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U of M Alumni Association conducts first-ever state legislative candidate survey to help inform voters

October 1, 2012

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) today announced the results of its first-ever state legislative survey asking candidates about their positions on investing in higher education. Topics covered were state support of the U of M, research restrictions, funding of medical education and state funding levels for asset preservation.

The UMAA is not endorsing candidates, but conducted the survey to help alumni and friends of the university make informed decisions when they vote. The four-question survey was sent via e-mail from UMAA National Board Chair Kent Horsager to 396 legislative candidates. UMAA received 104 responses, a return rate of more than 26 percent.

Of the 104 responses received, 87 were submitted by DFL candidates, 12 by GOP candidates, 3 by Independence Party candidates and 2 by members of other parties. Twenty-eight incumbent legislators responded, 4 GOP and 24 DFL. Seven districts had responses from both major party candidates - Senate districts 21, 25 and 64 and House districts 25B, 50A, 56B and 60A. Responses received were overwhelmingly positive in their support for the University of Minnesota:

  • 94 percent favor increased state financial support for higher education;
  • 88 percent oppose additional research restrictions;
  • 93 percent support funding for the clinical training of health professionals;
  • 91 percent support capital investment in the university.

Candidates provided additional comments that may also be helpful to voters. Many provided caveats about the state budget projections for the upcoming session, emphasizing that any additional funds for the U of M have to be considered in the context of the entire state budget. Other comments ranged from the need to train more health care providers for rural Minnesota to comments about the importance of the U to the economic health of our state.

Full legislative survey results can be found at www.MinnesotaAlumni.org/2012CandidateSurvey.

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association is a nearly 60,000-member organization that fosters a lifelong spirit of belonging and pride by connecting alumni, students and friends to the University of Minnesota and each other. The Alumni Association advocates for the university and its alumni with a credible, independent and collaborative voice. For more information, visit www.MinnesotaAlumni.org.

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