Friday, October 1, 2010

Tuition Next Year at 

the University of Minnesota?

Time for a Great Conversation?

Time to put the cards on the table, President Bruininks?

If the cuts instead were from the FY11 base of $591.1 million (the current actual base), they would $59.1 million at 5%, $118.2 at 10%, and $177.3 million at 15%.  Again with the case of the last, to make it up entirely through tuition would require an 11.8% tuition increase.

Professor Roe noted that the federal stimulus funds had been used to support tuition; those funds run out at the end of the fiscal year.  If there is no change, what will the tuition increase be?  About $750 for a returning undergraduate, Ms. Tonneson said.

So any tuition increase becomes even more onerous, Professor Roe commented, because there will be an increase solely because the stimulus funds will be gone.  

the cost pools are growing but there is no new revenue.  If they raise tuition, a large part of the increase goes to central administration  

Central costs must go down or in four years her college will be spending more on central costs than it does on its faculty.  Making that change will require hard choices and it will require that the University model revenue and live within its budget. 

 Students are paying a lot more than when President Bruininks started in office, and the assumption has been that quality of the experience would increase as well.  Now they are hearing that the quality is eroding.  How can the University play in the global village when its costs are increasing and the student experience is declining in quality?

What is extremely important as the University plans for the next biennium, Dean Parente said, is that it makes clear what it is doing to enhance quality for students.  That must be a main driver; the University cannot argue for tuition increases because the state is cutting funding.  The tuition increases must be related to the quality of education.

Senate Committee on Finance and Planning
Tuesday, September 21, 2010


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