ST. PAUL (AP) - Students, faculty and administrators are urging Gov. Mark Dayton to stand firm against deep cuts in Minnesota higher education.

Dayton held a round table discussion on the effects of proposed higher education cuts Wednesday at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. The Democratic governor is proposing smaller cuts in higher education than the Republican-controlled Legislature.

University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks calls the House and Senate budgets "a race to the bottom" and "a recipe to cut economic growth in Minnesota."

Metropolitan State President Sue Hammersmith says students have been dealing with soaring tuition and schools are faced with eliminating academic programs.

Dayton says the cuts would have "terrible consequences" and that hearing from those who would be affected strengthened his resolve.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)