As a public university, UMM receives its funding from state allocation, tuition and fees, and endowments. The teacher education budget supports the teaching, scholarship, and service activities of its faculty.
The general operating budget for teacher education in fiscal 2009 is $18,858 which supports membership in state and national professional organizations, travel for professional work, and the purchase of office supplies and materials. The disciplines of elementary education and secondary education each are allocated $1866 for support of classroom instruction. Student teaching is allocated $7320 and provides an honorarium to cooperating teachers and travel expenses for supervisors. Teacher education receives an equitable budget allocation based on the number of students served and credit hours generated. The teacher education budget is modest but provides adequate support for the preparation of candidates.
Teacher education has continued to be well supported with technology. Tenured faculty received new laptop computers in 2008 and all faculty have been updated with new desk top computers on a three year rotation that is part of the institution’s system for computer replacement. The library continues to meet our requests for print and non-print teaching and research materials.Teacher education continues to have strong financial support to provide diverse teaching experiences for candidates. UMM provides a budget for both international and domestic school placements through an agreement with the Continuing Education and Regional Program office. Student tuition partially supports our Chicago, El Paso, Twin Cities, and international options.
The UMM TEP is a full participant in alumni fund raising which annually awards scholarships to education students on the basis of academic achievement. In 2007, we used money from the UMM Alumni fund and a donation from the UMM TEP faculty member who was the recipient of the Alumni Teaching Award to support the first UMM Teacher Education Alumni Conference. We hope that funds will allow us to hold a conference every other year.
The University of Minnesota, Morris, has faced difficult financial circumstances since the last review as a result of a downturn in the state and national economy and a decrease in tuition revenue as a result of lower enrollments. Teacher education has shared the responsibility of ensuring institutional and program viability. Changes in teacher education, similar to those in the other divisions, include permanent reductions in the general budget in fiscal 2003 and 2005 and a one-year reduction in 2007. Since our last review, two part-time faculty positions were eliminated, and another part-time position was reduced. One tenure line position is currently filled as a one-semester position. The University of Minnesota system imposed a reduction on travel, conference fees and expenses, and food expenditures. During the academic year 2002-2003 faculty salaries were frozen, a staff support position was reduced to 50% for two months and to 75% for the remainder of the year, and a teacher education faculty member returned 12 days of salary to the university to assist in balancing the budget, an option available to all faculty and staff.
A permanent reduction in the operating budget, along with increased costs of goods and services, has impacted the teacher education program. Increased costs of travel in this rural part of Minnesota have impacted our school visits for support and evaluation during candidate field placements. A minimum of four observations by university supervisors is still supported, and additional visits are supported if needed.