It is appearing inevitable that Minnesota is headed toward a government shutdown at midnight tonight.Â While this will impact most state agencies, Ridgewater College and the MnSCU system are excited to be staying open.Â
There are tens of thousands of students taking summer courses at MnSCU institutions who will be able to continue their pursuit of higher education without the stress and uncertainty of having to deal with a shutdown.Â There are literally hundreds of thousands of students enrolled to begin courses in August who can count on being able to work with their chosen colleges and universities to prepare for fall semester.
How is this possible? State statute allows MnSCU institutions to carry allocations over from year to year and biennium to biennium.Â Additionally, colleges build fund balances through the collection of tuition receipts.Â Â
The key was an agreement allowing Minnesota Management and Budget to provide access to and processing of those fund balances.Â As was stated in a MnSCU press release: “…operation of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will continue based on its statutory and practical financial autonomy and its balance carry-over authority…The systemâ€™s continued operation through the summer term will be funded through tuition receipts and fund balances at each of the colleges and universities.â€
Therefore,Â Ridgewater will be able to keep the doors open this summer until a new Higher Education appropriations bill is adopted (when the budget is signed). Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.