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Disappointing Peformance by OurCEO


Yesterday, OurCEO gave his much advertised State of the University address. Spamograms were duly sent soliciting questions in advance. Much hoopla. In his usual kill the clock fashion, OurCEO answered exactly three questions. Sad..

The Daily has a couple of articles on the event.

First is on the brouhaha about cutting Regents Scholarships. Asking the little people to sacrifice would have been easier to take if OurCEO had taken a hit himself, say 10% of his obscene (in these circumstances) compensation of more than 700K$ per year. The second article is on OurCEO's actual address.

From the Daily:

Bruininks talks finances in State of U Address

The president called attention to economic challenges impacting the University.

University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks addressed a crowd of roughly 300 about the future of the school in his State of the University Address Thursday afternoon, a talk dominated by finances.

He said this is the first year that private support outpaces public support.

The University is hoping to have the Discover U scholarship — a tuition reduction program for median- and low-income students — in place by 2010 or 2011, University spokesman Daniel Wolter said.

“We’ve basically said we’re going to fund what we would ask for from the Legislature,” Wolter said, “which was $8 million just for the middle-income piece, with reallocations and private funding. We are acknowledging that we are probably not going to get more money from the state.”

The Founders Free Tuition Program would be absorbed into the Discover U Program. However, until the Discover U Program is in place, the Founders program will remain the same, Wolter said.

Affordability was one of four strategies Bruininks proposed “to solidify the University’s quality and mission for coming generations.” He also talked about goals for an agreed-upon vision for resource use with the state of Minnesota, a stronger financial model, and a strengthened core and capacity for the University.

In a question and answer session at the end, concern was raised about administrative spending.

Bruininks responded saying that in 2003 the administration took the deepest hit and will not be exempt now.

Thin gruel, indeed.

I left a comment on the Daily's website concerning the article.

Unanswered Questions

OurCEO sent out an email soliciting questions to be answered after his 2009 State of the University address.

To which I replied:

Dear Bob,

You asked for questions. I have many but will send just two:

1. Why don't you take a salary cut of 10-20% as many other CEOs have done? Your compensation is in excess of 700K. Under the current circumstances a voluntary pay cut is in order.

2. Why didn't you follow written University policy on the Graduate School re-organization?
Policy requires that such a decision be made in consultation with the community. It is not sufficient to make the decision and at that point to involve faculty and others in implementation. The same can be said with respect to your actions in re-organizing the Medical School and the AHC.

If you want everyone to pull together in this crisis - and it is a crisis - then honesty, integrity, and, yes, consultation, will be required.

I look forward to your answers. I wish I could be at your talk in person but I have concurrent teaching obligations.

Best wishes,

Bill Gleason


These questions and many other obvious ones were not answered. OurCEO took questions for fifteen minutes and in his usual kill the clock style, answered three.

Bob, I'd like to request that you answer my questions as well as others that were submitted. Please post these answers on the U of M website. Thank you for considering this request.

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