Central Michigan University will receive a 2.2 percent funding increase under the state budget adopted Tuesday, less than what it expected to receive earlier this year.
University officials anticipated a 3.8 percent increase in February after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recommended a budget that included a 3 percent increase in funding for higher education. The $146 billion bill, passed by the House on Friday and Senate on Tuesday, includes $1.4 billion for public universities.
“The 3.8 percent estimate came from the governor’s budget recommendation,” said Vice President for Development and External Relations Kathy Wilbur. “After that, both the House and Senate do their own review and make their own recommendations.”
The House number was a just over four percent, Wilbur said, while Senate was around 2.7 percent for CMU. In the end, they negotiated a compromise of 2.2 percent.
Wilbur, however, said state appropriations are not finalized yet due to a tuition restraint incentive that has been implemented, encouraging universities not to exceed a four percent increase in tuition rates at risk of losing funding.
“The numbers released will not be our final number, because there is still $9 million that has been set aside for the tuition restraint incentive,” she said. “While CMU already announced our tuition increase, other schools are unknown. We will receive funding from the $9 million, but that won’t be decided until all tuition rates are set.”
CMU announced a 1.96 percent undergraduate tuition increase in April. Although the amount of state funding to CMU is lower than the 8.2 percent projected for Saginaw Valley State University or 7.6 percent projected for the University of Michigan-Flint, Wilbur is supportive of the metrics-based system used.
“I think that’s a very unbiased and appropriate way to determine the allocation of state funds,” she said. “In terms of the metrics selected, each metric impacts each campus differently, but there are aspects such as a six-year graduation rate that apply equally to all universities.”
During the April Board of Trustees meeting, University President George Ross said students should not worry about tuition rates increasing due to the state appropriations being lower than expected.
“The state appropriation is only one-time funding,” Wilbur said. “It’s not in our base revenue, so we haven’t built programs based on additional dollars that we may or may not receive. The administration would consider how best to utilize one-time dollars, regardless what the percentage restoration is.”
Until other schools determine tuition rates, the state budget is at a standstill.
“We’re in a waiting game at this point,” Wilbur said. “The budget isn’t over, and won’t be over for a few months.”