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Lawmakers plan to ask tough questions of higher ed

Posted by: Jenna Ross Updated: January 24, 2013 - 1:21 PM

Rep. Gene Pelowski, chair of the House higher education committee, announced this week the budget information he wants from the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities systems.

In a news release, Pelowski, DFL-Winona, said that he has "set a schedule for extensive hearings on how the Great Recession has impacted higher education in Minnesota."

He's requesting:

  • "Budget information from 2006-2012 in order to get a full picture of the impact of historic cuts, historic tuition increases, and historic student debt over that time frame. The request lists 11 categories broken down into over 25 specific topics the committee would like to hear more about."
  • Student to faculty ratios and funding by number of students. "In particular, these questions will be examined across each campus and system to gauge how students may have been impacted differently based on their specific college and even their specific major."
  • "A breakdown of all administrative positions and their costs at the campus and system levels from 2006-2012, as well as any bonuses paid out to those positions. In addition, he will be looking to see what the MnSCU administrative size is in 2013 compared to the size of the three separate systems that existed prior to merging into the MnSCU system."

The U goes first -- starting its presentation Jan. 28. MnSCU's next.

“Legislative oversight is an on-going duty of the legislature," Pelowski said in a statement. "Before we can determine whether the current budget requests for more state revenue are valid, we have to understand where current and past state revenues have been spent.”

All this is in addition to a report requested by Senate leaders that examines the U's administrative costs. More about that here.
 

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