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Closing down the house November 30, 2010

Posted by mareserinitatis in Uncategorized.
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Or the U.

I got an email a couple days ago from University of Minnesota saying they were going to close down as much of the campus as they could over holiday break as a cost saving measure. For those unaware, the university has had a huge budget shortfall because the state has had a huge budget shortfall.

I have to admit that right now, my mind is spinning because of the contrast with NDSU. For years and years while other universities seem to have reasonable funding from the state to put together real stellar programs. In the meantime, NDSU has sort of kept moving, trying to get by with what they have. For many years, most employees of the university were only given standard-of-living raises. (This may have been been state-wide, but I’m not sure.)

A few years ago, the campus started expanding. This is also when all the other universities were expanding because the economy was good. I viewed the expansion at NDSU as something akin to keeping up with the Joneses, but given how far ahead everyone else had gotten, it was going to take a lot to keep up.

Now, however, something odd has happened. Big universities like U of MN are dealing with severe budget shortfalls…and NDSU isn’t. In fact, the state as a whole isn’t. Because of a big oil boom in the western part of the state, there has been a big jump in state income, and the universities are actually getting more than the bare minimum. Not much more, mind you, but it seems to be sustaining some of the growth that occurred over the past couple years.

I guess it’s shocking to me because I thought the only thing that could close a university was some sort of disaster or crisis (like weather or some sort of safety emergency…or flooding).I guess I was wrong…because money, or a lack thereof, can do it, too.

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