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Another Example of the Use of Loaded Words By Our Administration - "Investment"


The word transparency has taken a terrible beating lately, and investment is also rapidly degenerating into adminspeak.

From the Strib:

"State support is on the wrong trajectory," Bruininks said. " Now is not the time to reduce the university's quality and capacity. Now is the time to invest in the university's quest for excellence." A strategic decision to upgrade the University of Minnesota now, combined with a renewed resolve within the university for both excellence and public accountability, would position the state well when the economy rebounds, he said.

Pawlenty makes the same argument about strategic investment when making the case for a cut in corporate taxes. In fact, Pawlenty's corporate tax cut is nearly equivalent to the budget cut his budget would deal the university. The Legislature would do well to weigh Pawlenty's idea against the proven contribution the University of Minnesota has made to this state's prosperity through the decades, and ask: Which would be the smarter strategic move this year?

Apparently, when the money is being spent for what Governor Pawlenty and President Bruininks want, then it is an investment.

Presdident Bruininks is fond of using the word investment - at least when he is in St. Paul. I suggest that he invest in the University himself, by taking a cut in his obscene (under the circumstances) compensation of $740 K per year. Time to put your money where your mouth is, Bob?

Instead of cutting Regents Scholarships, another creative source of about 2.5 million dollars, would be to cut the salaries of all U of M employees who make more than $250K by ten percent. If President Bruininks took a twenty percent cut that alone would bring in about 150K$. And he would still be pulling down more than half a million dollars a year. However could you live on this pittance, Bob?


Mr. Gleason would do well to view the State's funding as an investment, and a good one at that. Further, he should strive to help the state understand why the University is a good investment.

Investments, at least good ones, provide returns. I believe, and I hope Mr. Gleason believes, that the State's investment in the University provides excellent returns: innovation that continue to advance our well-being, and a highly trained workforce, for starters.

I really, really hope that Mr. Gleason isn't trying to convince us to view the State's funding of the University as an expense - costs that one would rather avoid.


The point that I was trying to make here, Mr.Salo, is that people use the word investment without really explaining what they mean by it.

You've done this here, yourself.

Dr. Bruininks and many pols claim that money spent on the U is an investment if they get the money for what they want...

The U should get every nickel it can IF the money is spent wisely and that means in accord with our mission as a land grant institution.

For more on this, please see:


If you want to talk about priorities, fine, what are yours?

Don't lets get tied up in a semantic argument about the difference between an expense and an investment. When I buy a stock from a stockbroker it is an investment that bears an expense - the broker's fee.

I look forward to a discussion with you about what should be our priorities after you have read my now two year old article which is still very relevant.

Thanks for your comment.


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