DCTC, other MnSCU institution will be sparedShut down still looming for other government agencies
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
Dakota County Technical College staff, faculty and students breathed a sigh of relief today as it was announced Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will remain open this summer even if other parts of the state government shut down July 1.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s office announced that the system will receive the support needed from Minnesota Management and Budget to continue operations on July 1, even if there is no budget deal.
“We’re appreciative the governor took action,” said Erin Edlund, DCTC communications director.
Last week DCTC issued 100 layoff notices to classified employees in the event of a government shut down. All other employees were warned the school could be shut down if a budget deal wasn’t reached by June 30.
According to a news release the governor’s petition to the state district court said that “operations of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will continue based on its statutory and practical financial autonomy and its balance carry-over authority.”
The press release goes onto say the action means that the Office of Management and Budget will provide payroll and other payment processing for the system. The higher education appropriations bill awaits resolution with other state operating budgets. The system already has statutory authority to use existing tuition and other receipts in the new fiscal year that starts on July 1.
Edlund said the staff at DCTC has been busy with fall enrollment and has stayed focused on the task at hand. Even so, she said, “it’s nice to know the layoff notice on your desk has been rescinded.”
The system’s continued operation through the summer term will be funded through tuition receipts and fund balances at each of the colleges and universities.
“Both the governor and legislature have recognized the critical role that higher education has in fueling the state’s economy and improving the lives of all Minnesotans, and this will be welcome news for our students and our campuses,” said Scott Thiss, chair of the system’s board of trustees.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 277,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 157,000 students in noncredit courses.