MARSHALL — Devinder Malhotra is the chancellor of Minnesota State, the system of 26 community and technical colleges and seven state universities that includes Southwest Minnesota State University here in Marshall and Minnesota West Community and Technical College with five campuses and two learning centers in the region.  

With the kick-off of the 2023 legislative session, Chancellor Malhotra is touring the state to build awareness and support for the budget request the system has submitted to the state legislature for the 2024-2025 biennium. Chancellor Malhotra spoke with Marshall Radio News Director Josh Goblish Tuesday morning to promote his request and talk about his statewide tour.  

Chancellor Malhotra is conducting a series of meetings with editorial boards to help Minnesotans gain a better understanding of the Minnesota State Fiscal Year 2024-25 biennial request and the critical impact it stands to have on the well-being of the community. 

“This is actually the second set of meetings I’ve held on this topic. During the run-up to the 2023 legislative session, we held a series of 12 listening sessions across the state to engage campus leaders, stakeholders, and communities on key initiatives to inform the Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget request.” Malhotra said.  

There are three key components in the budget request. The first is student support including funding for a tuition freeze and an expansion of open education resources. This budget request will also focus on workforce and economic development. Chancellor Malhotra said, “We need to address the growth and advancement of Minnesota’s workforce including upgrades of equipment and learning environments, increasing the highly successful workforce development scholarship program, and expanding industry sector programming.” 

Chancellor Malhotra said this request represents a critical investment in future economic vitality and regional prosperity of Minnesota. Malhotra said, “An increase in General Fund revenue is needed to ensure the breadth of academic programs and student services continues to be available to students at the same time that demand and inflationary needs are increasing.”  

The projected budget surplus of $17.6 billion presents a tremendous opportunity to make an investment in higher education, according to Chancellor Malhotra. “This investment in higher education will have a direct impact on our ability to meet student needs as well as workforce needs across Minnesota.