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Unallotment Blues, Governor Rings U's Bell

U could face up to $86 million in unallotments

From the Daily:

No budget deal means the governor will balance the state deficit himself.

The University of Minnesota could receive a 13 percent cut in state funding when Gov. Tim Pawlenty uses his power of unallotment to balance the state’s budget.

The Republican Governor could cut the University’s budget by about $146 million over two years, which could result in a maximum of 13 percent tuition increases or job cuts of between 400 and 750 University employees, University President Robert Bruininks said before a legislative committee May 16.

“The maximum [Pawlenty] could unallot us, because it’s tied in with federal stimulus requirements, is around $86 million,” Pfutzenreuter [chief financial officer] said. “It’s more likely to be around $73 million.”

Pawlenty’s action might not affect the 2009-10 budget, which Pfutzenreuter said he must submit by June 12 as well.
“I’m speculating, but I don’t think there will be an impact on the first year of the biennium,” he said. “I hope [Pawlenty] acts sooner rather than later so we can set up our budgets.”

Bell Museum

Pawlenty struck down $24 million in funding for a new Bell Museum of Natural History on the St. Paul campus during this Legislative session.

This is the second year in a row that the Legislature has passed and Pawlenty has vetoed Bell Museum funding.

University officials are looking into how much it would cost to repair parts of the aging building
where a water main broke around Christmas that could have destroyed an exhibit, Weller [museum director] said.

“We could be patched up,” Weller said. “It’s not a long term solution to simply put some quick patches on.”

Bruininks asked Weller to estimate the cost of repairs to be the old building, should the University decide to pursue that route over bringing the bonding request to the Capitol in future sessions.

How about an old-fashioned renovation of the building? You know, the kind we should have done already with Folwell Hall? Has historic preservation gone out of fashion at the U of M? More chardonnay taste on a beer budget?

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