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Finally, an explanation for why the president of the University of Minnesota…

… makes such an enormous salary.

It’s a tough job, presiding over a university’s decline, but someone’s got to do it.

Margaret Soltan, February 22, 2009 3:47AM
Posted in: the university

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5 Responses to “Finally, an explanation for why the president of the University of Minnesota…”

  1. tzvee Says:

    The U has the nicest students in the world. Period.

  2. V. Says:

    What’s stunning is that the op-ed doesn’t mention any of the really ruinous behavior, just some meaningless-ish results. He’ presided over two strikes, a squandering of capital, and a deterioration of relations between the administration and graduate students, who have become bitter and even openly hostile toward them. Bruinicks dismantled the General College, which had served Minnesotans superbly for decades, because it attracted students from traditionally disadvantaged educational backgrounds, which was hardly in keeping with his vision of the THIRD BEST PUBLIC RESEARCH UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA. And while it’s shameful to hear a university president engineer an entire university strategy predicated on a completely deranged view of what a university is, if you’re going to make your arbitrary ranking the measure of your quality as an institution, you gotta pay the choir.

    Or as they say over in Medieval Studies, live by the sword, die by the sword.

  3. Michael McNabb Says:


    May 2006 state legislature approves $137 million in bonds for new football stadium with President of U of M as Chief Cheerleader

    May 2006 President and Regents pledge to raise $150 million for new stadium (bringing the total cost, with interest on state bonds, to $330 million for a facility that will be used for six games each year)

    May 2006 state legislature slashes University request for bonds to maintain and to renovate existing academic facilities from $80 million to $30 million

    May 2008 state legislature again slashes University request for bonds to maintain and to renovate existing academic facilities from $100 million to $35 million

    January 2009 governor’s proposed budget cuts $185 million from the University budget for operating expenses

    February 2009 President decides to cut costs by terminating Graduate School and shifting all its functions to the individual colleges (a decision made in secret and without following the administrative policies of the University)

    February 2009 Chair of the Board of Regents declares that the Regents have no authority regarding termination of Graduate School (Article II of the Bylaws of the Board vests the authority to govern the University in the Regents.)

    February 2009 virtually all of the existing and retired Regents Professors sign petition asking for reconsideration of decision on Graduate School

    February 2009 President politely tells Regents Professors to go fly a kite

    September 2009 new football stadium opens; academic infrastructure continues to crumble

    Michael W. McNabb
    University of Minnesota B.A. 1971; J.D. 1974

  4. Bonzo Says:

    The enormous salary link is to an outstanding piece by a U of M grad. Just as a reminder, OurCEO’s compensation this year is: $733,421.
    current quagmire at the U of M. Improving our abysmal graduation rate is crucial. And OurCEO’s feeble claims that they are, indeed, improving is not helpful unless he acknowledges that our baseline – less than 30% – is pitiful.

    Would you rather send your kids to Wisconsin, where the graduation rate is 80%, or Penn State where it is 85%, or the U where it is 61%? These are the latest numbers from Kiplinger. Incidentally, the average undergraduate debt – when students do graduate – is $25K at the U and at Wisconsin, $21K. That $25K number is an average; many of my students graduate with a debt load in the neighborhood of $35K. This influences career choices because some of them are recent immigrants with a low tolerance for debt.

    What IS going on here?

    We have a train wreck on our hands and it is about time to do something about it. "Ambitious aspirations to be one of the top three research universities in the world [sic]" is an inappropriate goal given the fact that we are a land grant institution whose first priority should be to educate Minnesota citizens at an affordable cost.

    Bill Gleason, University of Minnesota graduate and faculty member

  5. Thursday, March 1, 2012 – The Periodic Table | The Impact Public Relations Says:

    […] Soltan, Unversity Diaries <![CDATA[ […]

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