Sunday, June 22, 2003

The future of higher education in Minnesota 

For those interested in the future of higher education in Minnesota, two pieces of required summer reading appear in today�s Minneapolis StarTribune (free registration now required).

In the first article, former Governor Elmer Andersen (Republican) argues logically that all citizens would benefit if our state�s lead universities (including St. Cloud State University) were divorced from MnSCU and brought under the umbrella of the University of Minnesota. �MnSCU has failed to make of the seven state universities a truly coordinated system,� Andersen said. "They seem to be individualized to regions in the state, allowing for duplication and energy-draining rivalry.�

In a similar vein, even today�s StarTribune�s editorial suggests that duplication should be eliminated �in the four-year institutions at Moorhead, Crookston and Bemidji, or Morris, Marshall and Mankato.�

All too logical for taxpayers, n�est-ce pas? �Au contraire,� can be predicted to be said by MnSCU�s power-hungry minions and the leaders of the unionized faculty of MnSCU�s universities. MnSCU is too busy developing non-quantifiable �strategic planning goals,� and the faculty union is too interested in trying to micro-manage each state university to allow any university president to do more than try to settle all lawsuits (regardless of merit), worry about restructuring (given the rapid exodus of various Deans), rant about visiting teams� politically incorrect logos, and draft platitudinous �Strategic Priority Goals.�