Monday Minute: March 2, 2009


The compact meeting went well last Thursday. Provost Tom Sullivan and his staff responded with considerable interest to our emphasis on new revenue, and the University of Minnesota Foundation President, Steve Goldstein, and his staff strongly supported our campaign concept of connecting design to public/community health, environmental health, and human health. We will have plenty of opportunities to develop new revenue ideas and the campaign themes further over the next few months, but we got a green light to move forward last week.

We also received a clear signal that we need to develop a plan for getting out of the structural deficit in our budget. The deans met all morning today to lay out some options, which we will discuss with the department heads and directors at a meeting this Wednesday. We spend about $1.2 million more than we take in every year and we need to close that gap through some combination of cost reductions and new revenue. At the same time, we need to prepare for cuts to our central allocation, depending upon how much the state reduces its allocation to the University, which in turn will depend upon the state's budget forecast released tomorrow.

There is, in other words, still a lot of fluidity in our situation, but I will continue to communicate with you as events evolve. More next Monday.