Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a 2023-24 budget that provides Michigan’s public universities with significant increases in operational funding and additional support to enhance existing facilities, infrastructure, technology and campus security.
The $2.3 billion higher education budget includes a 5% increase in operating funds for each of the state’s 15 public universities, including the Ann Arbor campus, UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint.
Whitmer signed the spending plan July 20, after the Legislature approved it June 28.
“Our leaders in Lansing know that investing in higher education is a proven strategy to boost our state’s prosperity today and into the future,” said Chris Kolb, vice president for government relations.
“With additional support, we are better able to carry out our public mission of developing the next generation of leaders and citizens, and making new discoveries that propel our state and country forward.”
UM-Dearborn will receive an additional $1.7 million from the second year of a three-year plan to phase in a $4,500-per-student funding floor at five universities that have historically been funded by the state at a lower rate. UM-Flint has surpassed the floor funding.
Under the spending plan, the Ann Arbor campus will receive a total appropriation of $356.6 million, a 5.1% increase. UM-Dearborn will receive $31.2 million, an 11.1% increase. UM-Flint will receive $26.4 million, a 5% increase.
The full appropriations are contingent on in-state undergraduate tuition increases of no more than 4.5% or $676, whichever is greater. Tuition increases for 2023-24 on all three campuses are below that level.
The spending plan also includes $79 million in so-called Infrastructure, Technology, Equipment, Maintenance and Safety — or ITEMS — funding for the upcoming fiscal year. The one-time supplemental funding is meant to assist public universities with improving existing facilities, infrastructure and technology; addressing deferred maintenance across campuses; and extending the lifespan of these important public spaces.
Funding is allocated to institutions based on enrollment and would not be distributed until January 2024. Universities that receive a capital outlay project authorization by Dec. 15, 2023, would not be eligible to receive ITEMS funding.
Legislators also agreed to allocate an additional $50 million toward funding for Michigan Achievement Scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to eligible in-state students who graduate high school or achieve an equivalency certificate in 2023 or after, and attend an eligible Michigan public university, community college, tribal college or independent nonprofit college or university full-time.
The increase would bring total funding for the scholarship program to $300 million for the 2023-24 fiscal year.
(NOTE: This story has been updated from its original version to indicate Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed the budget.)