Chronicle: Minn notable in stressing cuts

Even as higher ed picks up a little steam in the Minnesota gubernatorial race, it’s getting some real attention in a number of the three dozen other races across the nation — and is a key issue in three other states: Ohio, California and Florida.

But whereas increased higher ed spending is being pushed by a number of candidates as a way to boost their states’ economic recovery, the Chronicle of Higher Education notes Minnesota’s emphasis on cutting it:

But in other races, candidates say wasteful spending in higher education could be cut to help states cope with budget shortfalls. Minnesota’s Republican candidate, Tom Emmer, has proposed cutting $300-million from the state’s higher-education budget, a reduction that equals about 10 percent of this year’s allocation. He cited excessive administrative bureaucracy at Minnesota’s colleges and universities.

Read more from the Chronicle report here.

  • wbgleason

    Since the Chronicle report is not open to the public, I quote:

    “Governor Strickland and Eric Fingerhut, the higher-education chancellor he appointed, have advocated a 10-year plan that seeks to focus colleges on revitalizing the state's economy. Mr. Strickland has also tried on keeping tuition down, freezing rates for two years and capping annual increases at 3.5 percent after that. His campaign platform focuses on continuing the 10-year plan, keeping tuition low, and increasing college access by placing a college or university within 30 miles of all Ohio residents and making it easier to transfer from community colleges and branch campuses to the state's universities.”

    The president of the University of Minnesota would do well to follow President (of Ohio State) Gee's example and make better outreach efforts to the state legislature and the citizens of the state. To do otherwise, will further imperil us.

    • afriedrich

      Thanks, Bill. I forget that sometimes.

  • Nancy Jo Hambleton

    Just because politicians advocate and may even successfully legislate for cuts to higher education doesn't mean the cuts would end up being applied in the way intended. Emmer proposes punishing higher ed. with cuts because of “excessive administative bureaucracy at Minnesota College's and Universities”, but cuts to the overall allocation to higher education doesn't mean they would be applied to the administrative bureaucracy. Administration is in charge of the allocation – whatever it is! Consolidation in education (both higher ed. and K-12) is often done under the business sector argument that there is an economy of scale – especially at the top. But this argument proves false in actual practice in education. It just seems to create a business sector mentality about the (overblown) importance of the administrations' (CEOs') jobs/salaries relative to “front-line” workers' jobs/salaries and production-level innitiatives. If recent history is any teacher in Minnesota, any education cuts would “trickle down” to salary freezes, lay-offs, and increased work loads for faculty and staff. Meanwhile administrators' salaries would continue to rise and the number of “chiefs” multiply like the heads of a hydra … and student tuition would continue inflate.