The U is also proposing a new $18 million economic development fund called MNDrive that would bolster research in robotics, global food supply and treatment of brain conditions.
Creating some kind of incentive for the Board of Regents to keep tuition down makes sense and is needed with today’s students incurring thousands of dollars in debt. Accountability is something the Legislature — members of both parties — should require more and more of with public funding of any institution.
The U plan offers operational savings as well. Going forward, the U should make sure it includes education strategies that don’t require bricks and mortar, but rather, deliver services online and through other technologies.
In areas of economic development the Legislature and the U should make sure new proposals do not duplicate efforts already underway, especially the ones in the MnSCU system.
Overall, the proposal is a good start in offering a new approach to developing a state partnership that gives taxpayers maximum return on their investment in the university.