Other items in this next year’s University of Minnesota budget

No, they’re not studying the budget. (MPR Photo / Alex Friedrich)

Here a few more tidbits from the report on the University of Minnesota‘s operating budget for next year:

Cost reductions. Before the legislature would grant the U full funding, it required in its higher-ed bill that the U come up with a list of $15 million in administrative savings. The report states U is cutting $10 million in areas through the elimination or consolidation of such positions in the College of Biological Sciences, Carlson School of Management and the College of Continuing education. U officials say they’ll identify the remaining $5 million in savings this year.

Employees. All employee groups — faculty, non-faculty academic and civil service/bargaining-unit employees — would get a 2.5 percent increase. I can’t make out, though, what’s happening to their fringe benefits. I have a call in. According to the report, the “Fringe Benefit Rates” for civil service employees is decreasing from 39.6 percent to 36.8 percent. For academic employees, the decrease is from 34.9 percent to 33.6 percent. For graduate students, the health insurance rate is decreasing from 16.76 percent to 15.7 percent, Social Security / Medicare is increasing from 7.34 percent to 7.4 percent, and tuition is increasing from $16.82 per hour to $17.32 per hour.

MnDRIVE: The U’s big research initiative gets $17.8 million for the study of robotics, the global food supply, the environment and treatment for brain conditions. It should include more than 50 faculty, associated lab techs and managers, more than 70 grad-students and fellows, as well as equipment and other related items.

  • hftfiawh

    The U’s fringe rate is a funny thing. It varies based on costs in prior years (that’s the way the feds require it to go). So, if health care costs are less than expected, for instance, the next year the fringe drops as a projection based on that prior year, even if analysis suggests that those savings will not persist (but, then in the NEXT year’s fringe, you get to increase enough to recapture those costs). It’s a bit chaotic, but that’s federal policy for you…