NMU President Holds Budget Meeting

Michigan’s Public 15 universities have had to endure 8 straight years of state funding cuts.

The next fiscal year will be the 9th in a row.

After that long stretch, NMU’s president says the time for easy budget solutions on campus is long gone.

He held a meeting with the campus community this afternoon in Jamrich Hall.

Governor Rick Snyder has proposed an 18% to 23% funding cut for each Michigan Public 15 campus.

NMU’s appropriation cut for fiscal 2012 is 19.7%.

It will be 15% instead if the school can keep tuition increases within a certain threshold.

But 15% would still be a huge amount.

Dr. Wong says it would be about $6.75 million, which is the cost of educating about 520 NMU students and amounts to 85 to 100 full-time jobs.

That funding cut would be a permanent loss.

He says the school isn’t about to stop educating several hundred students or lay off all those employees.

Dr. Wong says he can’t issue a lock-tight guarantee, but he says it’s his goal to keep everyone currently employed at NMU working.

Governor Snyder has not given any indication yet of what fiscal 2013 will look like.

But Dr. Wong says it will likely involve some sort of funding formula for all of the Public 15 to follow.

He says he’s not opposed to a funding formula, but he hopes Governor Snyder uses one that’s equitable to both urban campuses and more rural ones like NMU.

He says it’s long been known that when a state has one funding formula to cover the campuses of both rural and urban public universities, the urban schools always have an advantage.

Dr. Wong says when he and the other Public 15 presidents recently met the governor, they asked him if they could set individual formulas for each campus.

He asked them all for proposals.

Now all 15 are working on those.