Whitmer budget includes big increase in higher ed funding


The state’s 15 public universities would each receive a 5 percent increase in additional ongoing funding plus another 5 percent one-time increase under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal released Feb. 9.

The recommendation represents the largest single-year increase in operations funding for higher education proposed in  decades.

“The governor’s proposal is a truly significant investment in our state’s people and its future economic vitality,” said Chris Kolb, vice president for government relations.

“Widespread access to higher education — whether at the University of Michigan, another state university, or a community college — helps to ensure that Michiganders reach their full potential and develop the skills and knowledge to be engaged citizens, leaders in their community and successful in their chosen career.”

Whitmer’s budget proposal also sets aside $12.7 million to boost funding to five universities — including UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint — that have historically been funded by the state at a lower per-student rate. The additional money is part of a strategy to raise the “funding floor” at the five schools to $4,500 per student over the next four years.

“Our Board of Regents and leadership on all three campuses have long advocated for greater investment in all 15 of our state’s public, four-year universities,” Kolb said. “This increase in funding would be hugely beneficial to our regional campuses as they carry out their important public missions.”

The governor’s 2022-23 fiscal year budget plan includes $1.85 billion for higher education, or about $44.9 million more in additional university operations funding than the current year.

To receive the additional funding, universities must limit tuition and fee increases to 5 percent, or $722 per student, whichever is greater. The limit is equal to two times the projected rate of inflation.

With the proposed increase in funding, the budget recommendations for the three University of Michigan campuses are:

  • Ann Arbor, $355 million.
  • Dearborn, $30.3 million.
  • Flint, $27 million.

Whitmer’s plan also includes a one-time $141.5 million supplemental funding request for infrastructure, technology, equipment and maintenance costs at universities.

The money, allocated to universities based on enrollment, can be used for physical and technological infrastructure improvements, energy efficiency improvements, modernizing facilities for code compliance, and other needs.

U-M would receive $28.3 million at the Ann Arbor campus, $4 million at the Dearborn campus and $3.4 million at the Flint campus.

The budget, scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, now goes to the Legislature, where it will be considered and ultimately face approval by the House and Senate.


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