Investment in existing facilities continues to be U of M priority
In anticipation of the Minnesota Legislature’s 2024 session, the Board of Regents Finance and Operations Committee will review plans at its meeting next week to request state investment for urgently needed renovations and updates to U of M facilities throughout the state.
State funding would support a proposed capital investment plan that illustrates how a growing deferred renewal backlog continues to have widespread impacts on the student experience, academic programs, research initiatives and more. University facilities total roughly 33 million gross square feet across five campuses and in additional locations around Minnesota. Nearly 9 million gross square feet of that space is rated in poor or critical condition. Based on this, the 10-year facility renewal need has grown to $6 billion.
Asset preservation continues to be the wisest, most cost-effective investment to protect and extend the lifespan of these facilities that serve and have been invested in by Minnesotans. Recognizing this, the Board will review a plan to request $500 million for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement, or HEAPR, funds in the 2024 legislative session. The proposal is built around institutional priorities, as well as strategic guidance outlined in the University’s systemwide strategic plan, MPact 2025. Specifically, the proposal prioritizes:
- Enhancing student-facing facilities and services, including libraries, student unions, academic support, student counseling facilities, recreation and wellness,
- Investing in high-demand academic programs and mission-support facilities,
- Right-sizing the overall amount of campus space,
- Advancing innovation in health sciences, agriculture and biotechnology,
- Ensuring updates support inclusive, accessible and welcoming campuses.
The Board is expected to act on the proposed 2024 state capital request and recommended six-year capital investment plan in October.
Deadline for Presidential Search Advisory Committee nominations is Sept. 8
The deadline is approaching for members of the University community to provide nominations for the Board’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee. The Committee will evaluate and narrow the field of presidential candidates to a small number of semifinalists for Board consideration. It will include representatives from the Board of Regents, faculty, students, staff, alumni, and the broader University and Minnesota communities.
The nomination period closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8. Nominations should be submitted online at president-search.umn.edu.
Public comment encouraged through Board of Regents Virtual Forum
Following a series of public discussions last year about opportunities for additional public engagement in Regents’ work, the Board has launched a pilot program that allows the public to submit comments to the Board from anywhere and at any time. The Board’s Virtual Forum accepts audio, video and written input, which is shared directly with Regents and included in the Board’s public materials. The public is encouraged to visit the Virtual Forum to submit their comments.
Also during its September meetings, the Board is expected to:
- Receive the annual report on academic program changes from Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson.
- Discuss the potential effects of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on college admissions, and in particular the possible impact on undergraduate admissions.
- Review the Interim President’s recommended supplemental 2024 state budget request.
- Review the charges and build work plans for newly launched special committees focused on academic health and on University engagement with the public and other key stakeholders.
- Discuss public safety planning for the 2023-24 academic year with Interim President Jeff Ettinger and Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Myron Frans.
- Receive the annual report from the University of Minnesota Foundation.
- Review campus plans for the Duluth campus to shape the physical campus environment in alignment with systemwide strategic priorities.
- Discuss key leadership characteristics for the University’s 18th President as the Board continues to shape the position description for that search.
For more information, including future meeting times, visit regents.umn.edu.