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June 20, 2011

Dedicated People Make the University Work


Dear faculty, staff, and students, 

On Monday, June 20, we made the case once again for investment in the University of Minnesota, and the Board of Regents approved the University's recommended provisional budget for 2011-12 by a 9-2 vote. The great baseball player and manager Casey Stengel once famously said, "Managing is getting paid for home runs someone else hits." The same applies to leading a university. You cannot accomplish transformative change in an organization the size and complexity of the University of Minnesota without consensus, collaboration, and the hard work and dedication of countless stakeholders across the state. You cannot go it alone. 

During my nine years as president, the University of Minnesota has recruited more and better-prepared students; retained and graduated those students in higher numbers; raised unprecedented private support for scholarships, fellowships, and the University's academic mission; grown its research enterprise to garner record levels of federal support; and managed existing resources in order to sustain this momentum despite three separate, deep state budget cuts. We've come a long way -- but these are not my achievements, nor my wife, Susan's. We must give credit to the countless extraordinary colleagues whose hard work and dedication have made this University a stronger, better place, including:
  • the best executive team I've seen in more than 40 years at the University of Minnesota;
  • faculty and academic/professional leaders who set the gold standard in shared governance and productive engagement;
  • thousands of dedicated staff without whom the University could not maintain its statewide presence and three-fold mission of education, research, and public engagement; nearly 70,000 students, who are our primary reason for being and our future; and
  • the state of Minnesota and its citizens, who for 160 years have recognized the value of advancing knowledge for the public good.
Furthermore, I've been truly blessed to enjoy an exceptionally strong partnership with the University's Board of Regents, which has shown great courage in supporting difficult and controversial reforms at the University during my tenure. Together we have created a culture of unquestioned commitment to teaching and learning, discovery and innovation, and service for the public good. Together we have generated new knowledge, new graduates, new ideas, and new jobs. Together we have made magic. 

Writer and former Herman Miller CEO Max De Pree once said that the last responsibility of a leader is to say thank you. On behalf of my wife Susan and myself, I offer my heartfelt gratitude for everything the University has achieved. Thank you for your support, your well-wishes, and countless wonderful memories.

Sincerely,

img_rhb-signature.jpg
Robert H. Bruininks,
President 


For more on the Bruininks administration: 
Posted on June 20, 2011 5:00 PM | Permalink

June 16, 2011

Advancing Excellence Through Cost Reductions and Productivity


As mentioned at the June 10 meeting of the Board of Regents, we have completed a final report on Transforming the U, entitled Financing the Future: Advancing Excellence Through Cost Reductions and Productivity. This report details our efforts over the past decade to reduce costs, improve productivity, and grow non-state revenue in a sustainable way. Many of the initiatives detailed in this report have been mentioned in other documents over the course of the past several months; however, I would like to highlight a few key productivity measures from the Key Conclusions section of the report. These measures drive home the hard work and incredible dedication of our faculty and staff. 

From fiscal year 2001 through fiscal year 10: 
  • Total employee headcount: up 6.9%, or 0.7% per year 
  • State appropriation per employee: down 0.9% 
  • State appropriation per full-year equivalent student: down 11.5% 
During that same period: 
  • FYE students per employee: up 11.9% 
  • Degrees per employee: up 31.8% 
  • Sponsored research funding per employee: up 50.2% 
Also during this time, the University has recruited more and better-prepared students; improved the student experience through the all-University Honors program and other initiatives; retained and graduated those students in higher numbers; raised unprecedented private support for scholarships, fellowships, and the University's academic mission; grown its research enterprise to garner record levels of federal support; transformed our technology commercialization processes; and managed existing resources in order to sustain this momentum despite three separate and historically deep state budget cuts. Unfortunately, today Minnesota is among the leading states in the nation in reducing funding for higher education.

I hope you will each take the time to review the report and reflect on the scope and magnitude of our achievements together. We've come a long way these past nine years, and I am truly grateful for your hard work and support.

Sincerely,

img_rhb-signature.jpg
Robert H. Bruininks
President

Posted on June 16, 2011 5:30 PM | Permalink

June 13, 2011

THANK U! Join the President and First Lady for Free Ice Cream Tuesday on Northrop Plaza


President Bob Bruininks and Dr. Susan Hagstrum would like to say thank you for your hard work, service, and support during their nine wonderful years of service in the Office of the President of the University of Minnesota. Please join them for free ice cream bars in front of Northrop Auditorium on Tuesday, June 14, at 11:30 a.m. There will be no formal program; just the opportunity to say hello, have some ice cream, and enjoy the day (rain or shine). Hope to see you there!
Posted on June 13, 2011 4:46 PM | Permalink