to Move Quickly on EO
the Marquette stop on her statewide tour addressing the budget
crisis, Gov. Jennifer Granholm stressed two words for entities
that rely on state funding: “Cut now! Cut now!” She told a
studio audience at Public TV-13 last week that everything
is going to be impacted; it’s just a matter of how much.
is pictured with NMU pre-law students from the political science
department who fielded call-in questions during the broadcast.
have to move quickly to negotiate an executive order with
the legislature,” Granholm said. “The cuts have to come right
away, which means there has to be an agreement before the
holiday break …. My inclination is to preserve the safety
net programs for the disadvantaged and eliminate scholarships
that are not based on need, even though I fully recognize
that universities are the economic engines of the state.”
the forum was televised, Granholm showed a series of slides
to members of the studio audience. She asked them to use instant
polling devices to vote for which areas they would cut first
at various spending thresholds. In the $30 million to $70
million category, 76 percent of the audience targeted private
college scholarships, for a savings of $65 million.
the over-$100 million category, 62 percent favored eliminating
the Merit/MEAP scholarships, worth about $130 million; 19
percent of the audience favored a sample across-the-board
cut of 6.5 percent in public university funding, which would
save $114 million; 14 percent indicated they would reduce
local revenue sharing; and only 5 percent voted to touch Medicare.
Council Works on Reduction Plan
before the governor issued advice to “cut now” during her
televised forum, the NMU President’s Council had embarked
on a $4.6 million budget-reduction plan to offset an impending
executive order. The goal is to complete a recommendation
by the end of November and present it to the university community
before taking it to the NMU Board of Trustees for consideration
at its Dec. 11-12 meeting.
President’s Council is composed of deans, vice presidents,
associate vice presidents, Distinguished Faculty Award recipients,
and representatives from the Academic Senate, ASNMU, and areas
that fall under the president’s division. The group previously
held two meetings per month, but given its recent charge,
is meeting weekly for two to four hours.
to Address Budget, Other Topics
next university forum will be held at 3
p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in the Michigan Room
of the University Center . Topics include an update on the
state budget situation; the projected timeline for campus
cost-saving measures; enrollment; facilities; and a response
to the inaugural State of the Public Universities Address
(see below left).