In final address as president, Bruininks praises U of Mby Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — University of Minnesota president Robert Bruininks gave his final state of the university address Thursday.
In a 40-minute speech, Bruininks praised the university for raising graduation rates, increasing scholarships for needy students and for cutting budgets and controlling spending in tough economic times.
But Bruininks warned that further cuts to the university's budget as lawmakers work to balance the state budget could harm the school.
"We are approaching a tipping point at the University of Minnesota," he said. "A tipping point at which disinvesting in the university will diminish academic quality and academic productivity."
The university has helped an increasing number of low-income students attend college through its scholarship efforts, Bruininks said, but he called on the school to do more to help students pay for college.
"I doubt that we will return to the halcyon days of increasing state funding, so we must continue to increase private scholarship support, reduce our costs and invent new possibilities," he said.
Bruininks warned about the potential for harm from deep cuts as lawmakers work to fix the state's $5 billion dollar budget deficit.
The address was Bruininks' ninth as president of the university. He'll step down when his contract ends this summer and return to the school's faculty.