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University of Minnesota Board of Regents approves in-state tuition rates for students eligible under the Minnesota Prosperity Act

July 10, 2013

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents today approved a resolution that extends in-state tuition rates to entering and current students who are Minnesota high school graduates and who meet additional eligibility requirements, regardless of immigration status.

The Board resolution is based on language contained in the new Minnesota Prosperity Act, passed as a part of the 2013 omnibus Higher Education Bill. In addition, the resolution authorizes the University to use private scholarship funding to provide aid to eligible students.

"As a land-grant institution, the University of Minnesota has an obligation to provide college opportunities for qualified students, especially Minnesota's own high school graduates," said Board Chair Richard Beeson. "Today, we aligned the University’s policies with the Minnesota Prosperity Act, which allows us to remove barriers to access for Minnesota students."

"Ensuring equity and diversity are core institutional values at the University," said University President Eric Kaler. "To be an excellent university, the U of M must also be a diverse university that provides access and affordability to all qualified and eligible students. We appreciate the collaboration of our state partners, including MnSCU, the Private College Council, Governor Dayton and state legislators, to help us deliver a world class education to all qualified Minnesota students."

Prosperity Act-eligible students at the U can now also be considered for state higher education aid.

In recognition of the constitutional authority of the Board of Regents to set tuition and to govern the University of Minnesota, the omnibus Higher Education bill asked the Board to adopt a policy implementing the Prosperity Act.

A global U: President Kaler visits China

During his report to the Board, President Kaler highlighted aspects of his highly successful 11-day trip to China, the first international venture in his two-year tenure at the U.

Kaler and other U leaders signed a total of 10 cooperative agreements with China’s most prestigious institutions of higher education and research. In addition, there were a host of meetings with leading education, government and business officials in the region. Alumni gatherings in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei and a meeting with incoming freshmen to the Twin Cities campus and their parents also occurred

The University’s national and international acumen continues to be recognized. While Kaler was in Asia, the highly respected Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities was released, which tabbed the U as the world’s 29th best institution and the ninth-ranked public university in the United States.

"We cannot lose sight of just how strong and respected this institution is around the world, for our teaching, our faculty, our research and the broad and deep impact we have on this state and its peoples’ lives," Kaler told Regents.

For more on Kaler’s trip and the U’s global impact, visit here.

Creating a ‘Culture of Serendipity’

The Board heard for the first time from new Vice President for Research Brian Herman, who discussed innovative methods for advancing the University’s research enterprise to continue to address critical global challenges in an era of stagnating or declining federal funds.

Consistent with President Kaler's charge to lower the barriers to interdisciplinary research and current federal research funding priorities, Herman is striving to create a "culture of serendipity" that transcends the University’s borders. To promote this culture, Herman explained, the University needs to enhance and expand opportunities for researchers to come together across departments and colleges, and with industry colleagues outside the U. The ultimate goal is to bring together the brightest minds to collaborate with – and to challenge – each other to find solutions to critical societal problems and do the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

This confluence of experts from different fields, Herman believes, is the key to tackling the world’s increasingly complex challenges. By leveraging the methodology of researchers from multiple disciplines, new disciplines are created – and with those, new approaches to solving urgent and formidable problems.

Herman also outlined:

  • Continued successes of U faculty and staff in competing for grants;
  • Guidelines to maximize impact of the state’s $36 million dollar investment in the Minnesota Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) program;
  • A new working group within the Itasca Higher Education project that will enhance student entrepreneurship programs and address workforce needs;
  • Plans to enhance the University’s technology commercialization efforts;
  • A possible internal funding mechanism to support successful recruitment and retention of nationally and internationally recognized research faculty;
  • OVPR’s recent expansion of its bridge funding program, designed to provide interim support for research projects that experience a temporary lapse in external funding;
  • Efforts to position the University as the primary contact for local, state and federal officials in all aspects of economic development;
  • Areas where investment is needed to ensure the U’s research infrastructure aligns with its mission.

Student-athletes continue successes

Athletics Director Norwood Teague also presented his comprehensive overview of Gopher Athletics to the Board. Among its accomplishments during the 2012-13 academic and athletic year, Gopher Athletics:

  • Placed a U-record 299 student-athletes on Big Ten All-Academic teams, saw all 25 sports programs report a 3.0 GPA or higher for spring semester and increased its overall student graduation rate to 83 percent;
  • Finished 22nd nationally in the Learfield Director’s Cup standings (fourth in the Big Ten), the measure of program-wide athletic achievement;
  • Completed fiscal year 2013 with a balanced budget, including better than projected ticket sales.

Teague also presented an update on the facilities needs assessment plan for Gopher Athletics that outlines deficiencies and needs in student-athlete training, academic and competition support. The update shared a preliminary list of phase one projects that include an academic center, student-athlete training table, football facilities, women’s gymnastics facility, men’s and women’s basketball practice facility, wrestling facility, outdoor track and an Olympic sport indoor training center.

For more information and to view conceptual images, visit www.gophersports.com.

Other Board activity included:

  • President donates salary increase to student scholarships: During his remarks, Beeson reminded Regents of Kaler’s annual performance review, which was characterized as "stellar," and recommended a salary increase. Kaler thanked the Board for its confidence, but requested that the recommended 3 percent increase be instead invested in access and affordability. The Board unanimously approved a motion that will dedicate $18,000 to the University’s general scholarship fund.
  • Alcohol licenses: The Board approved a resolution to award alcohol licenses to the Les Bolstad Golf Course, Northrop and the University of Minnesota Morris student union. Each entity must now apply to the State of Minnesota for their annual license.

Following Wednesday’s meeting in Minneapolis, Regents departed for Red Wing, Minn. for their annual retreat. The next Board committee and full Board meetings will occur Sept. 12 and 13.

For more information on the Board of Regents, visit www.regents.umn.edu.

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