Bruininks on how the U of Minnesota has been tightening its belt

This is from University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks’ address to the Senate’s higher education committee this afternoon:

Senate committee question: Would you consider asking your faculty that have Ph.D.s to teach one more class for a period of time?

Bruininks:

“We have regularly asked them to take on an additional load, we’ve frozen their salaries, we’ve reduced their benefits, in some cases canceling large capital projects or at least deferring them. And then student financial aid: We’ve gone after private funding. … In technology, we’ve undertaken some initiatives that are driving down the costs, and at the same time we’re increasing our technological capacity. … We’re cost hawks, if you will. .. We’ll put two-thirds of the burden on cost reductions and deferring investment. We’ve done that with capital investment, academic investment, reducing expenditures. I’m not sure how far we can push this, but we’ve pushed the envelope really hard at the university. And we will try to do everything possible to keep the tuition burden on our students at a very modest level. This is not the time to be passing double-digit increases in tuition. … We’ve made a real effort. … We don’t get everything right, but we’re really paying attention to how the money is being spent and the kind of yield we get for the investments we make. We’ll have to invest. We will not be able to cut ourselves to the future.”