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UMore (Lots More Money) continued...

The UMore Park Fiasco Continues in the Midst of Financial Problems at the University of Minnesota


From my fellow alum, Mr. Michael McNabb, who is also very concerned about the way things have been going lately at the University:

So this morning I am driving to the courthouse in Hastings on County Road 46 that runs through UMore Park. Now there is an enormous banner on the property with "Contribute to the Vision" at www.umorepark.umn.edu. On the web site we are told that we can contribute to "the vision for the 21st century of a University founded community of 20,000 to 30,000 people at UMore Park." If the University is going to start asking the public for contributions, it should first be asking for the funds it desperately needs to maintain and renovate its existing academic facilities since its strategy for securing the necessary HEAPR bonds from the legislature has failed.

The vision of the University for UMore Park includes mining sand and gravel, an operation that will likely take a capital investment of millions of dollars to prepare the land, including an envirommental impact study, and to build the infrastructure necessary for mining.

In his now famous June 1, 2009 article in The New Yorker Dr. Atul Gawande quotes Dr. Lester Dyke, a cardiac surgeon in McAllen, Texas, regarding the high cost of medical care in his community: "We took a wrong turn when doctors stopped being doctors and became businessmen." We will also take a wrong turn when educators stop being educators and become entrepreneurs. Is there a single person among the senior adminstrators or Regents who has any experience in mining operations, much less building a new town out in a rural area miles away from any existing municipal services?

It is easy to make decisions to take huge monetary risks on new ventures when you are not using your own money. Which raises the question--what is the source of the public funds that the senior administrators and Regents have already committed to this utopian scheme?

Michael W. McNabb
Attorney at Law


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