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Gov. Dayton signs into law request by U of M to fund tuition freeze, enhance critical research

May 24, 2013

A two-year tuition freeze and increased funding for critical research at the University of Minnesota are now reality, thanks to an investment in the state’s future made by university leaders, Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota State Legislature.

Today Dayton signed into law a budget that appropriates $1.17 billion to the University of Minnesota over the next biennium (FY14-15), including $78.25 million in funding for an undergraduate tuition freeze and the Minnesota Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) program.

"A tuition freeze was the number-one priority in our biennial budget request," said University President Eric Kaler. "We are deeply grateful that legislators and Governor Dayton have worked to make it happen. This is an exciting and important day for Minnesota students, their families and the state."

In his first two-year budget request as the U’s leader, Kaler sought to strengthen the state’s partnership with the university to keep tuition affordable and education accessible to qualified Minnesota students of all economic backgrounds. A $42.6 million investment will freeze tuition for Minnesota resident undergraduates for two years (the 2014-15 biennium). Approximate tuition savings for incoming freshmen during the biennium on the Twin Cities, Morris and Duluth campuses is $2,500, while Crookston students are expected to save $2,100.

"Minnesota’s elected leaders and its only land-grant research university have come together to improve access for Minnesota students and invest in future economic vitality," Kaler said. "This level of support will allow us to educate and prepare the workforce of tomorrow, while advancing industry and driving innovation through research and outreach. We are appreciative of legislators and Governor Dayton for their support of Minnesota students and the University of Minnesota."

An additional $35.65 million is designated for MnDRIVE, a two-year investment in scientific advances that will enhance the state’s economy and improve the health and well-being of Minnesota’s citizens. The four targeted program areas align U research strengths with the state’s needs and emerging industries: food production, defense and protection; robotics; water quality issues; and neuromodulation, a growing area in the medical device industry that addresses brain disorders from Alzheimer’s disease to addiction.

Five percent of the fiscal year 2015 appropriation is contingent upon the university meeting at least three of the five following accountability metrics:

  • Increase by at least 1 percent the Twin Cities undergraduate four-, five- or six-year graduation rate, averaged over three years, for low-income students reported in fall 2014 over fall 2012 (2012 average calculated from fall 2010, 2011 and 2012 rates);
  • Increase by at least 3 percent the total number of undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees, averaged over three years, conferred on the Twin Cities campus reported from FY2014 over FY2012 (2012 average calculated from fall 2010, 2011 and 2012 numbers);
  • Increase by at least 1 percent the four-, five- or six-year graduation rate, averaged over three years, in the University of Minnesota system reported in fall 2014 over fall 2012 (2012 average calculated from fall 2010, 2011 and 2012 rates);
  • Decrease administrative costs by $15 million for FY2014;
  • Increase invention disclosures by 3 percent for FY2014 over FY2013.

For more information on the University of Minnesota’s 2014-15 biennial budget request, visit z.umn.edu/1415request.

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