Capital investment committees tour Minneapolis projects
Over the last few weeks, both the House and Senate capital investment committees toured projects at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. First, the legislators toured Tate Laboratory, where Dean Steven Crouch and Professor Ron Poling explained how the University would use state investment to renovate the building’s obsolete labs and antiquated classrooms into vibrant, flexible spaces. Next, the committees were shown Mechanical Engineering to learn about the potential value of Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) funding. Dr. Uwe Kortshagen, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, showed legislators examples of how HEAPR funding will dramatically improve students’ learning environments. The tour also included a preview of Northrop Memorial Auditorium to demonstrate the outcomes of HEAPR funding.
Earlier this fall, the capital investment committees visited U of M Duluth and U of M Crookston to learn about capital request projects on those campuses. The committees plan to tour U of M Twin Cities again in February to learn about request projects on the St. Paul campus.
Kaler meets with MMB to discuss capital request
On November 8, President Kaler, Vice President of University Services Pam Wheelock, and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter met with Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner Jim Schowalter and State Budget Director Margaret Kelley to discuss the University’s capital investment requests. The meeting offered President Kaler and MMB officials an opportunity to discuss the benefits of the University’s 2014 capital request. In addition, MMB officials learned more about how the University prioritizes its list of projects through a six-year planning process.
MMB is the state agency that assists the governor in developing his capital budget priorities for the 2014 legislative session. The governor will submit his capital recommendations to the Legislature by January 15.
2014 capital request materials now online
As the 2014 legislative session approaches, the University is calling for all students, alumni, faculty, and staff to become informed on the 2014 capital request. PDF summaries of each of the six projects, as well as an overview document, can be found on the Office of Government and Community Relations capital request webpage.
Advocacy is a critical component of securing funding in the legislative process, but it is only effective when efforts are well informed and aligned. We hope that you will take time over the next couple of months to become familiar with these materials and look for more information on the Legislative Briefing in February.
Board of Regents passes 2014 capital request
On October 11, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents voted to approve President Kaler's proposed capital request plan for the 2014 legislative session. The request includes six projects: Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR); Tate Science and Teaching Renovation; Microbial Sciences Research Building; Crookston Wellness Center; Laboratory Improvement Fund; and Duluth Chemistry and Material Sciences. Governor Dayton will make his bonding bill project recommendations by January 15, and the Minnesota Legislature will begin to hold committee hearings on projects when it reconvenes on February 25, 2014.
Federal and state legislative staff tour TC campus
On September 17, the Office of Government and Community Relations gave state and federal legislative staffers a tour of the Twin Cities campus. Both DFL and GOP caucus staff members, as well as staff from nonpartisan offices, attended the daylong event. The tours and presentations were offered as an opportunity to learn more about the U and the important research and studies currently happening.
The day kicked off with a tour of the recently dedicated Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building. The building demonstrated to the staff the importance of state bonding dollars to attract world-class researchers and the importance of conducting groundbreaking research. Next, staff learned about the Stem Cell Institute, the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, and the National Center for Inter-professional Practice and Education. Then they toured the Bentson Communities Innovation Center Nurse Simulation Lab and the Dental School Simulation Center, where they practiced hands-on dental care.
After lunch, the group headed to St. Paul and visited the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, where they learned about the important role the facility plays to ensure both animal and human health in the state. Next, they learned about research in the biosciences and its real-world applications that are being developed at the BioTechnology Institute. Then Dr. Mark Seely shared with the group data about climate change and its long-term affects in Minnesota. The day finished with visits to research plots on soybeans and turf grass.
Senate committee tour concludes; four U campuses visited
The Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee visited the Crookston, Duluth, Rochester, and Twin Cities campuses as a part of its statewide tour of 17 higher education institutions. The goal of the tour was to help committee members better understand, and see first-hand, the needs of students and families across our state. At each U of M campus, the committee met with the chancellor, toured the campus, and held an open forum for students to express concerns, ask questions, and offer ideas for changes in the higher education system.
2014 Capital Request tours are underway
Pending approval by the Board of Regents in October, the University of Minnesota will seek funding from the Minnesota Legislature for six capital request projects: Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR); renovation of the Tate science and teaching building; a new St. Paul microbiology research building; renovation of the Crookston Wellness Center; laboratory improvements; and a new Duluth chemistry and material sciences building. Last week, two staff members from Governor Mark Dayton’s office toured projects on University’s Twin Cities campus and listened to projects presentations from the Duluth and Crookston campuses. Yesterday, Office of Higher Education Director Larry Pogemiller, Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter, Minnesota Management and Budget Assistant Commissioner Margaret Kelly, and several s Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner staff members received similar tours and presentations.
Both visits began with two Google Hangout presentations; Crookston Chancellor Fred Wood gave an overview of the proposed Crookston Wellness Center, and Duluth Chancellor Lendley Black presented on the proposed Duluth chemistry and material sciences building. After the video chat presentations, Dean Robert Elde from the College of Biological Sciences presented the proposed microbial sciences research building to the governor’s staff.
From there, the governor’s staff received a tour of Tate Laboratory, the site of the proposed sciences and teaching renovation project. They also toured the Mechanical Engineering Building, which would receive funding for renovation from the requested Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) appropriation. The tour also highlighted the new Physics and Nanotechnology Building, which received funding from the legislature and governor in 2011.
The second half of the tour took place on the St. Paul campus. This provided a great opportunity for the governor’s staff to see the conditions of the Engineering and Fisheries Lab and the Bee Lab. Both of these labs and the St. Paul greenhouse would benefit from the proposed laboratory improvement project. The tour also included a visit to the Andrew Boss Laboratory, which would receive much needed renovations through HEAPR funding.
Due to time limitations, the tour did not include all the projects that would benefit from HEAPR funding. More tours are being scheduled this fall for legislative committees.
Support the U at the State Fair
The Support the U legislative advocacy network just wrapped up a successful appearance at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair. Support the U hosted a booth, staffed by student volunteers, during the five busiest days of the fair.
The, "Be a Fan, Get a Fan" promotion drew large crowds of people to the Support the U booth. The fan’s eye-catching design and the high temperatures contributed to strong demand. One thousand fans were given out each day, and hundreds of people signed up to become Support the U network members.
Senate Higher Ed Committee begins listening tour
State Senator Terri Bonoff, chair of the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee, has launched a listening tour of college campuses throughout Minnesota to receive input from students and related communities on higher education issues. Senator Bonoff, as well as a handful of other legislators, will be visiting nearly 20 college campuses, including four University of Minnesota campuses. Yesterday, Senator Bonoff and Senator Clausen visited the Duluth campus.