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Friday, June 5, 2015

Campus Budget Update

Dear Campus Community,

I hope you are enjoying the start to your summer.  I wanted to provide an update on the University of Minnesota budget situation and how it will impact UMD. 

On Friday, May 22, Governor Mark Dayton signed the higher education bill into law.  The law provides $30 million in new funding to the University of Minnesota Medical School, $22.2 million for operating costs to enable some tuition relief and $1 million for Alzheimer's disease research.  View the final comparison of proposals this session for University budget funding.

State funds like these from the Legislature are one of several sources that contribute to building UMD’s budget.  While we have not received the final UMD budget allocation numbers, we do have preliminary numbers.  Once again, we find ourselves in a stronger financial position now than where we were a year ago.  However, we still have work to do in order to clear the deficit and balance our budget. 

A few of the key highlights for the UMD FY16 budget allocation include:

  • $500,000 in recurring additional support provided by the system for our campus to use toward the structural imbalance.
  • $1.6 million recurring money to fund a partial tuition freeze, meaning UMD can expect to see a 1.5% tuition increase in fall 2015.
  • $922,000 in additional recurring funding to fund the job family study, fringe simplification and athletic scholarships.
  • $100,000 non-recurring increase in funding for Glensheen Mansion for FY16.

In addition, we received $2.4 million in one-time funding for:

  • $1.9 million for the Strategic Enrollment Management initiatives.
  • $500,000 in operating budget support to lessen the impact of budget reductions.

In the end, I am very pleased to tell you that we are very close to eliminating our structural budget deficit, which is now down to $3.2 million as we begin FY16.  This is a marked improvement from a $6 million deficit last year and the $12 million deficit we faced two years ago.  This has been achieved through a combination of internal budget reductions, increased revenue and additional support from the system.  We continue to make academic quality a primary focus as we solve our budget challenges. 

I want to thank the campus community for working together to find creative ways to operate more effectively.  This has not been easy and we still have hard work ahead of us, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Early in the fall semester, I will finalize the best strategies for resolving the remainder of our budget structural imbalance.  Before final decisions are made, I will seek advice from the academic deans, my senior leadership team, the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee, and other governance groups.  I also want to thank President Kaler and his staff for engaging our campus community in discussion and partnering with us to address the budget challenges.

The University of Minnesota budget will be discussed in a public forum on June 12 at 12:30 p.m in the McNamara Alumni Center on the Twin Cities campus.  For information on how to submit written comments and watch the livestream, click here.  The budget will then move to the Board of Regents for final approval on June 24.


Lendley C. Black

Chancellor's Office
University of Minnesota Duluth
515 Darland Administration Building
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
218.726.6535 (fax)