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Minnesota State Mankato examining every option to stay open
In case of possible government shutdown
Staff hopes to keep university open during government shutdown.
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office news release [6/8/2011]
Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport vowed today to support every possible option to keep the university open consistent with Board actions and policies in the event of a Minnesota government shutdown July 1.
“We have more than 5,000 students taking classes this summer, and thousands more students and parents attending orientation sessions in preparation for fall semester classes,” Davenport said. “We have a responsibility to keep our doors open for our students. We will do everything we can to fulfill our obligation.
The summer class term at Minnesota State Mankato started May 16 and ends Friday, July 22. Fall semester classes start Monday, Aug. 22.
Earlier today the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Board of Trustees expressed its commitment to pursue any administrative or other options deemed appropriate to stay open in the event of a government shut down and at the same time prepare for a possible shut down.
Meeting in an emergency session, the board gave its support to Chancellor’s Office contingency planning if remaining open is no longer an option.
“We are optimistic that a budget agreement will be reached before June 30,” said Chancellor James H. McCormick. “But we need to take steps now to prepare for any contingency.”
“Our students could be irreparably harmed if we are forced to shut down, and public higher education would be adversely affected for years,” said Board Chair Scott Thiss. “We cannot ask our students to put their lives on hold until this matter is resolved. They are depending on us to provide programs and services so they can complete their studies and move into the workforce.”
Thousands of students - more than 67,000 - are taking summer classes that will extend at least through July. New and returning students are expecting to enroll and go through orientation sessions.
State law says the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Board of Trustees should “strive to provide uninterrupted service and instruction to students.” “That’s our goal,” McCormick said.
The system is financially able to continue operating through the summer sessions and the fall semester, said Laura King, vice chancellor for finance and administration and chief financial officer. The system is seeking an arrangement with Minnesota Management and Budget that would allow the system access to its existing funds and to continue to operate, King said.
If the system is unable to obtain its cash from the state-run financial systems, the colleges and universities may be forced to shut down effective July 1 if the Legislature and governor do not reach an agreement.
Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university and is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 32 state institutions.