Monday Minute: March 23, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

Our meeting last week on the college budget with Lincoln Kallsen in the University's budget office went well. We reviewed with him our proposed plan to get the college out of its structural deficit by the end of FY10, and we will provide him with more details this week. The provost will meet with his staff in early April to make decisions about our budget and compact, so we should know specifically about next year's budget after that.

Meanwhile, we did receive two pieces of good news last week. The House of Representatives released its budget proposal and Governor Pawlenty revised his. Both scenarios call for backfilling a base-budget cut to the University with one-time federal stimulus money, while increasing the base budget somewhat in the 2012-13 biennium. This gives the University a couple of years to adjust to a new, reduced base budget in 2012 by making some strategic cuts, moving some activities off state support, and bringing in new revenue to the institution.

As another bit of good news, the state Senate passed a $367 million dollar capital investment bill, including $24 million for a new Bell Museum. Assuming that that funding makes it through this legislative session, the pre-design phase to renovate the old Bell Museum for our use would likely start in the summer of 2010, according to Lincoln Kallsen. Before then, I would like to start a conversation inside the college about our being on one campus, so stay tuned.