Saturday, May 14, 2011

Perhaps Now is the Time for Rethinking

Plans for MoreU Park?


On the Continuing MoreU Park Fiasco Is the University of Minnesota a Land Grant Institution?

Exactly how long is the UMore Park craziness going to continue?

My friend and fellow University of Minnesota alumnus, Michael McNabb, writes:

Recent discussions have confirmed concerns about the UMore Park development.  The gravel pit will be located on land that has been used for agricultural research that has produced hundreds of millions of dollars for the economy of Minnesota.  See the remarks of the professors from the College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resources Sciences at the April 25, 2011 meeting of the faculty research committee at More On MoreU Park.
In July 2010 the Regents dismissed the concerns expressed by CFANS faculty members about the decision (already made) to transform UMore Park.  At that time the Regents were under the impression that the gravel pit would generate $3 million to $10 million in revenue per year.  That projection by senior administrators was wildly unrealistic.  See Section 1 of University Inc. Part II.
See UMore Park Craziness  for a partial list of the numerous consultants who have received part of the $9.3 million (and counting) that the administration has spent planning the development of UMore Park.  Note that there is not a single consultant from the fields of agriculture or veterinary medicine.  (The Vet School has an entire farm at UMorePark.)  It appears that the senior administrators and the Regents made the decision on UMore Park without consulting either the professors who were engaged in research on the land or any agricultural economists!
The decision of the administration on UMore Park fails to recognize the essential value of agricultural reserach for a land grant university:
“CFANS is a college devoted to solution-driven science; we use critical and innovative thinking plus all the tools of the arts and sciences to make our planet a productive, friendly, and sustainable environment--to solve everyday problems.  We study the health of the land and the health of the living.”
See the message from the Dean at on the University of Minnesota web site. 


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