Concrete proposals for Eric Kaler

by Mickey Rush, University student

WeâÄôve seen many a plea in the Minnesota Daily that the new University of Minnesota president should improve transparency and incorporate student issues into his policy, but there have been few concrete student suggestions and ideas. So here is a start.

Since the state is unable to offer consistent financial support and tuition is rising to levels that exclude all but the wealthiest from access to education, I propose spending be limited to programs that directly help all students and bear a direct correlation to quality of education. I am sick of watching money being dumped into inefficient offices and programs while the College of Liberal Arts prepares to cut faculty and departments. I want to see the majority of my tuition going toward the salaries of professors and teaching assistants instead of unnecessary renovations and technology. Our education comes from humans. Should we really be covering every inch of the Science Teaching and Student Services building in high-definition televisions while many students can no longer afford to go to school?

LetâÄôs take a look at the overstaffed offices all over campus. Every time I walk into a University-affiliated office, I am appalled at the utter excess of employees who cannot tell me anything that I would not have found online. Instead of forcing departments with related purposes to combine, letâÄôs force offices to do so. For example, why is it necessary for each college to have its own career center? How about cutting extra advisers before we start cutting professors? LetâÄôs end million-dollar marketing campaigns that simply plaster random reasons for the UniversityâÄôs existence onto sidewalks and bus stops, when its purpose is already carved in stone above Northrop Auditorium.

Research is important, but is it vital enough to justify draining money from undergraduates and financially starving CLA? IâÄôm confused as to why part of my student services fees goes toward insuring that anyone too lazy to buy a condom does not accidentally procreate.

These are all relatively small suggestions, but such changes could be enacted on all tiers of the monstrous University budget and may even hinder rising tuition. I believe the essential characteristic President-select Eric Kaler should incorporate in his policy is prioritization, the realization that students are the reason the University exists.