Some legislators are questioning the University of Minnesota's incremental value to state taxpayers, given the U's annual, and disproportionate, incremental operating expenses. University President Eric Kaler has indicated that return on investment must be a priority. There can be no "special cases" within any process for assuring Minnesota taxpayers that they will receive optimal value in return for their funding. The trustworthiness of any such process could be questionable if it lacks objective evaluation of the men's basketball program.
In 2007, Tubby Smith was hired with much fanfare. It was reported that he was of solid character -- his college coaching credentials had been among the best. Smith's annual compensation is more than $2 million. The pertinent facts document the absence of a basketball program turnaround, and no evidence of eventual program success. The credibility of any effort by Kaler to establish accountability within his overall organization will be debatable without resolution of this matter.
GENE DELAUNE, NEW BRIGHTON