U of M and MnSCU move forward with their budgets

Here come the spreadsheets

The board of regents at the University of Minnesota takes on the school’s 2012 budget this morning. They’re likely to approve it, but I expect we’ll hear some lively discussion about how the U should move forward in tough budgetary times.

The board of trustees at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system will go through the same exercise on Wednesday.

Both systems face a challenge: developing budgets without knowing how much money they’ll get from the state next year.  The state’s budget picture is unclear due to the impasse at the state Capitol.

U officials are assuming they’ll take a cut of $71 million over this year’s aid levels.  MnSCU expects their cut will be in the neighborhood of $65 million.

Both budgets carry a tuition increase for students.  It amounts to a 5 percent jump for students at the U. MnSCU students can expect to pay 4 percent if they’re at community college and 5 percent at the universities.

Expect layoffs in the wake of these budget proposals as well, along with cuts to programs and salary freezes for employees.

If the cuts aren’t as deep as anticipated, both systems say they’ll go back into the books and adjust as needed.  That would likely mean some relief on the tuition side, and possibly fewer layoffs and program cuts.