Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Set Reasonable Goals

by Tom Bozzo

Here's the lede from a Saturday Star Tribune article on things afoot at the U:
University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks on Friday unveiled "the most sweeping recommendations" to come out during his long tenure there -- changes that will affect "every facet of academic life." The goal: to become one of the top three research universities in the world. [Emphasis added.]
What will affect "every facet" of life at the U and turn it into Harvard on the Mississippi? Reorganization of the U's colleges, which is expected to save as much as $20 million over the next four years and make the institution "leaner" and "better functioning."

Prediction: Bruininks will be disappointed by the outcome.

Belated hat tip: Oscar's incomparable motto.
More Johns Hopkins than Harvard.

I've known Christy Maziar for over 35 years; I'd never bet against her.

The budget and desires of the Minnesota legislature is another issue.
IIRC, the Minnesota legislature recently voted the U of MN system an extra $100M or so for the upcoming biennium, but I'd agree that whether Pawlentyism survives the '06 election remains the central question.

There being considerable political pressure to put the brakes on U tuition increases, I'd expect any savings to be clawed back via either remission of tuition increases or state appropriations. So I don't see any money behind the program. Whether U administration could be sufficiently dysfunctional to lead to wonders from the pure reorganization effect, I don't know.

I do like the Honors College idea, though.
He sure doesn't seem to know about playing the expectations game.

(And I've always liked your epigraph, too!)
I have to agree.
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