U Of M: Cone Of Silence For DFLers?

So last Wednesday, the entire State Legislature attended a “Policy Conference” at the U of M.

Check out the notice. ┬áIt’s “closed to the public”.

Inquiries to the U’s public relations contact were – is this surprising to anyone? – not returned.

This follows close on the heels of an event in September at the U with Governor Dayton; Dayton’s performance appeared addled – but the U of M didn’t videotape the speech (citing “expense”), and the media in attendance embargoed their own video of Dayton’s performance.

I’m not as clear on open meeting laws as I should be, but I have to wonder: has the U become a handy place for the DFL to skirt open meeting laws?


16 thoughts on “U Of M: Cone Of Silence For DFLers?

  1. Mitch-
    Give the guv a pass this time. He’s just had back surgery. Pain and pain-killers can addle anybody.

  2. What public officials do during public hours in a public institution funded by public dollars is no business of the public. Go away, peasant; your betters are talking.

  3. What Nate said: we will have no scrutiny of the tenured Twittermeister or anything else that goes on at U.

  4. The entire legislature, including the GOP caucus? If so, just contact a Republican representative or Senator.

    If not; Houston, we have a problem.

  5. An article from the recent past says:


    “One hurdle: The system’s chief financial officer, Richard Pfutzenreuter III, says that while he can track the cost of heating a particular floor of a building or of serving a cafeteria meal, he can’t specify elements of the hierarchy such as how many people report to each manager. The human-resources system doesn’t track such chain-of-command information, he said, because “it wasn’t a priority in the past.” ”

    They don’t even track their own people because “it wasn’t a priority in the past”. Houston, we have more problems than we can count, apparently.

  6. We are so screwed. Congratulations, Minnesota. That strange sensation pushing into your nether regions is the DFL. Get used to it.

  7. Any time ONE party is in control of everything the cries go out for Bi Partisanship.. Why? Cause they know all blame for unpopular decisions will fall solely on them ..

  8. I’m still on the UofM alumni email list (even though I don’t give them any money…at $25,000 a year for grad school, I have given enough to them). I received this email this week:

    Dear Fellow Alumni,

    You may have read or heard about articles recently published in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Star Tribune about the University’s business operations. I want you to know I take this very seriously, and if you missed it on Sunday, January 6, here’s my detailed response to the Star Tribune.

    These articles didn’t fully illuminate the tireless commitment we have to keep tuition in check, student debt lower, administrative costs down, and to provide an exceptional education for our students. And they didn’t place tuition increases in the context of a stunning $140 million reduction in annual support from the state of Minnesota over the past five years.

    If you’d like to learn more, I’ve posted an extensive fact sheet on my website. Our Operational Excellence successes can also be found here.

    I assure you that I am working every day to enhance the reputation of the U, increase the value of our degrees, and ensure that the University of Minnesota remains great.

    Thank you.


    Eric W. Kaler, Ph.D. ’82

  9. I recall my undergrad days at a state school in Wisconsin, and a business professor talking about all the bloted waste in the UW system. How even at that campus, you could get rid of a ton of expense in the administrative building.

    And I always question majors. Why are the taxpayers subsidizing “…….studies” majors? If you want a bullshit victim major, go to Macalester.

  10. Keep various costs down?

    What was Kaler’s annual salary again? And how does it compare to the salary of the guy before him?

  11. “..the tireless commitment we have to keep tuition in check, student debt lower, administrative costs down, and to provide an exceptional education for our students.”

    What a steaming pile of BS, sheesh. Evidently Kaler doesn’t have as much regard for the intelligence of the alumni as he says.

    And I’d be remiss not to mention that while anectodal (or is it?), given the caliber of some of the teaching (Gleason, Meyers et al.) and support (Eva Young) staff is best measured in units of thorazine administered I think some serious house cleaning is in order.

  12. My son just completed his 4 years at the U of MN. I have to say that I saw very little quality education going on in that period.

  13. Cone of silence? Get used to it. With one-party rule, you’ll see an epidemic of secrecy. I would ask where the media is in this process, but we all know – they’re at the buffet enjoying their complimentary DFL offerings.

  14. Yes, the U of M is a way to skirt the state’s open metting laws. The U of M pre-dates the state of Minnesota, so they’re not beholden to [some] of the state’s legal requirements for operation. If I remember correctly, there was a MN Supreme Court case dealing with open-meeting laws where the U’s ability to have closed meetings was affirmed because the U’s charter happened before the MN Constituion was ratified. I’m not 100% sure on that though. I do know the U is allowed to have closed meetings, it was something that came up a lot when I was an undergrad.

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