Paradigm reset? Is that adminspeak for changing our priorities?
Marching orders have been prepared by the Morrill Hall crowd and were presented to the Board of Regents at their meeting today. The next few years are going to be interesting. As an aside, I'll just note that the administration had better take a nice fat salary cut soon if they expect the groundlings to go along enthusiastically.
The University's financial architecture has undergone a dramatic and permanent paradigm shift. State support, historically our largest revenue stream, has been reset: it now constitutes only about 1/5 of the University's operating budget and while integral to the University's finances, it may not increase over the years ahead. Tuition is now the University's largest revenue stream and it will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Operating costs, the cost of academic excellence, and the appetite for investments in new faculty and staff, student financial aid, research support and infrastructure, technology and facilities, are now rising faster than revenue. The University's compact with the State of Minnesota to prepare the next generation of health and other professionals is at risk. And, over the years ahead, the University of Minnesota will face even steeper competition for students, faculty, and grants. If no changes are made and current trends continue, the University will face at least a $50 million shortfall in 2012 and a $1.1 billion annual shortfall by 2025. Unchecked, declining resources will lead to a decline in quality.
A paradigm reset of both our academic priorities and financial strategies is required to meet the enormous changes in revenues, rising costs, and increased competition. The challenges demand a new portfolio of academic, fiscal, administrative, and planning strategies to advance the excellence of the University of Minnesota. The Task Force has identified five such strategies designed to advance the excellence of the University, to ensure innovative research, and provide an extraordinary education for our students and dedicated service to the people of Minnesota.
I don't even know where to begin with this blockbuster.
Weep along with Thomas Kuhn.
Suffice it to say that the author(s) of this document should be aware that many people are tired of hearing the word paradigm. If the admin knew what paradigm meant perhaps they wouldn't use the word gratuitously? Perhaps they suffer from paradigm paralysis? Or maybe they just think it sounds impressive.