Legislators have few questions

Tenure was on the minds of members of the House Higher Education Finance Division on Wednesday as University President Nils Hasselmo stumped for more federal funds.
The legislators were impressed with technological displays and policy achievements displayed by Hasselmo. However, the legislators were aware that everything on campus is not as it should be, as several questioned the president about the status of the tenure debate.
Rep. Joe Opatz, DFL-St. Cloud, noted that the tenure stand-off came when the University was in a time of uncertainty on a variety of issues, including the presidential search, the status of General College and the sale of the former University Hospital.
“How is morale within the faculty, among the faculty, after all these conflicts?” Opatz asked.
Tensions are still high among faculty and staff, Hasselmo told the lawmakers, but an increase in funding would allow for faculty salary increases that would help alleviate the problem.
“It has taken a terrible toll on morale,” Hasselmo said. “Faculty and staff have been straining to get through this.”
The president said faculty pay raises would also help improve the University’s poor ranking among the top 30 colleges and universities in the country.
— Chris Vetter