U of M Board of Regents to consider advancing key state priorities in supplemental budget request

What: University of Minnesota Board of Regents meeting
When: Thursday and Friday, December 10 and 11, 2015
Where: Sixth Floor, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S.E., Minneapolis

Anticipating the Minnesota Governor and Legislature might consider a supplemental budget bill in the 2016 legislative session, the University of Minnesota is preparing to advance key state priorities.

When it meets December 9-10, the University’s Board of Regents will review and act on a modest request that aims to improve Minnesota’s health, economic innovation and security.

The request proposes initiatives in four areas:

  • statewide health care training, education and services ($3.25M recurring; $2.5M one-time)
    • Improve access to quality health and dental care, improve patient care and reduce health disparities by supporting the Community University Health Care Clinic, which trains more than 230 health sciences students annually. Also, support the School of Dentistry’s Rural Dentist Associate Program to expand enrollment of resident dental students committed to serving rural Minnesota.
  • continuing critical health care services ($10.5M recurring)
    • Maintain the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health’s healthcare training sites in the underserved areas of the Twin Cities, as well as Duluth and Mankato, and the Mobile Dental Clinic, which provides dental care to underserved communities across Minnesota. These funds would replace those from the Department of Human Services’ decision to not award UCare a contract for Medicaid and other public programs.
  • Minnesota’s mining industry ($3.6M recurring)
    • Develop cutting-edge technologies to improve the long-term viability of Minnesota’s mining industry by conducting research to increase mining yield, diversify the state’s mineral portfolio beyond taconite and develop new sulfide remediation technologies.
  • new cyber security technologies ($19M one-time)
    • Protect the University’s digital assets by upgrading the U’s core network, thus enhancing cyber security systemwide. Aligned with Governor Dayton’s cyber security focus, these funds will enhance tools to help prevent security breaches and early detection if an attack does occur.

The request includes $17.4M in recurring funds and $21.5M in one-time funds. If approved by the request, the request will be submitted to the Governor and Legislature for consideration.

Continued growth in research
Vice President for Research Brian Herman will give his annual report on research at the University, which reached record levels last year within a challenging funding environment, in part because of new industry and academic collaborations.

Herman will report on trends in research productivity, including technology commercialization, the U’s performance compared to other research universities, and the progress of strategies to diversify research funding, increase interdisciplinary scholarship, build on new international research opportunities, and better leverage the University's research assets for the benefit of Minnesota's economy.

The Board will also:

  • review a record-setting year of giving. The University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) recorded gifts totaling $351 million from more than 78,000 donors in fiscal year 2015. In their annual update to the Board, UMF leaders will outline how these gifts support students, faculty, research, programs and other strategic investments.
  • receive an update on undergraduate education on the Twin Cities campus. Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Robert McMaster will focus on improvements in the profile of the incoming Fall 2015 freshmen class and the continued progress on retention and graduation rates, among other areas. Progress in these areas is critical to achieving measures outlined in the Board of Regents Progress Card.
  • discuss tuition and financial aid strategies. As a follow up to October’s discussion of enrollment management principles, Regents will provide input on the University’s current tuition and financial aid philosophy. The two sessions will inform the development of a resolution on enrollment principles and tuition and aid philosophy for the Board’s consideration in February.
  • review progress on the Advancing Human Protections work plan, passed by the Board earlier this year. Ongoing work around a new Conflict of Interest policy for researchers, and newly developed coursework that includes education standards for research with human participants will be discussed.
  • discuss the annual University Plan, Accountability and Performance Report, which documents the U’s effectiveness in achieving its mission and delivering value to Minnesota. The report highlights progress, successes and strategic initiatives across categories such as academic achievement; access and affordability; organizational efficiency and effectiveness; and diversity.

Committee meetings will begin 8 a.m. Thursday, December 10. The full Board will meet at 8:45 a.m. Friday, December 11.

The Board is also having a special meeting 2 - 4 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8 to discuss findings from an independent, external review to address key issues following the resignation of former Gopher Athletics Director Norwood Teague. In addition, Regents will receive results of a financial audit of Athletics Department leadership, conducted by the University’s Associate Vice President of Internal Audits Gail Klatt.

More information can be found on the Regents website.

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