U of M budget that cuts staff, class offerings subject of Monday public forumby Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The University of Minnesota Board of Regents will hold a public forum on Monday to discuss a proposed budget that increases student tuition, cuts staff and reduces class offerings. The regents got their first look at the budget late last week.
The budget proposal, from U president Robert Bruininks, raises tuition by 7.5 percent for most students. Stimulus funds will help hold down the increase for in-state undergrads.
According to U of M provost Tom Sullivan, the budget reductions will also mean dozens of teaching positions will be cut or go unfilled next year.
"Which means that we will have a larger number of students in the classes, taught by fewer faculty," Sullivan said. "It's a real pressure on our great faculty, but it is by reason of a $191 million budget cut from the state of Minnesota."
The budget cuts will also shrink the size of the next freshman class at the U. The freshman class this fall will be smaller by 200 to 300, compared to last year's 5,400 freshmen.
The plan also includes a temporary pay cut for most university employees, and a mandatory three day furlough at the end of the year.
A coalition of students, staff and faculty plans to testify at Monday's public hearing. The "Chop from the Top Coalition" proposes deeper pay reductions for the school's highest paid administrators to balance the U's budget.
The public hearing will be Monday at 11:30 a.m. in the sixth floor boardroom of the McNamara Alumni Center on the U of M's Twin Cities campus.
The board of regents will vote on the budget June 22.