The University of Minnesota Board of Regents will review President Joan Gabel’s recommended operating budget for the coming fiscal year at its June meeting. The conversation with Gabel and University financial leaders comes as organizations around the world, including America’s leading research universities, look hopefully toward a year that promises some recovery from pandemic-driven concerns, as well as ongoing budget challenges.
“We all recognize how different and challenging budgeting has been these past two years but, as operations on our campuses move back toward normal, we are also keenly aware of significant opportunities to improve and enhance the way we deliver the University’s mission,” said Board Chair Ken Powell. “As a Board, we appreciate the collective effort that went into this proposed budget and I know we are all eager to ensure our final budget mitigates remaining challenges and seizes the opportunities before us.”
Gabel’s proposed budget estimates approximately $4.2 billion in revenues in the coming fiscal year, balancing a similar figure for expenditures. Board discussion will examine a collection of incremental shifts proposed to address the challenges unique to this budget, along with the vast array of considerations needed in any given year to build a balanced budget for a university that tackles an extraordinary variety of work in education, research and outreach. These proposed shifts include:
- Unit-level budget reallocations, the savings from which are expected to drive most of the University’s incremental resource growth in the year ahead.
- An increased state appropriation, which depends on the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Tim Walz adopting a budget that is favorable to the University.
- Adjustments to general tuition rates, with any increases—for undergraduates in particular—remaining well below the current rate of inflation.
- Increases in unit-level revenue.
The proposed budget accounts for incremental expense growth as well. Program enhancement, compliance and updates to core operations and services represent more than two-thirds of increased expenses for the upcoming year. Much of these costs are dedicated to honoring and building upon MPact 2025 commitments. A modest 1.5 percent increase in employee compensation, following a general salary freeze in last year’s annual budget, is also being proposed.
“The proposed budget reflects our commitments to our core mission and our new systemwide strategic plan, MPact 2025, while also being thoughtful stewards of University resources,” said Gabel. “From providing affordable, high-quality education and elevating student success, to driving transformational research and partnerships and cultivating an equitable and welcoming community, we aim to deliver the world-class service and experience Minnesota expect from its flagship university. Our proposal for fiscal year 2022 does all of this, ensuring we support the needs of our students, faculty and staff, as we move forward together with our best days ahead.”
Public Forum on Recommended FY 2022 Annual Operating Budget
The Board will accept public comments on the President’s Recommended FY 2022 Annual Operating Budget as it considers action later this month.
A public forum will take place at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 11. Sign-up will take place beginning at 7:30 a.m. in the West Committee Room, sixth floor, McNamara Alumni Center. Available speaking slots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Written comments may also be submitted online. All written comments will become part of the public record.
As part of its June meetings, the Board is also expected to:
- Recognize outgoing leaders, including Chancellor Michelle Behr from the University’s Morris campus and chairs of several University governance groups.
- Act on proposed amendments to Board policies, including Student Education Records and Targeted Business, Urban Community Economic Development, and Small Business Programs.
- Receive an update on systemwide undergraduate enrollment from Bob McMaster, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education.
- Act on Gabel’s recommended Fiscal Year 2022 capital improvement budget, initially presented to the Board at its May meetings.
- Act on the potential sale of the Murphy Warehouse property at 701 24th Ave SE in Minneapolis.
- Receive the annual report of the Faculty Consultative Committee (FCC), which will be presented by FCC Chair Phil Buhlmann.
- Discuss strategic planning with Duluth campus leaders, the latest in a series of campus-level strategic planning conversations that have already included Rochester (April 2021) and Crookston (May 2021).
- Act to establish meeting dates for the upcoming fiscal year.
- Elect Board officer positions for the July 2021 - June 2023 term, including the Board’s Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
For more information, including future meeting times, visit regents.umn.edu.
- Campus Affairs