Regents approve fiscal year 2019 operating budget

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The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved the fiscal year 2019 operating budget today. The budget focuses on excellence in the University’s education, research and outreach mission; access and affordability; a reduction of administrative costs by $90 million over the past six years; and addressing core operating needs.

The Board discussed various proposals on budget levers and drivers, including resident undergraduate tuition rates. The approved budget holds tuition flat for resident undergraduates on the Crookston, Duluth and Rochester campuses and includes 1 percent and 2 percent increases on the Morris and Twin Cities campuses, respectively. The Board approved non-resident/non-reciprocity tuition rates during its December meeting.

As part of the budget, the Board approved an additional level of review starting July 1, 2018 for hiring positions supported by Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funds. O&M funds are state appropriations and tuition. Under this review, units wishing to fill an open position or increase the number of positions beyond those already funded in the approved budget must gain approval of both the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations. This process applies only to positions funded 100% from O&M. The University will report to the Board at its May 2019 meeting on the approvals granted through this process.

Additionally, in accordance with a multi-year plan to resolve a structural imbalance with the Law School, the Board passed a resolution that increases the accountability of the Law School to aggressively manage its budget and report to University administration and the Board on its progress.

More information on the budget, as it was presented to the Board in May, can be found online.

Supporting Students in Gateway Courses

The Board also reviewed a selection of the University’s efforts to ensure student success across the system, focusing particularly on students in those foundational courses that fulfill general education requirements and serve as prerequisites for more advanced coursework. Gateway courses are identified as high-risk, with high enrollment and historically high rates of Ds, Fs, withdrawals and incompletes.

Through placement testing, enhanced learning support, teaching innovation and mid-term alerts that notify students at risk of receiving low grades, students in gateway courses have increased levels of academic support that help them succeed, both within that course and throughout their college career.

During the presentation of student support services, the Board also discussed the SMART Learning Commons on the Twin Cities campus and the Securian Math Learning Lab on the Duluth campus.

The Board also:

  • Approved the fiscal year 2019 Annual Capital Improvement Budget, which authorizes capital projects to begin design and construction for the upcoming fiscal year, totaling $212,078,000. Approximately 37 percent of the capital budget is funded by the State of Minnesota from the University’s 2018 capital request. The remaining 63 percent is funded by the University. More information on the University’s 2018 capital request can be found on the University’s Government and Community Relations website.
  • Approved appointments of Mostafa Kaveh as dean of the Twin Cities campus College of Science and Engineering through June 30, 2020, and John Hoffman as vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the U of M Crookston.
  • Observed the oath of office for newly elected Regent Randy Simonson, as administered by Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Thissen.
  • Received overview of the University’s institutional risk profile, focusing on mitigation plans that address institutional risks, categorized into areas of business challenges, compliance and institutional integrity.
  • Recognized members of the University community for their service, including Raymond Muno, outgoing chair of the Civil Service Consultative Committee. Muno serves as Information Technology Manager in the Aerospace Engineering department in the U of M Twin Cities College of Science and Engineering. The Regents also recognized the 2017-18 Student Representatives to the Board: Joshua Preston (Twin Cities), Alexandra Ulland (Duluth), Lauren Anderson (Rochester), Sean Chen (Twin Cities), Marta Dean (Crookston), Mina Kian (Twin Cities), Apoorva Malarvannan (Twin Cities) and Parker Smith (Morris).

The Board of Regents will hold its next meeting on July 11, 2018. Visit the Board of Regents website for more information.

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