At a speach at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, I once heard a Harvard professor talk about how it was great that Harvard had a big endowment even in the tough economic times, but for the nation to continue to lead the world in innovation, the larger university system had to be well funded as well. This is true for the nation, as well as for the state. It’s nice that we have a large University of Minnesota system that has locations in more of the larger cities in the state, but if we continue to cut funding to the state university system, the economic engine in many of these communties is going to take a hit.
The St. Cloud Area Economic Development Partnership, Inc., a public-private membership organization knows the importance of institutions like SCSU, especially with the solid business programs at the school. From the partnership’s site:
Business-related programs at St. Cloud State University abound. The University is home to the nationally accredited G.R. Herberger College of Business, which offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in disciplines such as accounting, finance, marketing, and general business administration. In addition, the College of Business also directs the Harold Anderson Entrepreneurial Center, which reaches out to those involved in start-up enterprises, owners of developing businesses, or those who have been in business for awhile but need specialized help. Beyond business, SCSU provides more than 70 major fields of study, from computer science and engineering programs to social/physical sciences and humanities and education programs. SCSU offers traditional day programs as well as evening and customized options.
Despite the important role the school plays in the community St. Cloud State, like MSU-Moorhead, is a part of the $50 million dollar unallotment that Tim Pawlenty handed down to these schools that make up an essential economic and educational network throughout the state. St. Cloud State expects to be about $2 million short for their 2011 budget, and with the mess Tim Pawlenty is leaving behind, the budgets of schools like St. Cloud could face even bigger problems. These are the things that make our state grow, and they’re being put in jeopardy. We’ll have some stories later on how these cuts are impacting some students to go along with this big picture budget take.