Encouraging applicants from all states

Demanding there be more Minnesotans at the University is a risk to diversity.

Daily Editorial Board

Last week, the Minnesota Legislature approved funding for a tuition freeze, but as the Minnesota Daily reported Thursday, it was not without attempting to tack on several amendments that would allow more legislative oversight in funding given to the University of Minnesota. Some of the proposed amendments to the bill that would increase funding for the University were not entirely unreasonable: Some amendments would not allow state funds to be used for University coaching buyouts or year-end administrative bonuses, and there was also the formation of a policy urging the University to meet three goals outlined by the Legislature in order to receive the full amount of its appropriation in two years. But there was one proposed change to the bill — that rightfully failed — that would add a recommendation that three-fourths of the University’s incoming freshmen be from Minnesota.

It should be noted that it is not the place for the state Legislature to make recommendations on the University’s admissions policies. Additionally, it is neither beneficial or practical to recommend that 75 percent of incoming freshmen be Minnesotan.

As the Editorial Board has previously stated, the University has a multitude of roles to play: a research institution, Minnesota’s flagship university and a competitive force in the Big Ten athletic conference.

The University should be happy to encourage applicants from every state and enroll students who are a good fit, residents and non-residents alike. Given that 63 percent of incoming freshmen are residents, there is no shortage of Minnesota students at the University. Putting a recommendation in place that seeks to focus on heavy recruiting in Minnesota runs the risk of discouraging diversity. And a lack of diversity, whether we receive full funding from the state, is a cost the University cannot afford.