Executive Budget Calls for 3.2 Percent Cut
The executive budget released last week by Gov. Jennifer Granholm calls for reductions in state funding for all university operations for fiscal year 2010 and a proposed tuition freeze. For NMU, the 3.2 percent cut would amount to $1.5 million.
“It’s helpful to have a number to work with at this point, but it is early in the state budget process and things can change before the higher education bill is signed,” said Gavin Leach (Finance and Administration). “Another state revenue estimating conference is scheduled for May. The revenue estimating conference, along with the budget being further along in the legislative process, will give us a better indication of whether the 3.2 percent will hold and by then we will know more of any potential impact the federal stimulus dollars could have on the budget. In the meantime, we continue to move forward with our budget planning process on campus to be proactive in planning for potential reductions in state funding."
Complicating the proposed decrease in state support is a projected 3 percent increase in NMU operational expenses for contractual agreements, utilities and other budget items. These obligations would add up to $2 million to the total reduction. There is also uncertainty about how the economic picture and any rippling effect from the auto industry might impact enrollment.
Leach said it is premature to discuss tuition until state funding details are firmed up. Another element of the governor’s executive budget is consolidating most state financial aid funding into two basic programs: the merit-based Michigan Promise Grants; and the need-based Michigan College Access Grants. For full budget details, visit Executive Proposal.