News Release

U of M Regents discuss future UMTC campus enrollment, tuition strategies

University seal

A five-year plan to grow and maintain the quality of undergraduate students, while providing an exceptional experience at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus was presented to the U’s Board of Regents today. The Board is expected to act on the plan at its March meeting.

“A strong relationship between strategies for enrollment management, financial aid and tuition is essential for success in recruiting, enrolling, retaining, and graduating the very best students,” said Robert McMaster, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education. “The goals are aggressive but attainable, and ensure continued delivery on our mission.”

Among the goals to be met by 2021 are:

  • gradually increase total undergraduate enrollment from the current 30,500 to between 32,000 - 33,000 and continue to have approximately 65 percent Minnesota residents in the freshman class and approximately 68 percent in the transfer class;
  • keep one-third of the student body comprised of transfers, maintain current pipelines and further coordinate U resources to recruit, retain and provide a seamless process for transfer students; and
  • value ethnic, social, economic, and geographic diversity, while paying close attention to Minnesota high school demographic trends.

Student experience

  • accommodate 90 percent of freshmen, 20-25 percent of sophomores and 10 percent of fall transfer students in on-campus housing;
  • provide a consistent academic advising experience for all students;
  • create more Active Learning Classrooms; and
  • enhance academic support resources and expand research opportunities.

Student outcomes

  • raise four-year graduation rate to reach/exceed 65 percent and six-year graduation rate to reach/exceed 82 percent, matching the University Progress Card; and
  • increase the annual number of STEM graduates from the current 3,300 to 3,600.

Tuition and financial aid

  • keep resident tuition rate increases to a minimum, remaining in the middle of our Big 10 peers for tuition and required fees, or net price;
  • incrementally raise non-resident, non-reciprocity (NRNR) tuition rates to the mid-point of the Big 10, to approximately $35,000 in tuition and required fees in 2020-2021. “Tuition discounting” and other strategies to ensure the U of M remains accessible to non-resident students will be explored; and
  • increase institutional gift aid to $275 million systemwide for all students, with the allocation of all financial aid for UMTC undergraduates at two-thirds for need-based aid and one-third for merit-based aid.

This plan is the result of discussions at Board work sessions in October and December 2015. and helps achieve the Board’s 2015-16 priorities. Similar enrollment plans will be developed for each system campus.

Long-term Twin Cities campus planning
Planned student population growth, and their academic and co-curricular needs, was included in a discussion about the long-term footprint of the Twin Cities campus. In a work session, University leaders detailed a 30-year vision to guide growth and change in key areas of campus, particularly the eastern edge of the East Bank campus, including Academic Health Center and residential housing needs.

The vision recommends strategies to connect related activities, proposing that a concentration of student housing be located along the Mississippi River front and facilities in the current AHC ‘core’ south of Washington Avenue link to new and future clinical spaces and the Biomedical Discovery District. Transformation along Huron Blvd. is also proposed to improve that much-used campus entrance.

“Strengthening links between research, teaching and learning, and patient care are critical,” said Wheelock. “Our aim is to ensure a quality, affordable, community-based first and second year residential experience, balance reinvestment in existing facilities with new construction and employ public private partnerships to advance key University interests.”

A resolution reflecting Regent input on this vision will be brought to the Board in the future. 

Gopher Athletics review progress
Progress on recommendations for Gopher Athletics regarding procedures and practices on sexual harassment and hiring and vetting of the athletics director is significant.

The Board received an update on several recommendations from the December 2015 external review of the department, including plans for required annual sexual harassment training for all Athletics personnel and mandated reporting of incidents in Athletics to Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action; upcoming Athletic Director search details; continued work of the recently formed Athletics Financial Oversight Committee; and after careful review, keeping the Gopher Athletics Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as a direct report to the Athletics Director, with a dotted line reporting relationship to the University’s CFO.

The Board also:

  • discussed long-term Law School finances. Like many U.S. law schools, the U of M has experienced fewer applications and enrollments in recent years. Dean David Wippman outlined strategies underway to address enrollment and financial challenges while maintaining academic excellence. These include increased student aid; reallocations, operational reductions and salary freezes; increased University support and fundraising efforts.
  • received an update on Operational Excellence initiatives. By June 30, 2017, the U expects to be more than 80 percent toward Kaler’s commitment to reallocate $90 million in administrative costs by 2019. Since 2013, nearly $58 million has been or will be redirected to support the U’s mission.
  • reviewed ongoing progress on M Health integration. In her update, Regent Patricia Simmons outlined progress in several areas, including a search for a new Chief Executive Officer for M Health. The Board named three University appointees to be part of the core group selecting that new CEO. Those are: Dr. Brooks Jackson, dean of the Medical School and vice president for Health Sciences, Kenneth Roering, Carlson School of Management professor emeritus and U of M Physicians board member, and Regent Simmons, retired physician and Mayo executive. Formal action by the Board will be taken at a later date, subject to the creation of a parallel appointment from the Fairview Board of Directors, and a written agreement between the University and Fairview.
  • approved metrics for Minnesota students, as part of the Board’s Progress Card. The items to be reported are: percent of recent Minnesota high school graduates choosing a Minnesota college who enroll at the U and percent of new entering (and all currently enrolled undergraduate) students who are Minnesota high school graduates.
  • learned about the U’s efforts to address the educational equity gap, which includes work from all U of M campuses, Extension and at least 130 faculty members on a wide range of youth issues. The Educational Equity Resource Center coordinates these initiatives and works to translate research into practice with community partners. A statewide conference will be hosted in June.

Read the President’s report to the Board.

The Board will next meet March 30-31, 2016. For more information, visit the Regents website.


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