Success at the Capitol

Your advocacy paid off. 

By the close of the 2017 legislative session in May, the Minnesota Legislature had appropriated $1.3 billion to the University of Minnesota for FY18–19, providing $54.62 million in new funding for the biennium that includes $14 million for health training restoration and $4 million for MnDRIVE cancer research. 

The health training allocation restored funding for two U of M health programs formerly funded by UCare: family medicine and community health residencies, which educate future family physicians and provide care to underserved communities, and the Mobile Dental Clinic, which provides preventive and primary dental care in underserved communities statewide. 

The MnDRIVE funding improves statewide access to cancer prevention and treatment clinical trials.

In addition, the Legislature signed into law a capital investment bill that includes funding for a new Health Sciences Education Center on the U of M’s East Bank campus to replace more than 100,000 square feet of outdated facilities. It will incorporate active-learning classrooms, simulation centers, a technology-rich health sciences library and learning commons, and spaces for student services and amenities — providing opportunities for interdisciplinary learning across all health science professional schools at the U.

The state funds 10 percent of the Medical School’s budget, and without that support, the University could not adequately provide needed health care services, train our medical professionals, or help the state flourish and innovate. Many people — including cancer survivors, physicians, students, researchers, alumni, chancellors, and regents — wrote more than 30 op-eds and letters that were published in 24 different Minnesota newspapers in support of state funding for the University. To all those who gave their time and energy to advocating on the University’s behalf, thank you!  

Published on October 18, 2017

(Lead image courtesy of Perkins + Will and Slam)

Web extra

Rendering of a conference room

See more renderings of the new Health Sciences Education Center and view the construction timeline at