The five student trustees of the University of Massachusetts system are urging state government leaders to approve a funding increase for the upcoming fiscal year that would complete the two-year 50-50 funding cycle currently under way, according to a press release from UMass.
"This action would have the effect of increasing state funding for the five campuses of the UMass system by $100 million over two fiscal years, which would be a landmark accomplishment and allow the University of Massachusetts to continue to provide high-quality academic programs and unrivaled opportunity to the citizens of the Commonwealth," the trustees said of the proposed full funding of the 50-50 cycle.
The term "50-50" refers to a balance in funding where students and the state provide equal shares of funding for the University's education programs. In 2012-2013, students and their families provided 57 percent of the funding via tuition and fees, with the state providing the remaining 43 percent. The goal is to return to a 50-50 split next year.
UMass is receiving $479 million in state funding during 2013-2014 as a result of a $40 million funding increase—the largest increase in the University’s history. President Robert L. Caret had pushed for the increase to address the student-state funding imbalance, allow for a tuition and mandatory fee freeze for in-state undergraduate students, and end an era of flat funding for UMass.
The University is seeking $519 million in state funding for the fiscal year that begins on July 1—a sum that would advance the University’s quest for student-state funding parity and allow for tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students to be frozen for a second consecutive year.
The trustees, who are elected to represent the 72,000 students enrolled in UMass' five campuses, issued their statement today as the Fiscal Year 2015 budget process is about to begin on Beacon Hill. Governor Deval Patrick is expected to unveil his budget proposal next week.
Maggie Quick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.