Posted: November 10, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Highlighting the contribution by the 36 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to the state's economic vitality, Chancellor Morris J. Anderson today announced his support for a budget request calling for a $230.6 million increase over the next two years.

The request, which will be considered by the system's Board of Trustees on Nov. 18, focuses on teaching, technology and tuition stability for students. About one-fourth of the increase would be used to make MnSCU faculty salaries competitive with comparable systems nationwide. The request also includes $40 million to provide up-to-date technology and support to enhance learning opportunities.

Tuition increases would be held to a 3 percent increase per year under the proposal. The two-year request represents an 18.4 percent increase over the current biennial appropriation.

In announcing the request, Chancellor Anderson emphasized the impact Minnesota's State Colleges and Universities have on the state's economy. "For every tax dollar the state spends on MnSCU, Minnesota gets back approximately $4.84 in directing spending, indirect spending and increased productivity," said Chancellor Anderson. "This is a conservative estimate."

"We are confident that the Minnesota Legislature will want to build on the investment it has made in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system," said Michael Vekich, chair of the MnSCU Board of Trustees. "The chancellor's budget recommendation focuses on providing students with the educational opportunities that have made our colleges and universities so important to the people of this state."

Anderson and Vekich made the announcement at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.

Chancellor Anderson said the request includes approximately $85 million to fund cost-of-living increases and competitive salaries for about 20,000 faculty and staff.
"The faculty are, of course, the heart of our teaching mission," said Anderson. "We want to pay salaries that will retain our best teachers and attract the best new teachers to fill positions in highly competitive disciplines."

"Teaching and learning is our business. That's what we do best," Anderson said. "We want to do it even better so we can open the door of opportunity for more Minnesota citizens."

The initiative includes:

  • $10 million to institutions that are spending significantly less per student , to equalize funding levels among institutions
  • $12.5 million to help students stay in school by providing counseling and other support services
  • $1 million to expand K-12 partnerships involving state graduation standards and urban teaching
  • $20 million to expand partnerships with high-growth industries such as telecommunications
  • $14 million to maintain and repair campus buildings

The Legislature also is being asked to prevent the temporary loss of $25.5 million due to a 4.3 percent drop in enrollment caused in part by this year's mandated change to semesters. Like other colleges and universities around the country that have switched from quarters to semesters, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities suffered a drop in enrollment for fall 1998. As students grow accustomed to the early start dates and other changes caused by the semester system, enrollments are expected to recover. MnSCU asks that the Legislature hold its institutions harmless for the temporary enrollment drop.


Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
2000-2001 Biennial Budget Request




Biennial Total


Teaching for Tomorrow
Competitive faculty salaries: Make faculty salaries more competitive in a national market and attract and retain highly skilled and talented new faculty, particularly in competitive fields.


Helping students stay in school: Increase student retention through enhanced career planning and counseling services that are easily accessible to every student. This initiative will help ensure that students know their options and develop an individual plan for success.


Institutional equity: Supplemental funding for institutions that
are spending significantly less per student, to equalize funding levels among institutions.


Building curricula for tomorrow: Revise and develop new
courses and programs as content and needs change. This includes the development of a Bachelor of Applied Science degree to enable technical college graduates to more easily pursue four-year degrees at a state university and improve the credit transfer process.


Partnerships with K-12: Strengthen teacher education programs at state universities by broadening teacher of color programs and urban education opportunities for all teacher education students. Revise MnSCU's general education curriculum and admission standards to reflect the state's
new graduation standards.


Program partnerships with the University of Minnesota:
Assess, identify and offer expanded degree opportunities across Minnesota through joint partnerships with the University of Minnesota.





Technology for Learning

Technology training: Provide faculty with substantially more
continuous access to technology training. Create six regional training centers for instructional development and technical support. Assist students in teacher training programs to develop technological competency and support the Centers for Teaching and Learning.


Networks and infrastructure: Maintain and support computer
networks and infrastructure on and between the state's 53 campuses.


Statewide technology partnership: Continue development of
Minnesota's Virtual University, an electronic partnership spanning MnSCU, the University of Minnesota and Minnesota's private colleges. The Virtual University will serve as a common "front door" for prospective students seeking higher education opportunities. Continue funding for an Internet resource for the public that includes comprehensive education and employment information (known as ISEEK.)





Building Minnesota's Workforce

Industry partnerships: Expand the system's efforts to build
alliances with high growth industries on a state-wide, system-wide level. Current partnerships exist with five industries: software, health care, printing, taconite, precision manufacturing. New partnerships would be established with telecommunications, construction and the selected service industries.


Customized training: Expand the capacity of state colleges and universities to respond to the needs of individual employers for customized, contract training for their employees.


Equipment: Purchase and leverage the acquisition of equipment used for learning in academic and occupational programs. Use funds to leverage donations from industry.


Applied research: Expand the role of state universities in providing research and development assistance primarily to small and mid-size businesses within their regions. (Work in partnership with Minnesota Technology, Inc.)


Quick response to emerging workforce needs: Provide colleges and universities with flexible start-up funds to respond rapidly to a specific need demonstrated by the community or local economy.





A Strong Foundation

Inflationary adjustment: Provide colleges and universities with a base funding increase to cover cost of living increases and the rising costs of goods and services. (Protect students from tuition increases exceeding 3%, retain talented faculty and staff and maintain and build quality.)


Facilities funding: Maintain and repair existing facilities on 53 campuses across the state.





Temporary Enrollment Relief

Protect state college and university students and programs from the effects of a significant enrollment drop caused primarily by the system's conversion to a semester calendar in fall 1998.










(Tuition impact each year at 3%)


Total state appropriation request: