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Gov. Snyder aims to restore higher ed funding to 2011 levels

February 9, 2016

Gov. Rick Snyder wants lawmakers to pump an additional $61.2 million into Michigan's public universities, an increase designed to restore funding levels to 2011, the year before he took office. The increase amounts to a 4.3 percent raise. Half of the increase will go across the board to all universities and the other half will be added to performance funding for the universities. In addition, the budget recommendation will set the tuition increase cap for next year at 4.8 percent. That's up from last year's cap of 3.2 percent. Like in previous years, not every university will get a straight 4.3 percent increase. Instead, universities will be measured against performance standards in the following areas: weighted undergraduate completions in critical skills areas, research expenditures, 6-year graduation rates, total completions, administrative costs as a percentage of core expenditures and the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants.

Wayne State University would get the smallest percentage increase, at 3.5 percent. Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson has said the current funding set-up penalizes Wayne State for doing heavy research while having a more open enrollment policy. “We are delighted that the governor is investing in higher education," Wilson said in a statement. "This is very welcome news, especially for students. However, this is the fifth consecutive year that Wayne State would receive the lowest percentage funding increase of Michigan's 15 public universities. The current metrics funding model penalizes Wayne State by inappropriately comparing us to other research intensive universities nationally that do not share Wayne State's urban mission to serve at-risk students. The continued use of this ill-conceived metrics funding model is systematically disadvantaging the state's only public, urban research university."