Budget issues again curb July Fourth celebration at MSUM
Minnesota's budget woes will again force a tempering of Minnesota State University Moorhead's traditional Fourth of July celebration. In 2009, the university hosted its annual summertime party, but it cut back on some activities offered in the pa...
Minnesota's budget woes will again force a tempering of Minnesota State University Moorhead's traditional Fourth of July celebration.
In 2009, the university hosted its annual summertime party, but it cut back on some activities offered in the past, an austerity move prompted by the state's tight budget.
MSUM President Edna Szymanski told a campus audience in August she expected the 2010 Fourth of July celebration would reinstate much of what was cut out of last year's event.
But this week, she said continued fiscal worries demand continued frugality.
"We're really trying to do an event that we think is going to be very good for the community while at the same time not putting resources at risk during a time of uncertainty," Szymanski said.
MSUM has so far weathered the state's financial crisis without resorting to layoffs, something other education institutions in Minnesota have had to do, Szymanski said.
"I continue to follow a conservative approach in order to protect our people, our programs and the services we provide our students," Szymanski said, adding that MSUM still has much to celebrate, including growing enrollment numbers.
In years prior to 2009, the cost of the annual Fourth of July celebration at MSUM was in the neighborhood of $100,000.
Revenues included $10,000 from MSUM's general fund and $25,000 to $30,000 from fundraising efforts.
The cost of last year's Fourth of July event was about $30,000, according to Jean Hollaar, MSUM interim vice president for finance and administration.
The scaled-back activities saved MSUM the $10,000 it usually spent out of its general fund, and it cut down on overtime costs as well as the time staff had to spend helping set up and clean up after the Fourth, Hollaar said.
It was important, she said, to take some pressure off a work force stretched thin by a hiring freeze.
"We are not staffed at the level we would like to be," she said, adding that the priority of MSUM staff is to meet the school's core mission of education.
MSUM events on the Fourth
Minnesota State University Moorhead will host a Fourth of July celebration this year as it always does, but like last year's activities, it will be scaled back due to the state's tight budget.
The following is a listing of some events:
8 a.m. - 10K run and kids Firecracker Trot; for more information or a registration form, contact Mark Rice at email@example.com or call (218) 477-2062.
10:30 p.m. (approximately) - Fireworks. For more information, visit www.mnstate.edu/july4/indexmain.html .
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555