We are extremely fortunate in Minnesota and Wisconsin to have truly first-rate research universities.
Let's just not get complacent about it and drop off our commitment to them. Let's make sure future statewide budget priorities have the elements in place to compete successfully for talented people and resources.
In just-released rankings of "The Top American Research Universities," an annual report from the Lombardi Program on Measuring University Performance, the University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin shine. Both are among the top 25 -- the University of Minnesota at No. 11 and the University of Wisconsin-Madison at No. 14. ...
The big question, of course, is what it takes to sustain a strong research presence year after year. The study provides a short answer: "The advantage in the competition goes to those who have the money today to buy the services of talented people and the equipment and resources needed." ...
In the 2001 session, Gov. Ventura proposed -- and the Minnesota Legislature approved -- a miserly budget. Out of a University of Minnesota request of $221 million, Ventura budgeted $56 million. The Legislature approved a still-miserly $110 million.
The university will have to scale back its investment ambitions, chopping out $54 million in hoped-for new investments in the medical school; in computer and biological sciences; in agriculture, natural resources and rural vitality; in libraries and technology; and in new undergraduate faculty.
For the 2003 session, Minnesota needs new leadership to revitalize the state's commitment to research, teaching and outreach.
A stellar ranking among "The Top American Research Universities" doesn't just happen. It takes long-term commitment.
-- Duluth News Tribune
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