Governor recommends 2 percent higher-ed funding increase


Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday recommended a 2 percent bump in higher education funding for Michigan’s 15 public universities for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The recommended increase would bring total operating funds for state universities to more than $1.5 billion, exceeding the 2011 funding level by $39.1 million.

The governor’s plan would also restore funding for the Ann Arbor campus to levels prior to his 15 percent cut to higher education in 2011.

The budget recommendations for the three U-M campuses are:

• Ann Arbor, $320.8 million, up 2 percent.

• Dearborn, $26.1 million, up 2.6 percent.

• Flint, $23.6 million, up 2.3 percent.

Cynthia Wilbanks, vice president for government relations, said she was pleased that the governor’s recommendation restored funding to the Ann Arbor campus to pre-2011 levels.

Both the Dearborn and Flint campuses also exceed their pre-2011 level of funding.

“Investing in higher education provides greater opportunities to our residents and is absolutely critical for our state’s continued economic growth,” Wilbanks said. “We look forward to working with our representatives in the state House and Senate as this budget process proceeds.”

As in prior years, half of the funding increase is contingent upon meeting certain performance metrics including weighted undergraduate completions in critical skills areas, research expenditures, six-year graduation rates, total completions, administrative costs as a percentage of core expenditures, and the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants designed to assist low-income students.

To receive new funding under the recommendation, universities will be expected to limit tuition increases to 3.8 percent, or double the expected level of inflation.

Statewide the recommended funding increases range from 3.1 percent at Oakland University to 1.5 percent at Lake Superior State University. The proposal also includes a 2 percent funding increase, or about $1.3 million more, for Michigan State University AgBioResearch and Extension.

The budget now goes to the state Legislature, where it could be amended, and ultimately will face approval by the House and Senate.


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