MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota will eliminate hundreds of jobs, cut millions of dollars in academic programs, freeze wages and raise tuition rates as part of a budget presented Friday by outgoing President Robert Bruininks.

“We have to budget and plan for the worst-case scenario,” Bruininks said at a meeting of the university’s Board of Regents.

That scenario includes a cut of $71 million in state aid to $520.3 million next year. That’s the figure the Republican-controlled Legislature has passed and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed as too low. If their stalemate over the state budget continues through July 1, the state government could shut down and state funding for the university system would stop.

Bruininks said the university had sufficient reserves to continue classes, research and caring for patients in its health care operations, but only for a short time. And he won’t be there to manage the crisis; Bruininks plans to step down June 30 after nine years as the school’s leader.

In his final budget proposal, Bruininks said the university projects overall revenue of about $3.3 billion for the next fiscal year. State aid pays for about 17 percent, with tuition and fees making up another 29 percent. The rest comes from sponsored research, gifts endowments and investments, and other student fees.

The university plans to cover about two-thirds of the $71 million shortfall through budget cuts, including eliminating about 100 open faculty jobs, freezing wages, eliminating more than 100 non-teaching jobs and passing more health care costs along to employees. Bruininks said the faculty and staff would be “taking it in the neck.”

The budget would also raise nearly $45 million in tuition and fees. Tuition will increase 5 percent for most resident undergraduates. Professional and graduate students would see their tuitions increase from 3.3 percent to 9.3 percent.

The increases will feel steeper to many students, because they received a $420 scholarship in each of the past two years to put toward tuition. That money, paid for by the federal stimulus law, has run out.

Provost Tom Sullivan said students will be able to other results of the cuts. For example, he said, students in science, technology, engineering and math areas will have fewer course offerings and larger class sizes.

“We are not going to be able to hire the right number of faculty in the right areas with the budget that we have built,” he said.

Bruininks said the cuts will eventually hurt the quality of education offered at the university. “I do believe there is a point where quality will be adversely affected, but I don’t think we’re close to that,” he said.

Bruininks told the regents if the Legislature and Dayton agree on state budget that sends more than $520.3 million a year to the university, the extra money would be split about evenly between reducing the tuition hikes and softening the planned cuts to academic programs.

The regents are scheduled to vote on the budget on June 20. On Friday, several regents seemed resigned to approving another budget full of cuts.

“It will be painful to vote for, but I will,” said Regent Patricia Simmons.

During a public hearing after the meeting, Cherrene Horazuk, a university clerical worker and chief steward of American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 3800, urged the regents not to look for more cuts at the bottom of the university’s pay scale.

“We did not cause this economic crisis and we cannot and will not sacrifice any more to resolve it,” she said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (24)
  1. Mike D says:

    But at the same time his swimming pool and kitchen are being remodled.

  2. Anita Morefunding says:

    Why does the state pay anything towards the university anyway?

    If people want an education to “better their future” then they should pay for it themselves!

    1. Darren says:

      amen, I have said the same thing so many times on these comment sections. I paid for mine, no loans at all, didn’t borrow from my parents, I worked a full time job and went to college.

      1. game on GOP says:

        Who cares who pays for education. Our the money is the states money after it leaves your pay check and the State can use the money the way it wants too. If you dont like it get out of the MN and the US. Everyone deseves a education. You Loosers!

        1. stubby says:

          why does my tax dollars have to pey for your kids education at the college level?

        2. Victim Du Jour says:

          13th Amendment Prohibits “Involuntary Servitude” in the United States. People who do not use the U of M have the right to live free from their
          Budget problems.

      2. Owen says:

        My, isn’t that nice. Full time tuition and fees last year were over 11000 not to mention what books would cost. What kind of job is a kid out of high school going to get that they can live on and have that bill paid for?

  3. Yes, because charging the students more is a good idea.

  4. mikie says:

    Maybe it is because most of the professors make over 100k a year for 9 months of work and then a lot of them have teacher assistants teach for them. They can retire at 55 with a guaranteed pension (guaranteed by the tax payers). For the past 20 yrs each dept just added 5% onto last years budget to get the next years. Their answer is to raise tuition instead of cutting fat. There is so much gov waste that it is sickening. Make everyone at the U of M making over 100k take a 5% pay cut. Anyone over 200k should take a 10% pay cut. Enough of raping the tax payers.

    1. wHATEVER says:

      Good luck keeping professors around. They go to school for 8 years to become one. You cut their pay to 4 year undergrad levels and you will not have any professors left.

      1. Anita Newproff says:

        no professors left …. promise?

        I thought they were in it for “the love of teaching” … time for them to “pay their fair share”!

        1. common sense says:

          Well, no different than sports stars making ridiculous amounts of money…..

          you know how many people would love to play pro sports and would be willing to do it for a good 80k a year? To just play a sport for 80k a year…. imagine that.

          Some people are stupid!

          1. DARREN says:

            yeah, but who is more stupid, the fans who pay up to hundreds of dollars to go and watch A GAME.

          2. Bernie says:

            The postings on this board proves you are very correct in that some people are stupid

  5. goob says:

    get rid of the bloated middle management that are basically data entry people making 80 to 100 grand…students could do their jobs…probably better too!!!

  6. Julie says:

    And at the end of the day the top shelf brandy will still flow.

  7. Confused says:

    Vote Obama and Democrats if you want low tuition and finding job

  8. MrPHD says:

    Obama and demos are the problem. The entire budget difference could easily have been covered with cuts. Again, the liberals trying to fix everything with a government program. The U of M spends to much money, looks overseas for students who don’t pay a dime, and has cost over runs in programs, research, sports, building improvements, and other unnecessary projects. It’s time for real and dramatic change. Clean up the UofM and you clean up the budget problems.

  9. Joe Hanson says:

    “Provost Tom Sullivan said students will be able to other results of the cuts.”

    Did he really say that?

  10. Skippy Noodle says:

    We all have Tim Pawlenty and the Republican Congress to thank for this mess. You un-informed commentors on here should look up “happiness rankings of countries” online. The US isn’t even in the Top 10! One of the major contributors to happiness is education, culture and safe/clean environment. College educated people are HUGE contributors to these attributes. without universities, and thus professors (who have EARNED their income levels), we will become an armpit state (see Mississsippi, Arkansas, Texas) with no industry, no quality of life, and NO JOBS!!! Be careful what you wish for! You can still become a Cold Omaha, if you wish for it hard enough! P.S. Turn off Faux News and pick up a paper, and read it, if you’re lucky enough to have been taught how by some over-paid teacher!

  11. Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao says:

    Comrade Skippy-

    You make us proud. Capitalism is EVIL! People who are successful are EVIL and gained their wealth by stepping on the poor! As departed Comrade Marx was so fond of saying, “Workers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!”

    You are wrong however in your writings about countries and their ratings in regard to “happiness rankings of countries.” The United States was not even close to the top ten, they were in fact DEAD LAST which I am certain makes you as happy as we are.

    In a recent survey entitled “GLOBAL HAPPINESS INDEX” prepared by North Korea, China rated number one in happiness with North Korea a close second! The United States was in 203rd place, dead last and Israel was not mentioned at all!

    1. China – 100
    2. North Korea – 98
    3. Cuba – 93
    4. Iran – 88
    5. Venezuela – 85
    152. South Korea – 18
    203. United States –

    Everyone can read more:

    Keep up your solid antiAmerican and Marxist writings comrade Skippy Noodle. People are depending on you!

    Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao

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