If there’s a message that comes through loud and clear in this op-ed, it’s that Mike Vekich, the current chairman of the MnSCU Board of Trustees, and Dr. Rosenstone, the current chancellor or MnSCU, think MnSCU is underfunded.

That message came through when they said “Our supplemental budget request of $21 million will protect critical programs and the people who deliver those programs on all our campuses, people like faculty and tutors, academic and financial aid advisers, career and mental health counselors.”

It’s disgusting that MnSCU is asking for additional funding, especially in light of the fact that MnSCU was just criticized for spending $617,000 on Dr. Rosenstone’s rebranding initiative. I noted in this post that Brandon Johnson and Gloria Kaul-Kennedy, students within the MnSCU system, openly mocked the rebranding initiative. Ms. Kaul-Kennedy said “The money could be well spent on many other things. The name change will mean nothing to 99.99 percent of the people. Don’t the administrators have other things to spend their expensive time on?” Johnson said “It cost $272,000 for someone to come up with a name they got from a ‘Coach’ rerun?”

That was before it was known that MnSCU had spent another $345,000 on the rebranding effort. That wouldn’t be the final cost of the initiative, though. It’s important this quote from Silence Dogood’s article:

However, the costs are not going to end at $617,000. New signage, stationary, documents, websites, etc. will be needed. Clearly, this will not occur without an additional cost.

Silence is right. Signage, stationery and other documents don’t come free of charge. The simple truth is that MnSCU would be properly funded if MnSCU administrators didn’t spend money this foolishly. The truth is that MnSCU couldn’t spend that money foolishly if the MnSCU Board of Trustees hadn’t just rubberstamped Dr. Rosenstone’s spending requests.

If the MnSCU Board of Trustees won’t pay attention to these things, then they’re utterly worthless. They might as well be disbanded.

Finally, students have noticed that MnSCU isn’t run well. Universities are laying off professors. Morale is sinking. Minnesota is experiencing a brain drain competition, which it’s losing.

Rather than rebranding MnSCU, perhaps Gov. Dayton should consider fixing the problem by hiring competent people to run things.

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