Cut to the chase: Budget impact on higher ed in Minnesota

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To cut to the chase, the Governor proposed cutting MnSCU’s general operating fund base by $146 million, or 10.7%. It would be up to the MnSCU Board to figure out how to apply the cuts.

There is no recognition of inflation or enrollment growth. The Governor urged the legislature to “institute a firm cap on tuition”, but he did not make any recommendation on what the tuition increases should be capped at.

To put this in perspective, to make up the shortfall it would take:

Over a 25% increase in tuition over the next two years, or the layoff of about 975 faculty in MnSCU. If the shortfall was made up half through faculty cuts and half through tuition increases, it would require the layoff of about 488 faculty and a tuition increase of 12.5% over the biennium. If MnSCU solved the shortfall with faculty layoffs alone, it would mean a reduction of around 10,000 course sections—and make it very, very difficult for students to get through in four years.

Russ Stanton works for the Inter-Faculty Organization, which represents faculty of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU)

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