Reporting Steve Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – University of Minnesota Regents passed a budget that cuts millions and raises tuition, but not before board members offered strong words.
Regent David Larson called it “disinvesting in higher education” and said it can’t continue “or our society, our culture and our economy is heading for trouble.”
But Regent Steve Sviggum had another take.
“The reality is, folks, we have to make some choices that are tough and we have to face those consequences,” said Sviggum, a former Republican Speaker of the Minnesota House.
The budget includes an expected cut of more than $70 million in state aid next year.
“If we are really going to embrace this race to the bottom philosophy, we are going to eventually put the University of Minnesota at deep risk, along with other parts of our public and private education system at deep risk,” said University of Minnesota president Robert Bruininks. “In the 21st century in my humble judgment, that’s a recipe for disaster.”
Bruininks said the budget is a worst-case scenario. He’s asking lawmakers to reduce the proposed cuts to the University saying they are too deep.
Bruininks called the budget dismal, and one of his most disappointing acts as President of the University.
Tuition for most undergrads will rise by 5 percent. The university plans to cover about two-thirds of its shortfall through budget cuts. Those cuts include layoffs, wage and salary freezes and passing more health care costs along to employees. The budget would also raise nearly $45 million more in tuition and fees than last year.
The tuition increase may feel steeper to some students because federal stimulus money the University used for scholarships for the past two years has run out.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)