U of M President Designates Funds to Eliminate UMD Debt

U of M President Joan Gable has designated funding to eliminate UMD's sequestered debt. U of M President Joan Gable has designated funding to eliminate UMD's sequestered debt. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Created: December 13, 2019 04:26 PM

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel has designated funding to eliminate UMD's sequestered debt.

The announcement comes a week after UMD announced plans to reduce its budget by $5.2 million to address a recurring structural imbalance.  The changes include merging the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Fine Arts.

In a letter Friday, Gabel called UMD's actions "difficult but necessary" and said the U of M System will support the university's efforts by contributing $6.8 million over the next two years to eliminate its debt.  The action will not stop UMD's budget cuts, but will eliminate debt built up over the last few years.

"We need UMD to be successful and believe strongly that this investment will help the UMD community move forward," Gabel wrote in a letter to university officials.

Gabel said eliminating the debt would allow UMD to focus on the future.  Chancellor Lendley Black, who was out of town attending the Board of Regents meeting Friday, issued a statement saying he is extremely pleased with Gabel's commitment.

"It is clear that she recognizes the difficult budgetary decisions we have made at UMD to balance our recurring [operation and maintenance] expenses and revenues. The sequestered deficit is the negative balance which has accumulated over the years, because of the annual structural imbalances of our O&M budget," Black said.

Black said the changes announced last week will eliminate UMD's structural imbalance by the end of fiscal year 2021, coinciding with the elimination of the sequestered debt under the funding announced by Gabel.

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