Governor Pawlenty's Proposed Cut For the University - $151 Million Dollars
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL ( 1/27/2009 ) -- The following is a statement from University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks in response to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposed budget for the 2010-11 biennium, which includes a cut of $151 million to the university:
...Gov. Pawlenty's budget recommendations today are just the first step in a long budget process. His proposal for the university's budget carries with it enormous consequences. It will impact the quality and affordability of the education we provide. It will impair our ability to serve as a job creation engine for the state through research and development. And, it will have an inevitable impact on our workforce, tuition and our ability to attract research grants - just as it did five years ago when the state cut $195 million from the university.
We made difficult choices then - including closing colleges and Extension offices - and are prepared again to make tough decisions. This year, I hope policy-makers will continue to give us the flexibility we need to address this substantial budget cut, and that they will look beyond short-term fixes to consider the long-term trajectory we are on. Minnesota's system of higher education has always been an asset, educating our workforce and turning new discoveries into new jobs for Minnesota. In these challenging economic times, there is no more forward-looking investment to be made than in maintaining - or even enhancing - the quality of education in our state.
At the U, we are fully prepared to do our part to deal with this state budget problem. However, we are hopeful that lawmakers and the governor will come to realize that higher education is the best kind of long-term economic stimulus and that, together, we can minimize this proposed reduction.