Bruininks scolds Senate over higher-ed budget bill

Bruininks

Just got this from the U.

Bruininks calls the Senate higher-ed budget bill “backward,” says it “makes no sense,” and refers again to a decade of “state financial mismanagement.”

(I’ve put the juicies in bold.)

Note, too, his displeasure in the last paragraph over Republicans’ proposed ban on “human cloning” (potentially both reproductive and therapeutic) that would put a dent into U research.

Bruininks reacts to Minnesota Senate Higher Education Committee budget recommendation

The following is a statement from University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks in response to the budget bill recommended by the Senate Higher Education Committee:

“It should come as no surprise that I do not support the budget recommendation of the Senate Higher Education Committee. The recommended cut of $243 million or 18.9% is a deeper cut than the one recommended by the House last week and significantly deeper then the recommendation of the Governor despite a 13:1 return on the state’s investment in the U and a statewide economic impact estimated—conservatively—at $8.6 billion per year. This makes no sense.

“In addition, the proposed cut rolls our state support back to levels not seen since before 1998. Think about that: this fall’s incoming freshmen were just starting kindergarten the last time state funding was at the level proposed today. Ask yourselves, what will this mean for the children of today? Thirteen years from now, will our best and brightest apply in record numbers to the U? Or will they see a once-great university in shambles and look elsewhere?

“Make no mistake: We know we have a role to play in helping Minnesota balance its budget, and we will continue to do our part—both in terms of significantly reducing costs and spending, and generating the external support, outstanding graduates, and breakthrough discoveries that fuel our economy. But cuts of this magnitude in the Senate bill will devastate our ability to deliver on our mission, which serves the needs of every region of Minnesota. This is a backward budget proposal that penalizes productivity and denies a decade of unprecedented performance. As I indicated last week, if the legislature chooses to solve a decade’s worth of state financial mismanagement by pulling the rug out from under the University of Minnesota, the damage will be statewide and permanent.

“I am also concerned about the anti-research provisions of this bill. We are the place that has pioneered the treatments and cures that have improved the lives of families in Minnesota and around the world. Regulation that limits the ability of the University to achieve scientific advances to prevent and cure disease will seriously erode the economic competitiveness of the University and the state.”