Posted: December 8, 2005

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will request $31.5 million from the Legislature in 2006 to fund a global educational and training initiative, expanded biosciences programs, critical infrastructure and security technologies, and unanticipated fuel costs.

The supplemental budget request was approved this week by the Board of Trustees.

"Minnesota needs to be a part of the changing global education market," said Board Chairman Robert Hoffman, who was on the governor's recent trade mission. "After participating in the trade mission to China, the delegation from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities sees a real urgency to strengthen programs and ties with China and other countries."

"We must ensure our curriculum is globally relevant and that our students have the knowledge and skills to compete internationally," Hoffman said.

The $3.5 million global initiative would help build the system's capacity to teach the Chinese language, history and culture and to develop exchange programs for students and faculty. The initiative also would position the system to become the global leader in customized training for programs such as aviation management and repair, automotive technology, home health care and manufacturing.

The budget request also includes:

  • $3 million to expand program capacity in biosciences. This investment would fund programs to build the skilled labor force that industry leaders say is essential for the bioscience industry to fulfill its promise as an economic engine for the state.
  • $15 million for critical technology infrastructure and security technologies. Significant growth and demand for academic, administrative and student services delivered online have severely strained the system's network, hardware and software infrastructure. Ongoing developments and new technology standards require this investment to ensure a secure technological environment for student and staff records and services.
  • $10 million for significant fuel cost increases. Due to recent national and global conditions, the colleges and universities are experiencing higher-than-anticipated costs for utilities and fuel.

View supplemental budget request (PDF)