Approved by the: Student Senate - March 3, 2005
Administration - no action required
Board of Regents - no action required

Resolution on Program Closures Due to Budget Constraints

WHEREAS, the core of the University of Minnesota’s proposed mission is to “prepare graduate, professional, and undergraduate students...” as well as to “generate and preserve knowledge...by conducting high-quality research.”

WHEREAS, as stated on the University’s website, “In all its activities, the University strives to sustain an open exchange of ideas in an environment that embodies the values of academic freedom, responsibility, integrity, and cooperation.”

WHEREAS, many graduate programs at the University add strength and depth to the mission and also represent unique opportunities that Minnesota residents will not have access to via other local institutions

WHEREAS, the University has been facing financial challenges; the administration has been and will likely continue to base critical decisions, in part, according to budgetary concerns.

WHEREAS, the proposed mission statement, the Report from the Task Force on the Future of Funding Graduate Students as well as Provost Sullivan and President Bruininks in public forums have warned that graduate programs and departments are under consideration for cuts or closures in response to the University’s need to reorient its decreased funding.

WHEREAS, the Department of Occupational Therapy has been the first department to face closure, as they have been informed to suspend all new enrollment of graduate students. In addition, this decision was made without a formal and open hearing procedure or a sense of transparency to that decision.

WHEREAS, compassion and concern for our fellow students in Occupational Therapy as well as concern for the future of our own departments and programs has caused University students to react to this process of cutting OT with alarm.

BE IT RESOLVED, the Student Senate Consultative Committee urges the University Administration to be straightforward, clear, compassionate, flexible, cautious and transparent when deciding the future of programs and to include public discussions of all parties involved in that decision including student government representation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Student Senate Consultative Committee asks the University Administration to release the list of programs being considered for closure to the public, thereby assisting in the transparency of the process and allowing facilitation of public discussions.

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