Message from President Kaler
Putting a halt to rising tuition is my Number One priority, along with reducing college debt for students and their families. Ever since I became the University’s president in July 2011, I have worked diligently to reduce administrative costs to drive tuition dollars and state funding to what’s important: teaching, research, and our public outreach missions. As Minnesota’s only comprehensive research university, we work every day to solve the world’s most pressing problems, while seeking cures and treatments for diseases.
Those priorities and values are embedded in our biennial budget request currently before the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton. Please go to our Government Relations website to learn more about our proposal: for a zero percent tuition increase for Minnesota resident undergraduates; to further tighten our administrative spending; and to establish a research initiative called MnDRIVE.
Governor Dayton recently put the necessity of our budget request in historic context. During his State of the State speech, he noted that state support for the University (and the state college system) was reduced by 12 percent in 2011. He revealed a stunning statistic: the last time the state of Minnesota spent less to support higher education, in real dollars, than it is spending this year was in 1980–81! Compared to the 49 other states—in expenditures for higher education per $1,000 of personal income—Minnesota ranks an unacceptable 32nd. No wonder student debt on our campuses has increased by nearly 20 percent in the past five years.
Your voices as parents are critical to the success of our legislative agenda. Please contact the governor or your legislators and tell them that you support the University of Minnesota. Thank you.
Eric W. Kaler