Dear Campus Community:
I am writing to give you an update on our progress in addressing UMD's budget challenges and an update on our advocacy for new facilities projects. On March 14, we presented UMD's Budget Compact request to the University Vice Presidents who make budget recommendations to President Eric Kaler. The meeting went well, and we continue to get great support from Vice President Richard Pfutzenreuter and the Office of Budget and Finance. Vice President Pfutzenrueter will return to UMD and hold a series of budget discussions on April 10-11.
Our primary budget request included asking the University of Minnesota System to assist us with additional revenues and with both short-term and long-term strategies to solve UMD's budget challenges over the next few years. We anticipate receiving our fiscal year 2015 budget the middle of April. In addition to help with our budget challenges, we presented an appendix to the compact request consisting of a long list of new faculty and staff positions and programmatic support for many areas across campus.
Regarding our advocacy for bonding projects, we have made great progress in telling the UMD story to our elected officials. I have met with many leaders in both the House and Senate and have heard many positive comments about UMD. We are valued among our political leaders and are fortunate to have a local delegation who supports us. I wish to personally thank the UMD faculty, staff, and students, particularly the Student Association Leadership, who have spent time in St. Paul meeting with legislators and writing letters on our behalf. We had great turnouts for the Bulldog Day, Support the U Day, and the Duluth-St. Louis County Day at the Capitol.
Our primary focus is on funding for the Chemical Sciences and Advanced Materials building and for the University's $100 million HEAPR request, which would enable us to renovate Cina Hall and Heller Hall. At this time, the bonding proposal from the Chair of the House Capital Investment Committee includes full funding for our new building, and I am hopeful we will receive strong support in the Senate. Current HEAPR proposals are in the $40 million range, and we are advocating for the full $100 million request. I appreciate Gov. Mark Dayton's intention to provide additional funding to UMD, but it is unclear how much support his proposal will have in the Legislature. This legislative session is moving quickly, and I will keep you informed as we know more. Please continue to contact our legislators as their deliberations move forward.
Thank you again for all you do to keep UMD strong. You have my best wishes for a positive and productive end of the spring semester.
Lendley C. Black
University of Minnesota Duluth
515 Darland Administration Building
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
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