Dr. Richard A. Hanson, president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, issued the following message to the faculties and staffs at both campuses today regarding Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s recommendations for the state’s FY2016-17 budget. Dayton’s proposal does not include the system’s request for supplemental funding. Hanson’s message to both campus communities was accompanied by the included joint statement from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the Minnesota State College Faculty and the Inter Faculty Organization.
President Hanson’s message
I am sharing with you an important joint statement (below) by the Minnesota State College Faculty, the state Inter Faculty Organization and the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU).
This encouraging statement of cooperation toward the goals of MnSCU’s Charting the Future strategic plan is in response to a state budget announcement this morning by Gov. Mark Dayton. Citing disagreement between the system and its unions over Charting the Future, the governor said that at this time he is not recommending any supplemental funding for MnSCU in the upcoming biennium, fiscal years 2016-2017.
I understand and share Gov. Dayton’s concern about Charting the Future and am pleased that the Board and union leadership are pursuing mediation on this important strategic initiative for Minnesota, its students, communities and economy.
As you may know, the biennial budget request that MnSCU submitted to the Legislature in November included a request for $142 million in supplemental funding. This funding is needed to pay for modest increases in employee compensation and cover the cost of inflation across the system. Those additional expenses will not be paid for through an increase in tuition if the Legislature votes, as expected, to extend a current tuition freeze in effect since 2012-13.
The governor’s budget recommendation today is not a final outcome. I and my fellow MnSCU presidents are hopeful that cooperation on Charting the Future will give Gov. Dayton the reassurance he needs to support MnSCU’s supplemental budget request.
Richard A. Hanson, Ph.D.
MnSCU faculty and administration pledge cooperation on Charting the Future strategic plan
ST. PAUL, Minn., January 27, 2015 – The leaders of the administration and faculty of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities issued a joint statement Tuesday in response to Gov. Mark Dayton’s decision to include no additional funding at this time in his proposed budget for the state’s largest system of higher education.
Dayton has cited the disagreements regarding the Charting the Future strategic plan as a reason for his decision. MnSCU administrators and the leaders of the Inter Faculty Organization and the Minnesota State College Faculty organizations will have no comment Tuesday beyond the following statement.
“We take the governor’s decision not to recommend new funding for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) at this time very seriously and we appreciate the governor’s commitment to supporting MnSCU and its vital mission of ensuring access to an affordable, high value education for all Minnesotans and meeting the workforce needs of Minnesota.
We understand and share the governor’s concerns and are taking positive steps and having substantive dialogue to resolve our disagreements regarding Charting the Future. We are all committed to continuing our progress and are confident of a positive outcome. All MnSCU faculty and staff have a passionate commitment to improving the lives of our students through education and look forward to working with the governor on a budget that ultimately meets the needs of our students and the state of Minnesota.”