EMU regents approve state appropriations request for fiscal year 2008
YPSILANTI — The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents approved a fiscal year 2008 appropriation request strategy at a special meeting, Oct. 20.
EMU’s estimated fiscal year 2008 general fund expenses total $249,457,906. EMU is asking for a higher education Consumer Price Index increase of 5 percent, or
$3.9 million in its state appropriation. Even if the state grants the request, EMU would be forced to increase tuition and fees by at least 3.4 percent to balance the University’s 2008 budget.
“Despite our cuts of more than 186 positions and more than $39 million in the base budget, we still need additional state assistance to keep up with rising costs,” said Steve Holda, interim director of finance for EMU. “We have an $8.1 million gap between what costs were last year and what they are forecast for fiscal year 2008.”
Most of the $8.1 million needed, about $4.5 million, would go to cover rising costs in health care, and faculty and staff compensation. The balance of the $8.1 million gap relates to rising utility costs ($1.4 million), increasing student scholarships and financial aid ($1 million), retiree health care costs related to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System ($719,011) and $0.5 million in other central budgets.
“Higher education has experienced three consecutive years of declining state appropriations prior to last year when we received a 2.7 percent increase over FY06 funding,” said Holda. “Prior to fiscal year 2007, Eastern Michigan had not received a base budget increase since FY02.”
Despite having the state’s sixth largest university enrollment, EMU ranks 10th in state appropriation per student among the 15 public universities in Michigan.
EMU’s fiscal year 2007 appropriation was $78.2 million, approximately equal to what it received from the state in 1999. The per-student appropriation of $4,126 for FY 07 is almost $62 less per student than it was in 1997 and almost $662 less per student than in 2002. State appropriation comprises less than 32.4 percent of EMU’s General Fund Operating Budget.
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.