What the budget deal means for Minnesota colleges

The budget deal between Gov. Dayton and Republican leaders in the legislature carries a big cut for higher education funding, but it’s not as bad as college officials feared.

The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system were each planning for cuts of $70 million dollars over the next two years.  That’s based on a higher ed bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature.  The bill was vetoed by Gov. Dayton.

Now comes word the budget agreement being discussed at the Capitol adds $60 million back into higher education funding.

That’s according to U of M chief financial officer Richard Pfutzenreuter.  Pfutzenreuter thinks $50 million will go to the U, with $10 million for MnSCU.

I asked MnSCU officials what they thought of the deal, but they’re not ready to discuss the breakdown until it gets a final stamp of approval from the legislature.

What does the extra money mean for the two systems?  It could ease tuition increases both systems were planning.  Although both would have trouble changing tuition rates this late in the year.  Any relief may not come until next semester, or even next fall, for students.

Even with the extra funding in the budget agreement, both college systems are preparing for big cuts this fall. They’ll both receive a little over $500 billion dollars in funding next year, about 15 percent less than the two systems were expecting.

  • Anonymous

    University of California (UC) tuition, fee increases are an
    insult. Californians face mortgage defaults, 12% unemployment, pay reductions,
    loss of unemployment benefits. No layoff or wage reductions for UC Chancellors,
    Faculty during greatest recession of modern times.

    There is no good reason to raise tuition, fees when
    wage concessions are available. UC wages must reflect California’s
    ability to pay, not what others are paid. If wages better elsewhere,
    chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP apply for the
    positions. If wages determine commitment to UC Berkeley, leave for better paying
    position. The sky above the 10 campuses will not fall.

    Pitch in for all Democrats, Republicans UC

    No furloughs. UCOP 18% reduction salaries & $50 million
    cut.

    Chancellors’ Vice-Chancellors’, 18% cut. Tenured
    faculty 15% trim.

    Non-Tenured, 10% reduction.  Academic Senate, Council remove 100% costs
    salaries.

    It is especially galling to continue to generously
    compensate chancellors, vice-chancellors, faculty while Californians are making
    financial sacrifices and faculty, chancellor, vice-chancellor turnover is one
    of the lowest of public universities.

    The message that President Yudof, UC Board of Regent
    Chair Lansing, UC Berkeley Birgeneau are sending is that they have more concern
    for generously paid chancellors, faculty. The few at the top need to get a grip
    on economic reality and fairness.

    The California Legislature needs a Bill to oversee higher
    education salaries, tuition