by Jeff Wilfahrt
Oct 29, 2015, 1:00 PM

UofM – once known for research, now a sport’s lawsuit magnet

There is probably not a specific moment in time when the transition occurred, that being the transition away from pure research at the University of Minnesota.

These days the U is typically in the paper because of some athletic or administrative misdoing. Teague et al, ‘nuf said. Swiggum the double dipper, ‘nuf said.

Not much about a research facilities, lots about the “need” for an athletic compound, a kind of training base, because otherwise well…. we obviously don’t prize athletics enough.

The U is in the throws of defiling ~5,000 acres of agricultural research land in Rosemount. Maybe research on food crops is considered passe when you can turn a buck on sand excavation and fanciful notions of a new “Jonathan” sustainable community.

No point using flat land for solar research or wind or anything but paving it over and putting up housing.

This week Jerry Kill resigned. Himself a player when young he has developed a late life epilepsy. Kill’s condition may be a result of his own participation in the game he loves so dearly.

And while his emotional and moving announcement stirs one deeply, do not forget his life as a coach has probably exposed many young men to a late life prospect he now faces. That would require research.

The U seems to have lost focus on its real mission. Tuitions are out of sight and each year the U is back at the legislature with outstretched palms.

Yet we never really hear about the impact of those monies, what we get is negative press about the athletic programs, unless there occurs a win of course. And all this after large sums are spent recruiting these stellar coaching staffs.

These financial resupplies never seem to combat the tuition cost. Time was most any Minnesotan wanting to attend the U’s General College need merely apply and turn over a modest tuition. Not so any longer.

The U is a great institution. And as it true with most things its emphasis on mission over time may wax and wane.

Perhaps the Board of Regents would do well to consider some elbow grease and work on the academic angle and get back into the waxing phase. It may mean a top down preening.


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