The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees voted on December 14 to seek a 20% increase in its budget from the state in Fiscal Year 2013. This is an unusually large request, but is exactly the sort of bold move PHENOM has been advocating for a long time. The needs on our campuses are many and they are very pressing — financial aid for students at risk of incurring untenable debt, funding for staff and faculty union contracts, a huge deferred maintenance backlog, student support programs, restoring the number of full-time faculty, and so on. The Department of Higher Education has submitted a more modest budget proposal for the community colleges and state universities that represents a 5% increase from last year (plus funding for union contracts).
PHENOM looks forward to a massive, coordinated, advocacy campaign over the next few months. SAVE THE DATE: MARCH 7, 2012 has been tentatively selected by a coalition of groups for a coordinated Lobby Day at the State House. Details to follow.
UMass President Caret says this request is part of the university’s goal of returning to a 50-50 split in funding between the state and students, which he says is the norm nationwide. Just 10 years ago, the state funded 63 percent.