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Minnesota State officials seek more than $300 million in state support

Comprised of 30 state colleges and seven state universities, Minnesota State serves more than 340,000 students at 54 campuses across the state.

Campus responsiveness and campus stabilization is the core of what system leaders seek in additional funding this session.

The $60 million supplemental budget request would, they say, “maintain existing access and affordability for students and provide support for students in areas of critical need.” And it includes a tuition freeze for some students.

A $292.9 million capital investment request — $245.3 million in state financing and $47.6 million in system support — aims largely to protect current system assets, repurpose space and replace outdated structures with modern ones to better meet student demand.

“Funding Minnesota State infrastructure needs and additional allocations for campus and student support, the Legislature is ensuring enhanced access and higher success for all students,” Chancellor Devinder Malhotra told the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee Wednesday. No action was taken.

“Last session we asked for what was needed, which was $120 million in new funding to support our campuses and directly support our students’ critical needs,” said Roger Moe, a member of the system’s Board of Trustees. “But there was a gap in the funding received.”

Campus support comprises half of the $60 million supplemental budget request, while $25 million would allow the system to incorporate an undergraduate tuition freeze for the 2022-23 academic year.

“These funds would be utilized in lieu of a potential tuition increase of 3.5%,” said Bill Maki, vice chancellor for finance and facilities.

Workforce development, mental health resources and providing ongoing student access to a statewide basic needs comprise the remaining $5 million.

Brian Yolitz, the system’s vice chancellor for facilities, estimates a $2.5 billion need in asset preservation, including building system components exceeding their useful life, over the next decade.

Of this year’s capital investment ask, $150 million is sought to fund nearly 70 asset preservation projects.

“The balance is to fund specific design and/or construction work for 20 individual projects,” he said. “Ten of these fund the construction of design work that was provided in funding in prior sessions or fully fund design and construction of campus projects. The other half will fund design now in preparation for construction funding requests in the future.”

Minnesota State’s presentation came a day after University of Minnesota officials put forth their $935 million bonding and fiscal year 2023 supplemental budget request.

“This seems like a very reasonable ask,” said Rep. Marion O'Neill (R-Maple Lake).

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