudes?"

University of Minnesota Student

Calls for Fairness and Making  Educational

Mission Our Top Priority

Student Statement:

2:01 Paul Strain Vice Chair of the Student Representatives to the Board

Remarks made to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents on October 8 (2010)

The challenge of developing a request that takes into consideration both the  needs of the university and the budget realities of our state is clear.

We must articulate a message to the state  legislature on the importance of the University of Minnesota primarily by accentuating our teaching mission and also highlighting our profound research accomplishments.

We must show that in response to decreased state support students tuition has been used to balance the budget and finance our university's future.

Unfortunately this method of revenue recovery is disproportionately placing the cost burden on the students and in turn negatively impacting the teaching quality of our institution.

The rate at which our tuition is increased compared to the increase in the quality of education has become disproportionate.

We must also ask whether our private scholarship support is sustainable alongside our dramatic  increases in tuition and loss of stimulus dollars

Are there substantive benefits in education that students are receiving by a doubling in tuition in the last decade?

How are these increases manageable? If so can we defend these increases without a plethora of platitudes about academic improvements.

We, the student representatives, ask that the Board and the University administration continue to recapitulate the discussion about cost-drivers at the university and evaluate  whether or not these costs are advancing the academic mission of this fine institution or whether they are stagnating our ability to advance excellence.
The education of our students at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional level must remain the most important priority.

We know that your advocacy for higher education is unwavering but we believe that the Board must remain critical of the university's endeavours that  do not improve our academic ability to educate Minnesota's future workforce.  

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