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Board of Regents meeting summary, May 2011

At the May 13 Board of Regents meeting, the president presented the FY2012 budget overview.

By Adam Overland

Regents Seal

May 17, 2011

FY2012 budget overview
At the May 13 Board of Regents meeting, the president presented the FY2012 budget overview.

Balancing the budget would be done with approximately 2/3 of the reductions coming from reallocations and productivity gains, and the remaining 1/3 in tuition revenue, said the president.

The president reported that salary and fringe benefit planning in 2012 will include (subject to collective bargaining) a wage freeze, UPlan health changes that include adjustment of medical premiums, copays, and plan administration costs, and changes to the academic retirement program that will increase retirement contributions of new employees. The planned changes are subject to collective bargaining and numbers are based on projections.

Health benefit changes
The U will reduce health benefit costs by an estimated five percent by shifting approximately $11 million per year in costs to employees. Medical premiums will increase as follows:

•    Employee-only biweekly rate increases from $25.40 in 2011 to $36.00 in 2012.
•    Full-family biweekly rate increases from $109.30 in 2011 to $155.00 in 2012.
•    Copayments will also increase.

More savings will be found by moving to one administrator: MEDICA, which will save more than $14 million over six years.

Faculty Retirement Plan changes
The budget plan also proposes scaling back the U’s contribution to the Faculty Retirement Plan (FRP) for new employees from 13 percent to 10 percent. The overall FRP program will remain at 15.5 percent for new employees, but the contribution by the University is reduced by 3 percent while the new employee's contribution is increased by 3 percent. The savings will increase over time, with $3 million projected in the first year and approaching $10 million in the fourth year.

Public Forum on the University Budget
The Board of Regents will hold a public forum on the University Budget on June 10, noon, sixth floor boardroom, McNamara Alumni Center. The forum is open to individuals who wish to address the Board regarding the FY2012 budget for the University of Minnesota.

Building demolitions
The Facilities Committee heard a report that the U plans to demolish 10 buildings totaling 220,000 square feet, saving $974,000 per year in operating costs. A detailed list of the buildings can be found in the board’s docket materials, and includes 1701 University Avenue SE, four former residential properties, Klaeber Court, Norris Gymnasium and Field House, Wesbrook Hall, and the Veterinary Anatomy Building.

Eddy Hall, the oldest building on the Twin Cities campus, will not be demolished but will be decommissioned and mothballed for future use, pending funding to rehabilitate the building.

Awards and appointments
The board recognized four mid-career faculty members who have been named Distinguished McKnight University Professors for 2011. The 2011 recipients are:

  • Saif Benjaafar, mechanical engineering, College of Science and Engineering: The Science and Engineering of Supply Chain Operations
  • Mark Distefano, chemistry, College of Science and Engineering: Protein Chemistry for Biotechnology and Health Applications
  • Marc Hirschmann, geology and geophysics, College of Science and Engineering: High-Pressure Experimental Studies of Partial Melting of the Mantle and Deep-Earth Volatile Cycles
  • Deniz Ones, psychology, College of Liberal Arts: Measuring Psychological Characteristics for Employment

The board also recognized inductees into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, including Morse Alumni Award winners and recipients of the Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate and Professional Education Award.

The board recognized recipients of the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, the Josie R. Johnson Award for Human Rights and Social Justice, and the Outstanding Community Service Award.

More information on all of these award recipients can be found in the March, April, and May editions of People.

The board recognized 2010–11 student representatives to the board.

The board congratulated the UMD Bulldogs, who won the NCAA Men’s Hockey National Championship title.

The Board recognized Kathryn Brown, vice president and chief of staff, who has served as the president’s chief adviser since 2002. Brown will begin a new appointment as vice president for human resources on June 1.

The board recognized Carol Carrier, professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education and Human Development, for her leadership as vice president of human resources. Carrier will return to her faculty position.

The board recognized Steven Rosenstone, vice president for scholarly and cultural affairs, who will assume the role of chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system Aug. 1.

The board recognized Steve Cawley, vice president and chief information officer, who will join the University of Miami June 1.