Hi there, MPR’s Tim Post here sitting in for On Campus blogger Alex Friedrich while he’s at the state Capitol.
Recently got back from the Capitol and caught a bit of the rally by U of M students. They want lawmakers to preserve funding for the U while the legislature looks for ways to fix the state’s $6.2 billion deficit.
Governor Dayton has proposed a 6 percent reduction in funding over the next two years for the U of M and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. But college officials fear deeper cuts might be coming later in the session.
I caught a few pics of the students, who filled the rotunda and a good bit of the upper level. Heck, even Goldy Gopher was there.
Lauren Himle, director of leadership development for the Minnesota Student Association spoke out to legislators in the Capitol rotunda:
You are the stewards. No one would think of failing to make an investment into their own savings account … You’re making an investment in our own state … Each generation has an obligation to support the next.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL) told students they have to convince politicians that higher education is a public good that benefits society — not just a private way for someone to make more money:
Politicians see the light when they feel the heat. You’ve gotta get out there.
This afternoon U of M president Robert Bruininks testified before the Minnesota House Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee, telling them:
If we fall because the rug is jerked from under us—because a choice is made to solve a decade’s worth of financial problems in one fell swoop by disinvesting in education and innovation—the impact will be statewide, and the damage, permanent.