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Updated 2:30 PM September 19, 2005




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Coleman: State funding a decrease, not increase

A compromise state budget plan agreed upon by the governor and Michigan lawmakers last week represents another cut in funding for the Ann Arbor campus, President Mary Sue Coleman told the Board of Regents Sept. 15.

"Although there seem to be different interpretations of the numbers out there, there is a clear bottom line: the appropriation for the Ann Arbor campus in Fiscal Year 06 will be $4.3 million less than the appropriation enacted in Fiscal Year 05: from $320.6 million last year to $316.3 million for this year."

State leaders have been touting the current plan as an increase for the state's 15 public colleges and universities, but Coleman said that is a matter of interpretation. The amount is slightly greater than the actual dollars universities received last year after a mid-year cut and partial restoration of the previous year's reduction, but the bottom line total is less than what was budgeted one year ago.

"Any way you slice it, it is a cut to the Ann Arbor campus," she said. "This is about what we expected and what we planned for in the University budgeting process this year."

Under this funding plan, the state's appropriation to the Ann Arbor campus has decreased $47 million since FY 2002. In addition, the state has imposed nearly $21 million in one-time cuts. Although the latest proposal is $2 million more than Gov. Jennifer Granholm originally proposed, Coleman said it represents a continual trend of reduced support for the state's educational institutions.

"Of course, my hope is that there will be some progress toward more predictable and robust levels of support in the future," she said. "This continues to be a challenging situation."

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