Gov. Rick Snyder’s fiscal year 2013 executive budget proposal, unveiled Thursday, begins to restore the state’s investment in higher education. The amount of new money allocated to public universities would vary according to a new performance formula based on four metrics: increased degree completion; increased degree completion in the “critical skill areas” of science, technology, engineering and math (known as STEM) and health care; serving Pell-eligible students; and exercising tuition restraint with increases of no more than 4 percent.
If NMU receives the full performance funding identified in the proposal, it would amount to $1.3 million, or 3.4 percent above the current state appropriation of $38.4 million.
After viewing the governor’s budget presentation, NMU President Les Wong said, “We welcome the governor’s effort to begin reinvesting in education and higher education. With this show of support from the state, it makes it much easier for the university to plan more thoughtfully and strategically how to improve services to our students, the community and the state. Of course, we need to study the details to know how the governor’s four factors for the additional 3 percent funding apply to Northern, but we’re excited about the attitude of investing in education. That’s a very positive starting point.”
This is the first step in the legislative budget process. The state’s fiscal year begins Oct. 1.