UMore situation calls for clarity

The Board of Regents recently voted to try selling off a 5,000-acre swath of land known as UMore Park. The land was initially meant for a bold plan in which the University of Minnesota would develop a sustainable community for thousands in the coming decades.

The regents approved the UMore plan in 2008. Since then, the University has sunk more than $12 million into the project. But now, it’s backing off the investment and hopes to turn it over to a new developer.

The UMore project was an ambitious one and, as such, significant concerns and questions have lingered since the plan got underway.

The University made another land purchase earlier this month in which plans for the area were unclear.

The Real Estate Office snagged three parcels of land in Stadium Village for $6.6 million. But at the time of purchase, a University spokesman told the Minnesota Daily that the school didn’t know what it would do with the land. All that was known at the time was that the rest of the block on which the three parcels sit was slated for “future University ownership” on the 2009 master plan.

While we hope administrators have more solidified plans with these purchases than they’re letting on, it seems to the public — especially students — that this money could be better spent elsewhere.

While the UMore situation is much different from the recent purchase, there needs to be more transparency in how this public institution spends large sums of money.