Zoom Party!

The Senate Office knows how to party! Happy birthday to our fearless leader, Vickie!

The 7 Senate Office staff members each in their own frame in a Zoom meeting. Each staff member is wearing a silly hat, and one has a background that reads \

Feature: 2019 State Legislature Watch

Feature: 2019 State Legislature Watch

2019 promises to be another interesting year in the Minnesota legislature. The University of Minnesota community will be especially interested in the University’s biennial budget request, a capital request, and selection of new regents.

In October 2018, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved the University’s biennial budget request and a capital request to the State of Minnesota for the 2019 legislative session. Both requests focus on the University’s core needs in order to maintain excellence and positive impact across the state.

Biennial Budget Request

The University’s biennial budget request totals $30 million in fiscal year 2020 and $27 million in fiscal year 2021 for core mission activities. This reflects a 6.7% increase in base funding from 2018-19 biennium. The requested funds will allow the University to continue serving the state through research, outreach, and the advancement of Minnesota's skilled workforce. This entire request is focused on the core missions of the University with special emphasis on maintaining our excellence through investments in our students, faculty, and staff.

Capital Request

The University’s capital request focuses on funds to be used for facilities improvements and includes a request for $200 million in Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) funds. These dollars will preserve and maintain existing laboratories, research centers, classrooms and outreach spaces across Minnesota. Projects fall into four categories: health, safety, and accessibility; building systems; utility infrastructure; and energy efficiency. The capital request also includes $28 million for the Child Development building replacement on the Twin Cities campus and $4.3 million for the renovation of A.B. Anderson Hall on the Duluth campus.

The president and regents feel these requests are reasonable, sustainable, and strategic to allow the University to maintain high quality faculty and staff, repair critical facility and technology needs, support unit specific needs, and support statewide initiatives.

As employees and students, we can help this happen by encouraging our lawmakers to support this request. State funding represents 17% of the University’s budget and supports our everyday activities. In recent years state support has dwindled, putting added pressure on the University to identify alternate sources of revenue. Without an increased investment from the state for core operations, the Board of Regents will face difficult choices in the year ahead.

Additionally, four of the current regents will reach the end of their current terms in 2019. It is rare for regents to serve more than two terms (each term is six years) which means at least two of these seats are expected to have new occupants in 2019. The positions to be filled include one student at-large position, two at-large positions, and one fifth congressional district position. The Regent Candidate Advisory Council (RCAC) was established by the Minnesota State legislature and is responsible for recruiting, screening and recommending regent candidates to the legislature for election. From the pool of applicants, the RCAC will invite selected candidates for public interviews in early January 2019, and then will submit finalists to the Joint Legislative Committee. The Joint Committee, in turn, makes recommendations of candidates for final approval by a Joint Convention of the legislature. The Joint Convention will then elect regents to fill the vacancies. The application deadline is Friday, November 30, 2018.

The 2019 Minnesota legislature will convene on January 8, 2019, and end no later than May 20, 2019. Starting in January, keep track of updates at the Government and Community Relations website, follow Government Relations and the P&A Senate on Twitter, and sign up for action alerts from UMN Advocates.

U Senate Governance Attends Gopher Football Game

Senate committee chairs and vice chairs, members of the Intercollegiate Atheletics Committee, University Senate Office staff, and their guests enjoyed the September 8th Gopher football game against Fresno State at TCF Bank Stadium. Not only was it a beautiful evening, the Gophers won! Awesome!

Pictured, Noelle Noonan, vice chair, P&A Consultative Committee and her husband _______. Senate Associate Chris Kwapick's son, Henry, pictured behind Noelle and John takes in the football scene.

Pictured, Noelle Noonan, chair-elect, P&A Consultative Committee, and her husband John. Senate Associate Chris Kwapick's son, Henry, pictured behind Noelle and John, takes in the football game.

The Gopher Football field and spectators

Go Gophers!

Marching band performs at Football game

Marching band performs - Wow!

Fill out the Student Senate Off-Campus Housing Survey!

December 20, 2017

Over the course of the past year, the Student Senate Consultative Committee (SSCC) has been meeting with University administrators to discuss the creation of a system-wide survey designed for students who rent off campus. Through funding provided by the University Senate Office, the Minnesota Student Association (MSA), the UMD Student Association (UMDSA), UMR Student Services, and the UMTC Office for Student Affairs (OSA), the SSCC has now launched this survey, the results of which are intended to act as a resource for students seeking off-campus housing by providing direct reviews of apartment complexes, landlords, and/or management companies. By publishing the survey results on the Student Senate webpage, SSCC members hope to provide students on each campus with resources to assist in their housing search.

In Recognition of Becky Hippert

Becky Hippert
As we begin the 2017-18 academic year, those familiar with University Senate governance might notice that a familiar face is missing: After 23 years of service to University Senate governance, Becky Hippert is exploring new territory as a department administrator in the College of Biological Sciences.