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U to Sponsor Forum on State's Future - Curiouser and Curiouser...

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From the Strib:

University of Minnesota will host three forums begining on March 23 that aim to bring research findings to bear on the big decisions ahead for the 2010 Legislature and voters.

The first session, on March 23, will feature a discussion of how to improve the Minnesota economy, led by state economist Tom Stinson. Session two on March 30, "A Heathy Minnesota," will be led by School of Public Health Dean John Finnegan; session three on April 6 will be about education and workforce development, led by Kent Pekel, executive director of the College Readiness Consortium.

The stated rationale for the forums should register with every voter: "Minnesota now faces critical challenges that threaten its vaunted quality of life," the meetings' official announcement says. "This was one of the nation's most economically vibrant states. Now Minnesota's economy underperforms the nation as a whole, demonstrated by lackluster income growth, surging unemployment, and anemic job creation. As we look to the future, how should we address our enormous challenges? What, specifically, should Minnesota do?"

Obviously we should give more money to the University of Minnesota. People like John Finnegan will know what to do with it...

But seriously, folks-

I'm in Boston but If I were in Minneapolis, I would be there with bells on to ask people like John Finnegan some questions.

Should you be criticizing the University of Iowa's attempts to get their house in order?

People in glass houses and all that.

Is cost effectiveness a sometime thing?

How are those double dippers, John?

Think there is any money to be saved there? Ethical and reputational capital available for doing the right thing?

How about process? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? You seem to have different opinions at different times on the matter.

Should the public be interested in advice from the U given their track record on light rail obstructionism, foot dragging on medical ethics, MoreU Park, and generally bad priorities?

Or is this just another sad attempt to extract more money from the state legislature?

As Shania Twain famously said: That don't impress me much.

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