Matt Kahn talks about taking his employer private:
"I also believe that UCLA is at a key point in its history. I have told senior members of the University's administration that we should accept $0 per year from the state. We need to go 'cold turkey' and not take another dime. Cutting our 'financial lifeline' would liberate us from silly Sacramento rules and signal to our thousands of alumni that it is up to them to step up and play a leadership role in supporting the school. The politicians in Sacramento have other priorities -- somehow excellence is not one of them.
UCLA pays its basketball coach and its football coach over $2 million each. This signals that either we really think that is valuable stuff or that we believe that it promotes donations to the school. In my vision for the 'new UCLA', the faculty will step up and make a serious case for why UCLA will continue to be a great school and in fact that we will improve as a research university because we have embraced free market principals.
In capitalism, higher quality products feature a higher price tag.
Substitute "University of Minnesota" for "UCLA" (and St. Paul for Sacramento). The situation here is not as dire as California, but this is a discussion we need to have. I suspect it will happen whether or not the U of Mn intends or embraces it, but planning for this kind of change will beat not-planning for it.