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The regents seal

Regents approve budgets, hear UMD and UMR updates

Brief, June 14, 2006

The University's annual operating budget and capital improvement budget for fiscal year 2007 were approved by the Board of Regents at its monthly meeting Friday at the McNamara Alumni Center on the Twin Cities campus. The fiscal year 2006-07 operating budget is $2.8 billion and the capital budget for fiscal year 2007 is $526.5 million, which includes a stadium on the Twin Cities campus.

Tuition for 2006-07 will increase at a systemwide average of 6.5 percent. Rates for most resident undergraduates will be $8,563 at the Twin Cities campus; $7,208, Crookston; $8,580, Duluth; and $9,695, Morris. The increases are the lowest in recent years.

The regents recognized Sam Schuman, who will step down as chancellor of the Morris campus on June 30 after 11 years of service, and former U president Kenneth Keller, who was named president emeritus. Keller served as president from 1984 to 1988 and is currently the Charles M. Denny Jr. Professor of Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

Campus updates

During the board's Educational Planning and Policy Committee meeting on Thursday, regents heard campus reports and strategic positioning updates from Kathryn Martin, chancellor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD), and David Carl, provost of the University of Minnesota, Rochester (UMR).

Duluth: Martin reported that total enrollment at UMD was 10,202 in fall 2005--up nearly 3,000 students from 1997--and that the freshman class target size has stabilized at 2,100 students. She noted that the profile of UMD students continues to rise; the average ACT score increased from 23 to 25 in the last year, and 300 incoming students were from the top 10 percent of their high school class. UMD is continuing to offer Best of Class scholarships, worth about $4,500, to students who ranked first or second in their class.

UMD's strategic planning effort is the continuation of a process begun there in 1995, said Martin. A steering committee and nine subcommittees have been dedicated to the task, and goals and objectives will be finalized by winter.

Some goals put forth by the Undergraduate Subcommittee include building on current strengths in academic programs (and considering the feasibility of new programs) and increasing the quality of the undergraduate experience and retention and graduation rates. Other issues of concern, Martin said, include resource allocation, maintaining federal and state support for research activity, and addressing economic development needs of northeastern Minnesota.

Rochester: UMR currently offers opportunities for students in 35 baccalaureate, master's, doctoral, and licensure and certificate programs, Carl reported. The number of UMR students has increased to 447 in spring 2006--a growth of 57 percent since spring 2001--and the credit-hour production has increased by 121 percent during the past five years.

Carl said that UMR's strategic direction calls for it to be a distinctive branch of the University of Minnesota that utilizes the resources of the other campuses to provide quality academic programming, research, and public engagement with emphasis in health sciences, technology, and related fields.

UMR is strengthened by its location in southeastern Minnesota, Carl said. The region is home to about 100 high technology businesses, with the Mayo Clinic, IBM, and more than 30 high-tech businesses in Rochester. The U is partnering with business leaders to define its role in advancing the education, science, and application of related initiatives.

Future programming emphases include a new Center for Allied Health Programs being planned under the leadership of the Academic Health Center; technology, biosciences, and engineering collaborations; and a technology commercialization office.

Carl also noted that additional financial resources will be necessary as UMR continues to grow. Student enrollment now exceeds facility capacity. UMR will be seeking new space downtown, close to the Mayo Clinic.

Other business

Also on Thursday, during a work session of the entire Board of Regents, U officials announced architects for a new on-campus football stadium.

The next meeting of the board will be one day only, July 12, followed by a retreat, July 13-14.

See also "Regents meet over tuition and tenure" for a report of discussion on tuition at the board's May meeting.

Rick Moore, Mark Cassutt, and Gayla Marty contributed to this article.