U of M Board of Regents to act on $166M Athletics Village

What: University of Minnesota Board of Regents meeting
When: Thursday and Friday, October 8 and 9, 2015
Where: Sixth Floor, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S.E., Minneapolis

The University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents will review and act on initial plans, including schematic designs and financing, for the U of M’s Athletics Village project next week.

The $166 million, 320,000 square foot Athletics Village includes three new buildings: the Center for Excellence/Basketball Development Center, the Indoor Football Practice Facility and the Football Performance Center. The Center for Excellence will provide facilities and programming that focus on the academic, nutritional and leadership needs of all 725 Gopher student-athletes, something current facilities cannot accommodate. Overall, the project will allow student-athletes and coaches to maximize time for their sport and studies, as well as help Gopher coaches compete with other institutions during the recruiting process.

To date, more than $76.5 million has been raised. While fundraising continues, University President Eric Kaler is proposing to use long-term debt to finance and complete the project. The debt service will be paid by Intercollegiate Athletics. The University will also reserve $20 million in debt capacity as a source of financing for a NCAA competition-level track on the East Bank campus and other investments to facilitate gender equity and Title IX compliance. A competition-level track represents a significant improvement over the current track, which has not been suitable for competition for more than a decade.

If approved, Athletics Village designs will be finalized by July 2016 and the project complete by January 2018.

An integrated academic health system
Plans to form a single, integrated academic health system, combining Fairview Health Services and University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP), will be brought to the Board for review and action.

A non-binding letter of intent, to be co-signed by the University, UMP and Fairview Health Services, sets forth the proposed basic terms of the creation of the single, integrated academic health system, composed of the Fairview system and the entirety of UMP. Mutual goals of all parties and the identified characteristics of a world-class integrated academic health system are also included in the LOI.

The next phase of discussions between the University, UMP and Fairview Health Services will be based on a set of core principles that concern governance and organizational structure, clinical practice and physician leadership, management and operations, and financials. Those principles will be articulated during the Board discussion. The current plan is to have a definitive agreement completed for Board action in Spring 2016.

The Board will also:

  • Review progress on the UMTC strategic plan, which continues to gain significant momentum across campus. Team-taught Grand Challenge courses launched this fall and a vigorous campus wide effort is under way to expand high-impact Grand Challenges research collaborations. Priorities for year two of implementation will be outlined.
  • Hold a work session to discuss enrollment management. Regents will discuss and provide input on enrollment management principles and objectives to help shape the University’s enrollment strategy system wide over the next decade. A complementary work session on aligning tuition and aid philosophy with enrollment management strategy is planned for December.
  • Vote on the University Progress Card, a robust tool that will be used to track progress on high-level institutional goals and indicators of academic quality, as well as the six-year capital plan and 2016 state capital request that propose more than $300 million in projects to address critical facility needs across the U of M system. Additional detail on both items is available here.
  • Review current public safety strategies. In his first presentation to the Board, University of Minnesota Police Chief Matthew Clark will discuss his initial impressions since starting in July, and new initiatives and his vision for enhancing public safety on the Twin Cities campus. He will also review current and historical data on crime statistics and the Clery Act, and provide an overview of the Department of Public Safety.

Committee meetings will begin 8 a.m. Thursday. The full Board will meet at 8:30 a.m. Friday. More information, including meeting times and locations, can be found on the Regents website.

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