What was said in the House higher-ed omnibus hearing

It’s tough to include all the good quotes from a five-hour hearing in the usual news post. So here are a few of the more interesting ones from yesterday’s House higher-ed committee debate on the omnibus bill.

(As usual, they’re from my notes and so not necessarily verbatim.)

Rep. David Hancock (R-Bemidji) on the appropriateness of the budget:

This is a good budget for these times. I think you’ll find adversity will provide products that are far better. Let’s keep an eye on what we want to do (instead of focusing on decreased funding).

Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia) on past administrations:

Even in good times we cut the budget. Gov. (Arne) Carlson loved to put on that U of M sweater every day. … But (he/we) never gave a funding increase — just cut, cut, cut.

Rukavina to Minnesota State College Student Association President Travis Johnson, after hearing that his organization opposed raising the tuition cap from 2 percent to 5 percent, which Rukavina said was necessary to give small colleges more funding:

Then you tell your constituents at Rainy River Community College that if they take (the corresponding funding cut), there’s not going to be a college in two years!

Russ Stanton, director of government relations for the Inter Faculty Organization, on the proposed requirement for MnSCU schools to accept all credit transfers from other MnSCU schools:

We don’t think something as complex as credit transfers should be set in a political arena where there is limited time to discuss the important details of the issue — and the issue can become politicized.

University of Minnesota sociology professor Elizabeth Boyle on the effect of budget cuts and tuition caps on efficiency:

When we cut sections, we start to lose efficiencies … and it’s no longer an achievable goal to increase 4-year and 6-year graduation rates (because required classes may be full). You can cap students’ tuition but not necessarily reduce their costs, because they would end up going to school longer.