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Feature

The dome of the Minnesota State Capitol.

The University's biennial budget request calls for the state to contribute $42 million in new funding to the U each year for fiscal years 2006 and 2007.

2006-07 biennial budget request: U seeks financial partnership with state

2006-07 biennial budget request

Published on October 12, 2004; updated October 14, 2004

On Friday, October 8, President Bob Bruininks presented his legislative request to the Board of Regents at the regents' monthly meeting. The biennial budget proposal for fiscal years 2006 and 2007 calls for a "50-50 partnership" with the state, in which the state would contribute $84 million in new funding to the University. In return, the University would generate its share of new funding through tuition increases of 5.5 percent each year (generating $27 million per year) plus internal reallocations of $30 million. The proposed state contribution of $42 million in additional funding each year would go toward three broad categories: investing in biosciences; attracting and retaining talent--students, as well as faculty and staff--for Minnesota's future; and sustaining the U's research and technology infrastructure. "If the state wants to be a player in complex and resource-intensive areas like bioscience, it needs to be willing to make investments--to put money on the table," said Bruininks. "We simply cannot compete without investing on the front end."

Vote for the U

The University's Legislative Network has launched a campaign to build support for the U at the state capitol. The campaign, which includes "Vote for the U" lawn signs and an online Voter Tool Kit, asks people to pledge that they will vote on Election Day, November 2, and vote for legislators who will make the U and higher education a priority. For your Voter Tool Kit, see www.umn.edu/groots/vote.

And, if you want more tips on contacting your legislators or advocating for the U's legislative request, read "Executive Director: Hound the Candidates" in the September/October issue of Minnesota at www.alumni.umn.edu.

The University's share of new funding would go toward increases in faculty and staff compensation, operational costs of facilities, inflationary support costs, and for selected investments in academic and service programs. The president's biennial budget proposal comes on the heels of the unprecedented $185 million cut in state funding to the University earlier in the current 2004-05 biennium. Bruininks pointed out two sobering trends in state funding for the University. In 1971, funding for the U equaled 8.3 percent of overall state spending, but for the current fiscal year (2005), University funding is 3.9 percent of the state's budget. Bruininks said he would like that figure to be at least 5 percent. And whereas state appropriations have traditionally totaled about one-third of the U's own operating budget, that figure is now down to about 25 percent. A final version of the president's biennial budget proposal will go before the regents for approval at the board's next meeting, November 11 and 12 on the Twin Cities campus. For further information about the University's 2006-07 biennial budget proposal, visit the Office of Government Relations Web site.

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