Getting University spending under control

In 2012, President Barack Obama’s salary was $400,000. Gov. Mark Dayton’s 2012 salary was $118,000. University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler’s 2012 salary — in addition to Eastcliff mansion — was $610,000, more than Obama and Dayton’s salaries combined.

 TCF Bank Stadium cost about $300 million to build. The tuition freeze, approved earlier this year, although freezing tuition for only resident undergraduates, still raises tuition and fees for all graduate, professional and out-of-state students, in addition to hikes in room and board, student service fees and course fees. As if that weren’t enough, University Athletic Director Norwood Teague announced plans for a new $190 million practice facilities.

While there is no doubt that the University is expensive to run and maintain, both administrative and athletic spending at the University have gotten out of control. Most of this spending is paid for by students who struggle to pay tuition, with the rest covered by taxpayers. The current administration has a responsibility to ensure that the students and taxpayers who finance these expensive projects have a voice in how their money is spent. I respectfully urge the Kaler administration to allow the students of the University and the taxpayers of Minnesota to vote on the construction of this new athletic facility, ensuring that University spending stays under control and the University remains centered on academics as opposed to Division I sports.