U of M’s Kaler to Legislature: Thanks for the $53 million, but it’s not enough

The higher education bill passed by the Legislature has been signed by Gov. Dayton, but University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler said today that it’s not enough.

The bill gives the University $53 million more than its current allocation, with $30 million for the medical school, $22 million for tuition relief and $1 million for Alzheimer’s research.

But the University had said it needed $65 million to maintain a tuition freeze.

In a statement today, Kaler thanked legislators for the extra funding, particularly the medical school money, but he added:

While I appreciate the funds allocated for operating support, it falls short of what is needed to hold tuition increases to zero for Minnesota resident students system-wide for another two years. This will impact approximately 53,000 students and families, or about 70 percent of our undergraduates system-wide. Minnesota students and their families deserve more consideration at a time of significant state budget surplus. We have done our part to lessen the need for increased tuition revenue by reducing administrative costs by $39 million this biennium, with a plan to reduce an additional $30 million next biennium.

Kaler apparently will try again for the additional funding in the future, saying he looks forward “to working with the Governor and legislators to ensure the University remains accessible to our brightest students and maintains its reputation as a world-class institution.”

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