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MnSCU Board of Trustees approves budget request to Legislature

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees approved a recommendation from Chancellor James H. McCormick Nov. 17 that the board request $630 million annually from the state in 2012 and 2013.

The request is the amount set by the Legislature as the base last session.

"The request recognizes the state's difficult economic situation," Scott Thiss, who chairs the Board of Trustees, said in a press release. "By funding the request, the Legislature would help us hold down tuition increases and give more Minnesotans a chance to gain the skills and knowledge they need in today's job market."

In the press release, McCormick stated, "Employers in every region of the state depend on (MnSCU) to prepare and maintain a skilled workforce, increase employee productivity and promote new business growth. In the near future, this state simply must have more college graduates to remain globally competitive. To do this, we are working hard to recruit, retain and graduate more students but we must have adequate resources."

Eighty percent of the system's graduates remain in the state.

The request amounts to a $49.7 million increase and would provide funding to preserve quality in instructional and student support services, provide 21st century equipment in classrooms and laboratories, invest in systemic efficiency improvements and sustain cutting-edge workforce development programs.

Currently, the system receives less state support than it did in fiscal year 2002. The system has experienced a 25 percent enrollment increase in recent years, placing tremendous pressures on faculty and student services.