MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The University of Minnesota Board of Regents will survey the financial future of the university this week as it considers how to do more with less in its next budget.

President Robert Bruininks says he’s planning for the worst case scenario — a possible government shutdown and a nearly $71 million cut in state funding for the coming year. The Republican-led Legislature reduced university funding in a budget that was vetoed by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Bruininks says he has proposed an overall tuition increase of 5 percent for most resident undergraduate students, with an 8.2 percent increase for out-of-state undergrads. Graduate students could see increases ranging from more than 3 to nearly 9 percent depending on their field — pharmacy, law, dentistry or medicine.

“It’s hurtful to students,” said junior Andy Osborne.  “It just makes it more and more stressful with $20,000, $30,000 or $40,000 in debt. If we are going to look at raising the costs on students, we should also share the sacrifice of the administrators of the university as well.”

Bruininks stresses a tuition increase is only one third of the solution, with university employees taking a bigger hit.

“We took a $193 million budget cut in the past two years,” said Bruininks. “We kept these increases at a very modest level and we have done so by asking our employees to pay an incredible price. They will have had two pay freezes and one year where I asked them to give money back to the University of Minnesota — they will have had benefits cut, work harder with reductions at the local level.”

U of M junior Katie Cowan is spending the summer working at Five Guys burgers in Dinkytown, to help her parents cover the expenses of three college-age kids in her family.

She says she’ll spend more hours working to cover rising costs if it is an investment in her future.

“Everything is kind of happening at once and I know a lot of my friends, it’s difficult for them too, taking out loans, a lot to handle on top of school and working,” said Cowan. “Definitely not glamorous — but it’s worth it, definitely worth it.”

Bruininks will make his budget recommendations to the Board of Regents Friday, and the Board will vote on the plan June 20.

“Back to back $100 million a year reduction in state support will weaken us on long haul,” said Bruininks, who says even in his last month as University President, he’s up for a fight.

Comments (11)
  1. Matt says:

    Those greedy liberal cowards are to afraid to CUT the WASTE at the U of M instead of passing on the costs. Students should STOP wasting their money on some of these crazy liberal universities. Currently the U of M has a $2.8 BILLION endowment they could use to offset the costs associated with the funding decreases.


    I stopped by the U to grab lunch a couple weeks ago and ate in the cafe. They are paying someone to stand at the trash cans and ensure that people don’t throw away food or paper and it gets recycled. Small example of ridiculous waste, but you get the point. The school should stop playing victim and step up and look at the ridiculous level of waste.

  2. Omar says:


    Its not even a waste issue.

    Here is the real problem. The students get PENALIZEDd for wanting to get an education so that they can become contributing members of society by having to pay higher tuition and work meager part-time (and sometimes full-time) jobs so they can complete their education.

    Meanwhile, certain people here in Minnesota are being REWARDED for irresponsibility (having unprotected sex and having babies out of wedlock, not actively seeking work or education, using food stamps for cigarettes and liquor, etc.)

    So basically what Minnesota’s Liberal Government is saying is: You want to better yourselves? You get penalized. You want to bring yourselves as well as the community down? You get rewarded.

    THAT is the problem, my friend.

    1. No grants for the well-behaved says:

      How about the inmates in the state prison system taking all the grant money because they have no income? When I was in college, working full-time but making less than $20,000, I was never eligible for a Pell grant or many other grants because my income was too high. What a joke! Meanwhile, the lifers at Stillwater and Oak Park Heights prisons were getting all the grant money for a college education they are never going to be able to use anyway. Nice.

  3. Victim Du Jour says:

    The U just has to focus on science, and get rid of all the “60’s Culture War” mumbo jumbo.

  4. DARREN says:

    Since when is a college education suppose to be paid for by the taxpayer? When is more then a high school education entitled to anyone in the state of Minnesota? Good for you if you want a higher education, but I paid for my own college education and so can all of those college students. I as a tiaxpayer should not be paying taxes for any of the University’s or other colleges in the state. Pay for yourself.

  5. Omar says:

    Darren: Most public Universities are just that….payed for by taxes. However, that is NOT a bad thing. Your tax dollars are funding an institution that creates educated people who go out in the work force and and contributes to society.

    I came to this country from Pakistan to attain a better education than I could get at home. However, unlike the Somalis that live here, I did not expect to get a “free ride” I came here to this (wonderful) country to get an education that could feed my family and house them. My parents gave me money to attend the University and I did get Financial Aid from the U.S. However, I intend to pay back every dime back. In my country, “free-loading is a sin”. Despite what you hear about Pakistan in the news, we are a peace-loving people who LOVE the U.S. Those terrorists you hear in the media, are the MINORITY in my home country.

    Ok, I am going off on a tangent……but the bottom line is that i advocate education vs welfare. I have been called a “terrorist muthafucka” by too many blacks in Minneapolis on my bus rides to and from work and school. It seems to be me that black people are the most racist people on earth. So it is OK for them to judge someone on the color of their skin, but if anyone else does, they are “racist”?

  6. G Dog says:

    So DARREN, you went to a private school. You had to if you paid for it all yourself. So you’re the product of a wealthy family and haven’t got a clue as to the struggles of the middle class and its dream to have their kids have a better life than they did. You also, obviously, don’t see education as an investment in society.

    As a proud middle class person, we wish all of you rich people would either SHUT UP or walk in our shoes.

  7. Darren says:

    G Dog,

    Just the opposite, I grew up in East Bloomington, Graduated from Kennedy, went to Normandale for my first 2 years of college then to the U. I worked full time overnights for Target and paid every dime of my education myself. No help from my parents or any loans. I started working when I was 12 years old with a paper route then at 16 started working at the local grocery store. And I saved my money just as my parents taught me.

  8. JB says:

    There are alternatives. Once the U reaches the pain point of making Minnesota students pay for the rest of the world to be educated, well then the local masses will refuse to go to the U of M. There are plenty of less expensive alternatives that offer as good if not a better education, in a much more intimate setting. So I for one encourage the U of M to keep jacking up rates, they will get what they have coming soon enough. What will the U of M do when they have almost no Minnesotans going there? Who will pay all those 100K professors and subsidize all the students that do not pay a full load? Will we be able to pull our tax dollars once they change the name to “The Internation School of Robyn Hood?”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE