Bruininks reassures faculty, staff on U’s financial health

by Lisa Zehner

Bruininks sent an e-mail today, which the editorial board obtained, reassuring staff and faculty about the well being of the University of Minnesota’s financial health. Bruininks names three main ways he is making sure the financial strength of the U remains sound: *First thing deals with reducing costs and anticipating tight budgets, though the Regents just approved a lofty request for additional budget funds from the state. He also mentioned some ways for to consolidate: “We must look for opportunities to consolidate administrative offices and academic units, reform major cost centers, and reinvest the savings in mission-critical academic priorities.” *Second, was addressing issues with implementation of the Enterprise Financial System. Bruininks notes that there has been frustration among people and that “issues arise almost daily.” *Third was he acknowledged that the state will likely face budget challenges and that is reason why the biennial budget request “demonstrates our most pressing needs.” In a couple of instances Bruininks mentions families and students of the state and the University’s obligation to provide quality education to these groups, but fails to comment on the tuition increase that is included in the budget request. He closing remarks: “The University was founded in a time of scarce resources to provide the spark the Minnesota Territory needed to become a great and prosperous state. I believe it can be that spark again.”