Fiscal Year 2007 budget and tuition
July 21, 2006
Today’s agenda includes a request to approve the University budget for the upcoming year.
We’ve all been pleased by the state Legislature’s plans to increase the University’s appropriation by 3 percent. This is a strong investment for taxpayers—one that will provide numerous returns—and we appreciate the support of the governor and Legislature.
Still, we are playing catch-up to past cuts in state funding. I am proud of the way our campus community has responded in finding ways to reduce costs, while maintaining quality and efficiency for our students, patients and patrons.
The budget being presented today reflects more than $18 million in cost-cutting. These cost reductions include greater efficiency of energy, renegotiated contracts with vendors, and changes in purchasing.
The budget also includes new money for several important initiatives. First and foremost is the recruitment and retention of faculty. We absolutely must find and keep the brightest minds in higher education—our students and our state deserve nothing less. To help make this happen, I am directing $7.1 million be used by the Provost’s Office and LS&A for a special faculty recruitment and retention fund. Complementing this new fund will be moderate salary increases for staff and faculty throughout the University.
We have funding for several new academic initiatives in this budget, including an exciting new undergraduate degree program in the Ford School of Public Policy; our Energy Research Initiative led by Dr. Levi Thompson; the Graham Institute of Environmental Sustainability that draws on the strengths of seven schools and colleges.
For our students, the budget includes a modest tuition increase. The average tuition increase for all undergraduate students is 5.8 percent. At the same time, we are raising our financial aid by 6.6 percent. The University remains steadfast in our commitment to providing financial aid. We are continuing our M-PACT program, we have a new program for students transferring from community colleges, and all of our schools and colleges offer financial aid.
I want to be especially clear about this to our in-state students and their families: financial aid is available to you. We are firm about our guarantee of providing aid to any qualified resident of Michigan in need of support, and that continues with this budget.