A university in shambles

Minnesota will be paying for cuts to higher education for years to come.

by Daily Editorial Board

Last week, the Minnesota Legislature passed a higher education finance bill that cuts $306 million from current state funding levels. The fact that lawmakers approved this bill shows just how low a priority higher education is in Minnesota today.
Many, of course, have fought for the value of education at the University of Minnesota.
In a statement given after the release of the Senate higher education budget recommendation, University President Bob Bruininks asked if future potential University students would âÄúsee a once-great university in shambles and look elsewhereâÄù for their education.
Students âÄî in protests both on campus and in St. Paul âÄî have also warned of the damage these cuts will do to the quality of the education the University provides, both now and in the future.
University professor Giancarlo Casale made the same point in a recent Star Tribune article. After talking about the effects that the proposed budget cuts would have on the University faculty, he wrote, âÄúBeing committed to a state university only makes sense if the state itself shares that commitment.âÄù
 As state legislators waver in their commitment, many students already feel the pinch of crushing debt and the lower quality of education they receive. A small but dramatically increasing minority are even opting to race through college in three years, making the degree another ticket be punched, rather than a time of personal and professional growth.
 TodayâÄôs budgets cuts are tomorrowâÄôs untrained workforce, second-rate university and flat- lined state economy. While some cuts to the higher education budget are unavoidable, drastic cuts in high education funding will leave the University âÄúdriven to disaster.âÄù