Cohodas Project Not Funded

Legislative decisions in Lansing are making it possible for Northern's administration to move forward with budget planning for fiscal year 2006.

“We were able to confirm Monday that the Cohodas renovation project will not be among those that receive capital outlay funding this cycle, but we hope it's considered in one of the two remaining cycles – one for '05 and one for '06,” said NMU President Les Wong of the $14 million priority project. “Now that we know the impact of the executive order and that we don’t need to provide match money for an immediate capital outlay project, we have a little more information we can take into our next level of budget planning for the upcoming year.” 

A university forum to discuss the NMU budget, possible tuition and fee scenarios and the summer construction timeline has been scheduled from 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, in the University Center.

Northern was one of five Michigan universities that did not have capital outlay projects approved. The others were Eastern, Oakland, U-M Dearborn and Lake Superior State. LSSU, however, did receive $160,000 in one-time supplemental funding.

The capital outlay package is part of the FY2005 budget agreement Gov. Jennifer Granholm reached last week with the legislature. The deal also includes an executive order to cut nearly $30 million in higher education appropriations – $803,000 from NMU – with the caveat that universities and community colleges would be first in line to have their funding restored if increased tax revenue is generated between now and the end of the state's fiscal year Sept. 30. Should the struggling economy not recover, higher education's cut would represent one of the largest reductions in the plan to close the budget deficit for FY2005.

Granholm also agreed to drop tuition-restraint language from the FY2006 budget. Universities will not be required to hold increases for the next academic year to 5 percent or less, but Granholm said those that boost tuition above inflation would have to increase financial aid by a proportionate amount.



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Updated: October 26, 2005

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