Bruininks tells Faculty Sen. about projected state deficit

University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks addressed the Faculty Senate Thursday regarding the projected budget deficit announced earlier in the day. Bruininks said the projected $426 million deficit for the current biennium could mean cuts in money that is already committed to the University. An evenly distributed cut to the state budget would mean $17 million in cuts to the UniversityâÄôs current 2008 and 2009 budget. More concerning, he said, is the $4.8 billion dollar deficit projected for the 2010-11 biennium. ThatâÄôs about 14 percent of the stateâÄôs budget, and with $700 million of the UniversityâÄôs $1.2 billion budget coming from the state, the University could be facing big cuts. Bruininks said the University needs to reduce costs not needed to support academics. âÄúI think we have more administration than we need,âÄù he said. âÄúWe need to simplify processes âĦ and ask whether we need all the administration at all the levels.âÄù He said itâÄôs too early to predict how big any cuts will be, or if there will be any cuts to the UniversityâÄôs budget, and he cautioned that there would be tough choices to make in the future. Bruininks said he will be meeting with leaders at the University and around the state in the coming months to discuss solutions to the problem.