Tour sells

Coralie Carlson

Complete with a bus ride and box lunches, six state legislators embarked on a bona fide field trip to the University on Wednesday.
University officials showcased the Minneapolis campus to the representatives, who sit on the House higher education committee. On Monday, the University will present their $1.2 billion budget request to the committee.
The request focuses heavily on funding undergraduate education, so University administrators led the legislators into classrooms and computer labs frequented by undergraduates.
The legislators said the two-hour tour was a welcome break from committee meetings — especially after they sat through a seven-hour meeting yesterday on the controversial Profiles of Learning.
“I like to get out and about a little bit,” said Rep. Betty Folliard, DFL-Minneapolis.
From their seats on a Campus Connector, the touring group marveled with “oohs” and “ahhs” at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, the demolition of the East River Road parking ramp and the partially constructed Library Access Center.
Led by Bob Bruininks, executive vice president and provost, the tour walked through the new Carlson School of Management building.
“The building has made a big difference for us, that’s for sure,” said Jerry Rinehart, director of undergraduate programs at the Carlson school, as he pointed out student lounges and auditoriums. A $25 million state appropriation four years ago funded half of the building.
The University’s current request asks for about $25 million for building maintenance elsewhere on campus, which includes improving technology in classrooms and some building renovation.
Steven Rosenstone, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, guided the legislators through Anderson Hall on the West Bank and into the classroom of political science professor Richard Price.
Price stopped teaching his world politics class and explained to the legislators how he uses technology in the classroom. He showed them a video clip of “Dulce et Decorum Est,” a poem by Wilfred Owen about gas warfare in World War I.
Back on the bus, Rosenstone explained how some of the budget request would allow more professors to put together video displays, while other provisions go to faculty salaries so the University can retain blue-chip faculty like Price.
After the legislators left campus, Rosenstone said he was pleased with the presentation:
“When people that are making decisions come together to get information, that in itself is a success.”