Higher Education Conference Committee hears public testimony
On Tuesday, the ten-member conference committee on higher education took public testimony. Officials from the University of Minnesota, the Private Colleges, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, and other groups shared with members their final thoughts as the committee begins their negotiations.
Chancellor Rosenstone stressed to members in his testimony that importance of higher education for the state and that “Minnesota has fallen far behind in its investment in higher education: over the past two decades, state investment has tumbled 29%, and Minnesota now significantly trails the nation, investing in Minnesota State colleges and universities 24% less per student than the nation as a whole.”
He continued to state the critical role that colleges and universities to fill the talent Minnesota needs. ” Our campuses, the programs they deliver, the faculty who teach in them, and the staff who support our students – they are what allows us to meet Minnesota’s talent needs.”
The Chancellor emphasized the importance of the biennial budget request. “Ours is not a ‘nice to do’ request. It is a ‘must do’ request. He reemphasized the $114 million in real cuts that campuses have had to do over the past five years which has led to faculty and staff lay offs, program closures, delaying replacement of aging technology and equipment, and deferring the launch of innovative programs.
In conclusion Chancellor Rosenstone stated, “when it comes to issues such as student fees, tuition, leases, and easements, let the Board of Trustees exercise its statutory authority and responsibility to consult, do its due diligence, and make the tough decisions. Let the board that the legislature created govern and oversee the management of the system.”
The conference committee will meet on Thursday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. to begin adopting same and similar provisions and discuss other policy items.
Chancellor Rosenstone’s remarks can be found HERE.