Monday Minute, May 18, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

My heartfelt thanks to all who helped with and participated in our graduating student exhibition and party, and our graduation ceremony and reception this past Friday and Saturday. Rapson Hall sparkled with energy, the student work on display looked great, and the sense of elation among the graduating students and their families and friends pervaded the place. Regent Cohen and Vice Provost McMaster, both of whom had attended several commencements, remarked to me how smoothly ours went compared to others, and that had a lot to do with the exceptional planning and preparation that went on beforehand and behind the scenes. So, again, my thanks to all who had a part to play for a job very well done.

Events at the capitol have moved quickly, some of which affect us. You may have seen that the governor line item vetoed the Bell Museum again this year. President Bruininks has said that if it didn't get funded, that the University would take the Bell off of its list of priorities, so I will start having conversations with the University about a Plan B for us. I want to thank everyone who wrote letters or attended legislative hearings regarding the Bell. Eventually a new Bell Museum will be built, but it may not be in a timeframe that works for us. Also, if the governor decides not to call a special session and instead "unallots" higher education, we will likely have to cut more than already anticipated. We heard that we might be getting our letter this week from Central about our contribution to the current budget deficit, and once we know more, I will let you know. Until then, all I can say is that we have a lot of rough seas still ahead of us.