Tuition campaign

A state-wide campaign to raise funds for TCF Bank Stadium is currently underway. University officials are going county to county in hopes the good people of Minnesota will open up their coffers and help pay for the football stadium. Admirable though this may be, in the face of never-ending tuition increases, the University should put a similar effort forth to raise funds for tuition. Every dollar counts, according to David Crum, associate athletics director of the Golden Gopher Fund. And although he was talking about the stadium construction, the same is true toward tuition. If everyone in Minnesota gives a buck for the stadium and a buck toward tuition, the University would still be $2.9 million short for the stadium, but could pay 510 studentsâÄô in-state tuition this year. If everyone in the state coughed up a shiny green Abe Lincoln, that number goes up to 2,550, or half the freshman class, or the equivalent of putting $730 back into the pocket of every undergrad on campus. University President Bob Bruininks told The Minnesota Daily in a summer issue that heâÄôs âÄúsomewhat disappointed that we didnâÄôt have the ability to drive down tuition more for students.âÄù Bruininks should advocate that private fundraisers like the University of Minnesota Alumni Association undertake similar public efforts to lower tuition as they are for stadium fundraising. The Alumni Association lists âÄúHigh quality public education is essential,âÄù as its first belief. If thatâÄôs really the case it should be peppering the state with tuition, instead of stadium, billboards. The University was created as a land grant institution, a place for the students of Minnesota to receive a college education. ThereâÄôs no reason why the same logic being used to raise funds for the stadium âÄî âÄúthis is your stadium, MinnesotaâÄù âÄî canâÄôt be applied to the University as a whole. This is the stateâÄôs landmark university, producing the stateâÄôs top scholars and professionals. We urge the University to appeal to the people of Minnesota in similarly creative and energetic attempts to keep tuition increases to a minimum next year.