The University in, not of, Minnesota

In 1932, University of Minnesota President Lotus Coffman wrote, âÄúNo state can expect a revival of its economic life and a renascence of the human spirit âÄî no state can expect life and life more abundantly by underfeeding the forces of growth and idealism. Budget-making in a depression becomes a test of what we really believe in.âÄù
Currently, a budget is being made in our stateâÄôs Capitol. A test is being conducted. Coffman would recoil at the preliminary results. We are at a moment where we must seriously inquire about what we really believe in.
With the stateâÄôs share of the UniversityâÄôs budget shriveling, we are becoming the University in Minnesota.
I believe we should and must fight for the University. However, I am pessimistic. I see an organized effort to cut state appropriations, then I count the absences in the 8:15 a.m. lecture I instruct. I wonder if we are all partners in indifference. But I also know of the tremendous efforts and hopes that permeate the University.
Please do not extinguish your efforts and hopes. Continue to feed the forces of growth and idealism. If these forces begin to be suffocated, imbue them in new institutions if necessary.