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Posted on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

University of Michigan says Snyder 'moving in right direction' by proposing 2% increase for higher ed

By Kellie Woodhouse

Gov. Rick Snyder proposed a 2 percent increase for Michigan's 15 higher education institutions as he unveiled his fiscal 2013-14 budget Thursday.


Gov. Rick Synder unveiled his fiscal 2014 budget on Thursday.

AP Photo

Snyder's proposal calls for adding $30.7 million to Michigan's $1.4 billion higher education budget.

Of that sum, $24.9 million is earmarked for the state's public colleges and $5.8 million is set aside for the 28 community colleges in Michigan.

"We need to make a commitment there and we are," Snyder said of his higher education funding proposal.

The increase follows a 3 percent higher education increase in fiscal 2013 and a 15 percent decrease the year before. Snyder proposes that this year's increase remain a part of universities' base funding from the state, unlike last year's one-time increase.

"A second year of increased state appropriations would help keep state funding for higher education moving in the right direction," said University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald. "We also applaud the governor for recommending that this year’s one-time funding become part of the base funding for the coming year."

Susan Martin, president of Eastern Michigan University, said continued investment in higher education is key to economic growth within the state.

"We applaud initiatives that recognize the importance of higher education in helping to prepare our state's workforce to meet the needs of evolving industries and technologies," Martin said. "There is a direct correlation between a state's investment in higher education and economic growth."

Snyder proposed the allotment be subject to the same performance metrics he introduced last year. The formula recognizes universities for increasing graduation rates, the number of degrees awarded in critical skill areas, the number of Pell Grants awarded to enrolled students and tuition restraint.

"The funding formula includes metrics designed to help ensure Michigan college students are receiving a quality education at a reasonable cost by linking funding to performance," Snyder's proposal reads.

Though Snyder increased higher education funding by 3 percent last year, U-M's increase was 1.6 percent due to Snyder's formula. That year, U-M President Mary Sue Coleman suggested the performance metrics "penalized" U-M and were "very backward-looking."

Snyder also proposed issuing a $100 million bond in 2015 to reward universities that graduate engineering students and a $50 million bond for skilled trade training at community colleges.

"Let's have innovation," he said of the competitive grant proposals. "Let's have collaboration, and let's have people work together. But let's have people earn those dollars so we can see a return on investment."

Snyder's proposals are subject to approval of the state legislature.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 6:54 p.m.

Maybe he should instead give it back to the retiree's that he ambushed recently by increasing our taxes and raising our insurance rates, and then trying to take away our rights to representation in his RTW legislation. Both are essentially tax increases. He will lose next term, but will be remembered as a tax and spend governor. Tax Tax Tax... that is Snyder's motto. For someone who claims to not want to increase taxes, he sure likes to raise them! I urge everyone to vote against Snyder in the next election. Time for a positive change of leadership.

Claude Kershner

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

Snyder continues to make decisions that makes his re-election a certainty. Slow and steady progress over a period of time is building credibility to the direction he is taking. Now that the major roadblocks to economic progress have been addressed he moves towards improving infrastructure and adding dollars to education. These are common sense, practical reactions/decisions to someone responsibly representing a majority of people who want to pay what we owe and invest in what's important to our long term future. If the complaint is its not enough money it's still an acknowledgement that the direction is correct. Good luck finding a challenger who can top answer that effectively.

Claude Kershner

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 8:09 p.m.

Scottie: Zero good business decisions? Really? I'm all for a good debate and a different point of view but a blanket extreme statement like that undermines your credibility.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

You think our economic situation is worse?


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

Also, his direction over the sum of his career is still vastly down, I don't know the numbers because it's a billion dollar cut followed by a 2% raise and I'm not aware of the budget, but across the state school districts are being crippled by special education costs and testing increases, so all of the mid-level students and high level students are getting placed into classes of 35-38 students to compensate....How many students do you think should be in a high school lab class?


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

He has made zero good business decisions and that's supposed to be his strong suit. You're badly deluded if you think Snyder will be around after the election.....


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

Nice to see a governor doing what is good for the state, not just the unions.

Jay Thomas

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 10 a.m.

I didn't get any raise this year. Two percent would have been great. But I expect the academic elite to complain whatever they get (being in an ivory tower disconnected from the real world).


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 7:53 a.m.

He would never have been elected had has radical, far right-wing partisan policy plans been known regarding right to work, taxing pensions, emergency managers in most heavily minority cities and school districts across the State, cutting education funding, cutting same sex partner and family benefits, implementnf pledges and weight monitoring programs in the schools, cutting unemployment to 20 weeks from 26 in the worst Recession in decades, cutting welfare and other safety net programs or the poor, and more. Far from being the moderate he ran as, he has acted as radical as the law allowed.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

We need more of the same before Gov Snyder. Higher taxes, larger govt debt, lousy business climate, inefficiencies. Those are the policies that drove Michigan to the bottom. When you are at the bottom you have no where to go but up. That's where we want to be. Not all of his policies are palatable, but I'd rather have him than Virg.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 3:08 a.m.

Oh yea they do, noting higher Ed has increased 400% to their salary advantage over the past 20 years


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

What's the % increase for white male CEOs? You know, the only people that work hard and earn everything.....


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 7:36 a.m.

400% in 20 years. And how is this relative to jobs across general business in the same time frame? Everything is market based, supply & demand...


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 11:34 p.m.

If Governor Snyder was offering me more money; I'd agree, he's moving in the right direction. Every time, I read a story about the state's budget for education, I laugh. I think about Georgia, and Tennessee. They take their lottery money, and give every student in the state, who carries a 3.0 or higher, free college! Meanwhile, we struggle. Where does it go people, where does it go.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

It's probably not that tough to give everyone in the south scholarships because not that many of them have GPAs that high....


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

Without Michigan's public higher ed, Snyder would never have become governor.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

As Michigan's governor, he has many things to manage. A balanced budget should be first. Public education wasn't eliminated, only cut back. Now he is adding back additional funding. This is a good thing.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

Navy - I "think" the point he was making is that Snyder SHOULD be investing in Public higher education, BECAUSE Snyder is a product of said education. He should be investing in something that WORKED for him and our State. :)


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 1 a.m.

Waiting patiently for the point you are trying to make here.