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Hanson Replies to Student’s Official Response

Maki Presents Latest Budget Data

Dallas Steffen | Staff Writer | 03/30/2011

The BSU Student Association met with President Hanson on March 23 to hear his reply to their recalibration response, discuss the status of the university budget and the new tobacco policy.
President Hanson began by praising the student response, saying, “The observations made by students were insightful.  The document was well received and written in its communication.”

Hanson listed possible compromises and options that may be given to students.  He said they, “may include continuing to reach into the community for adjunct professors; looking into creative ways to provide programs like cross-disciplinary three-year baccalaureate programs or combinations of departments; finding ways to increase our commitment to university access; extending teach-outs to graduate issues; developing ongoing management of Title IX issues; dealing with student transportation issues; and most importantly, continue to work and communicate appropriately and efficiently with the official representatives of the students, the Student [Association].”

When asked about the possible tasks, Hanson added, “Some of them are really easy.  We look for adjunct professors all the time.  Implementing something like a baccalaureate program is harder.”

While discussing the possibility of three-year baccalaureate programs, Hanson said, “We’re going to run a pilot program or two in the fall and really test them.”

Hanson continued, sharing his personal thoughts on the recalibration.

“This is one of the most difficult situations I have ever been involved in,” he said. “The result I think is going to be very good.  The best result of all is your growth as leaders on this campus.  We have started a very good series of things.”

Hanson, despite looking ahead, has not forgotten the discomfort students have about recalibration.

“There was pain involved,” he recognized. “There still is, but we are continuing to improve the model.  You had a great hand in it.  I thank you for that.”

Hanson also complimented students and said, “Our students are well-served by this group of student leaders.”

Bill Maki, BSU’s Vice President of Finance and Administration, also spoke to the senate, sharing the latest budget information.  According to Maki, fall enrollment rose 5 percent last fall, which affected the budget.

“The budget remains balanced with a 4 percent operating reserve and a $400,000 surplus.  The surplus gives flexibility as we move into the 2012-13 year.”

Maki also believes grants will not be reduced, saying, “State grants appear to be safe from cuts.  Financial aid is a priority of our legislators and Governor Dayton.”

Despite the positive reports, Maki expects tuition to “rise 3 or 4 percent for this coming semester.”  He also believes there will be less work-study positions available next semester.

“Cutting work-study has been easier than cutting grants for students,” said Maki. “But cutting work-study is contradictory to reducing student debt.”