When I read this post on MPP, it was difficult for me to not laugh. Here’s the part of MPP’s post that was the source of my laughter:

In recent years, the spiraling cost of tuition has caused concern that the University is no longer fulfilling its mission as a land-grant institution to make higher education available to all residents. Working people need an advocate on the Board of Regents now more than ever. More importantly, they’re entitled to one.

I just perused the U of M Charter, especially pertaining to Regents. There’s nothing in their charter that demands a union representative sit on the board. MPP’s whining in the perfect illustration of their thinking.

What qualifications does a union member bring to the equation that other people can’t bring to the Regents?

The DFL’s sense of entitlement is telling in that they’re indicating that substantive qualifications don’t matter, that identity politics is substantially more important.

That’s nonsense.

This morning, I got a notice that the MNCRs will be holding a rally at the Capitol tomorrow. Here’s the text of their statement:

College Republicans from across the state will join Minnesota Student Association representatives from the Twin Cities, Morris, and Duluth at a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol to support affordable tuition, and more importantly, fiscal sanity at the University of Minnesota.

“We are concerned about the lack of fiscal responsibility being shown by the University Administration, and the legislature must send a message to President-designate Kaler that the University must not balance their budget on the backs of students, blaming only the Minnesota Legislature,” said Tyler Verry, chair of the Minnesota College Republicans.

Citing ever-increasing administrative costs, specifically a study showing 30% increases from 2003-2007 alone at University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Duluth, and Morris, the College Republicans reject the notion that former Governor Tim Pawlenty and the now Republican controlled legislature is at all to blame for the soaring cost of tuition. Administrative increases drastically outpaced the increases in instructional spending during the same time period. The College Republicans believe the University chose to ignore the economic realities of the past several years and increase spending without regard to the fiscal climate in the state.

“Keith Ellison and other DFL legislators and activists will undoubtedly try to blame Minnesota Republicans for the tuition increases,” Verry said, “but the fact remains that administrators across the Minnesota system have exercised zero semblance of fiscal responsibility and continue to pad their paychecks and create more bureaucracy that fails to help educate students. They pay for these spending increases by raising tuition. Cutting spending and slashing unnecessary administrative jobs will allow the University to save money, streamline their operations and keep tuition at its current level.”

The press is invited to cover the protest.

The Board of regents sets policy for the U, including tuition policy and expansion policy. In that respect, they’ve failed students and families because they’ve let tuition costs spiral out of control.

Rather than trusting in an entitlement-based Board of Regents, I’d recommend that qualified people who care about families and students first be impaneled. This bunch certainly doesn’t qualify as caring about families and students first.

Why hasn’t the current Board of Regents, especially with the union member supposedly looking out for the little guy, kept tuitions under control? Is MPP’s assertion more about perception than reality? It appears that way, doesn’t it?

One thing that’s certain is that new blood is needed on the Board. Laura Brod is a fiscal hawk and a reform-minded person. If she’s on the board, she’ll do everything physically possible to insure fiscal responsibility by an out-of-control institution. The policy debates will be exceptionally lively, too.

Laura’s fiscal sanity message and her insistance that costs be kept under control will endear her to Minnesota’s families and U of M’s students.

That’s who the Board really works for, isn’t it?

UPDATE: Andrew Wagner of the MNCRs just emailed to correct me on what I posted. Here’s the text of Andrew’s email:

The event itself is being put on by the Minnesota Student Association as the “Rally to Restore Affordability”, not by the MNCRs.

Thanks for that information, Andrew.

I strongly recommend that anyone living in the Twin Cities to attend the event.

UPDATE II: This needs to be exposed, too:

Candidates for the Board of Regents are recommended to the legislature by a joint meeting of the House and Senate higher education committees. The selection of the Board of Regents has been largely bipartisan….until this year.

In 2007, Gov. Pawlenty recommended 4 people for regent positions. The DFL legislature rejected 3 of Gov. Pawlenty’s 4 recommendations. That was the last year in which the governor recommended regents. Shame on MPP for their slight of hand deception. Their statement should say “The Board of Regents has been largely bipartisan…except when it hasn’t been.”

That the DFL would try floating that lie is disgusting enough. That their media parrots would accept it as Gospel fact says everything about their media enablers’ character.

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