Employees shouldn’t foot additional costs

Faculty and staff recently received an e-mail about University of Minnesota budget updates, including some cost-saving ideas. I am very concerned about the recommended changes to the Regents Scholarship Program, which includes a requirement for employees to foot 25 percent of the bill for courses. Supposedly, this will save the University approximately $2.5 million, implying that the cost of employees taking courses costs the University $10 million a year. If these courses existed solely for employees, then yes, the administrative costs of adding employees to the courses and running them for employees would cost the University $10 million in tuition and fees. However, I would guess that employees are enrolling in courses that are set up for University students, and that these courses would exist whether employees were in them or not. Thus, the cost of arranging and running the course would already exist if employees were enrolling in the courses or not. No doubt, there is some administrative cost incurred by employees taking courses, but certainly not to the tune of $10 million a year, or even $2.5 million a year. In reality, this proposed change just seems like some underhanded scheme to make some additional revenue. Perhaps the recommendation that employees pay 25 percent of the cost of courses under the Regents Scholarship requires a little more analysis and thought. Julia Prokop Office Support Assistant M.G.I.S. student