Regents discuss tuition, facilities

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The future of tuition and facilities around campus were discussed late last week at the first meeting of 2008.

At its first meeting in 2008, the University’s Board of Regents was busy Friday morning as it discussed a variety of issues, including the future of tuition.

Tuition, tuition, tuition

University President Bob Bruininks used a large portion of the regents meeting to discuss tuition and its role in supporting the University in the future.

The school needs to look carefully at funding from state government, its citizens and the school, and how all of the groups can work together, he said.

In his presentation, Bruininks highlighted that in 1997-1998, 71 percent of University revenue was coming from state allocations – the remaining 29 percent from tuition and fees.

In 2007-2008, a “deeply disturbing” trend showed only 56 percent of revenue is state-allocated and is getting closer to a 50-50 split, he said.

“We can’t be on the rollercoaster at Valleyfair every year,” Bruininks said of the changes.

The president’s points resonated with several regents, who voiced equal concern. Vice Chairman Clyde Allen said Bruininks’ presentation was one of the “most important documents” he’s seen as a regent.

Bruininks said it was just the beginning point for talk on resolving tuition-related issues.

“I don’t think this is a one-time discussion,” he said.

Student Representatives Chairwoman and Duluth campus student Meghan Keil said she was pleased with Bruininks’ report and said students have a good opportunity to get involved in the upcoming legislative session.

Talking with legislators to remind them how addressing concerns like those regarding tuition are crucial issues for students, she said.

Facilities

The board also approved “repurposing” for the Carlson School of Management.

The school’s program offerings will be shuffled to new base locations, as Carlson prepares for the construction of its new $48 million Hanson Hall building.

Several student service units will move into vacancies in Carlson’s current West Bank building left by programs moving into Hanson Hall, which is scheduled to open in fall 2008.

The project also includes a $10 million remodeling project that will allow for updating of several classrooms and bathrooms, as well as the installation of six new security cameras in Carlson’s current building.

Other matters

At the beginning of the meeting, Bruininks also recognized a report put together by student representatives in December.

He said one of their requests – increased visibility of sustainability efforts – was being addressed through efforts like renaming an existing committee the Sustainability Committee so people recognize its purpose.

Keil said she appreciated the University’s prompt response.

It’s good, considering it’s just a month or so later, she said.

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