(As prepared for delivery)
On our agenda this month are the annual budget presentations for the university.
All of the deans, executive officers and their teams have focused on strategic investments that enhance the mission of our great university.
This year’s budget proposal will serve the people of our state and the U-M community by driving our cherished values of academic excellence, affordability, societal impact, and support of our students and employees.
Our budget includes key items that we have developed with the leadership of the Regents, and with input from members of our community, our generous private supporters, and advocates for change.
Our budget identifies and funds many of the priorities we share.
Our budget invests in the academic and research programs that make us the top U.S. public university in the world, as I just mentioned.
Our budget increases the minimum wage for all permanent university employees to $15 an hour.
Our budget increases support of students on all three of our campuses, and Chancellors Dutta and Grasso will share more details shortly for Flint and Dearborn.
For Ann Arbor, because of our investment in need-based financial aid, more than a quarter of our in-state undergraduate students will pay no tuition. And about 65 percent will not see an increase in what they pay for tuition.
And finally, our budget supports the families of our state and the academic excellence of our students by promising that outstanding students who work hard in their studies will be able to afford a Michigan education – on all three of our campuses.
The University of Michigan will provide resources to extend the Go Blue Guarantee to high-achieving in-state students on our Flint and Dearborn campuses. This will support the important goals of access, affordability and graduation for the campuses – and for the state we serve.
The expanded Go Blue Guarantee for free tuition begins this fall. It will apply to new, transfer and returning students, with the same income and asset thresholds on all three campuses, and it will not change the financial aid provided to any Ann Arbor student.
Overall, the basic criteria for Dearborn and Flint are eligibility for in-state tuition, family incomes of $65,000 or less and assets below $50,000.
Developed in consultation with the campus chancellors, the Guarantee will provide free in-state undergraduate tuition for up to four years for eligible full-time students with incoming GPAs of 3.5 or higher, with current students needing a 3.0 GPA. Each campus will determine eligibility for the Guarantee within those broader criteria, with more details to be made available in the weeks ahead.
Flint and Dearborn already invest significant resources in need-based financial aid, which will continue. Ann Arbor will provide the extra resources necessary to launch the expanded Go Blue Guarantee. We commit to this funding for at least six years, and the Guarantee will be a focus of our fundraising in the years ahead.
Our donors and philanthropic partners are eager to support the Guarantee.
Already the commitments include a $1 million grant by the Flint-based Charles Stewart Mott Foundation for U-M Flint students, and a lead gift from Kathy and Jim Hackett for U-M Dearborn students. Jim, of course, is a U-M alumnus and former president and CEO of Ford Motor Company.
I thank the many individuals in our community whose passion and commitment to affordability have helped us achieve this moment in the great history of the University of Michigan.
I have said on many occasions that the states with the most college graduates are the most successful – economically and intellectually.
U-M’s Go Blue Guarantee will create greater opportunities for prosperity and academic excellence statewide – for our communities, families and businesses.
And for our students who aspire to a University of Michigan education, work hard, aim high, and Go Blue.