A decrease in state funding for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU) has placed this higher education system under a significant threat, Minnesota Public Radio News reports.

Every year, the MnSCU system educates around 400,000 students across Minnesota. There are 37 colleges comprising the system. If these colleges downsize or even shut down completely, a significant number of students and educators will be affected.

What is the probable impact of the funding cuts?

The first scenario that comes to mind after the loss of funding is that campuses will shut down completely. Although this issue has been discussed, nothing definite has been decided. Campuses have been given the summer to consider about the impact that funding cuts will have on each school and then provide feedback on what they think the best strategy might be.

One potential strategy is the merging of campuses. For example, if a course is taught on several different campuses, that class may be ‘streamlined’ so that it is taught by only one, thereby decreasing resources and the number personnel needed to teach the course.

We can expect to hear language like ‘streamlining’ and ‘flexibility’ being used quite frequently in the future, although they may sound appealing to the untrained ear, what these terms conceal is a university system under financial stress.

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