Officials lay out spending

At the Capitol on Thursday, U leaders said the institution passed performance measures.

University Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter discusses performance measures at a Senate higher education committee meeting at the Capitol on Thursday.

Holly Peterson

University Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter discusses performance measures at a Senate higher education committee meeting at the Capitol on Thursday.

Benjamin Farniok

In one of their first Capitol visits this legislative session, University of Minnesota officials presented on the institution’s spending at a Senate committee on Thursday.

The University’s conversations with legislators could continue until May, as the school is hoping to secure extra funding. Its 2016-17 biennial budget request asks for a funding boost to cover a new tuition freeze, as well as other projects.

Officials announced at the meeting that the institution passed five performance measures, which included improving
graduation rates for low-income students and increasing the number of STEM degrees awarded.

By meeting the metrics, the institution earned $26.5 million, or 5 percent, of its total 2015 state appropriation.

Also at Thursday’s committee meeting, officials said the school cut $39 million in administrative spending during the 2014-15 fiscal year, a fraction of the total $90 million it plans to cut by 2019. According to the presentation, 68 percent of the cuts so far resulted from personnel changes, which includes terminations and job restructuring.

Some legislators questioned the school’s methods of reaching these goals.

Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, DFL-Minneapolis, asked if the University was becoming more exclusive in order to satisfy graduation requirements.

The meeting didn’t finish in its allocated time. It will continue on Tuesday.