EMU takes budgetary action to navigate uncertain economic conditions
YPSILANTI - The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents today approved a university budget for 2007-08 that includes significant budget cuts and keeps its tuition and fees increase to 8 percent.
While tuition by itself will increase 9.5 percent, when considered in concert with no increase in mandatory fees, the total cost to students is 8 percent.
“The budget challenge continues to be the biggest problem for the state and higher education in Michigan. The state faces general economic difficulty and increasing unemployment while higher education faces increasing costs and declining state appropriations,” said Janice M. Stroh, vice president for business and finance at EMU. “This is a very difficult situation and there are no easy answers, but EMU is doing everything it can to maintain its high quality of education while remaining competitive with other institutions. This budget is balanced and the University’s financial condition remains stable.”
Stroh said EMU’s budget plan balances the impact of a tuition increase with a reduction to the base operating budget of $5.4 million.
In-state undergraduate students will pay an additional $557 for tuition and fees this fall, bringing the annual cost for tuition and fees at EMU to $7,490.
“Many people have worked hard on the budget process at EMU and they are all committed to creating a budget that is responsible to our students as well as to the people of Michigan,” Stroh said. “This budget heeds the call of moderating tuition increases and takes into consideration the uncertain nature of enrollment and credit hour production.”
There are some positives, Stroh said.
While personnel costs continue to increase, those increases are raising compensation levels, particularly bringing faculty salaries to market value.
EMU is also demonstrating its commitment to campus safety and security by making it the highest priority for strategic funding. In keeping with EMU’s 16-point safety and security strategy, Stroh said budget for facility security enhancements and training will be increased.
Finally, EMU will increase student financial aid by $1.6 million.
Should the state restore appropriations that have been delayed, that money would be used to support additional strategic priorities such as increasing course sections and strengthening financial reserves, Stroh said.
“EMU is committed to remaining an affordable institution of access that provides the highest quality education for its students,” Stroh said.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.