While many students may be looking forward to a relaxing summer out of town, University administrators will still be in Ann Arbor for the majority of the summer months hard at work.
On the top of the list for University President Mary Sue Coleman and University Provost Philip Hanlon will be finalizing the University’s budget proposal for the 2012 fiscal year. The budget will be proposed to the University’s Board of Regents at the board’s June 16 meeting.
“Between now and (June 16) we have a lot of work to do,” Hanlon said in an interview last week.
Though Coleman and Hanlon said they are expecting an increase in tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year — which will be included in the budget — they said they expect the increase to be below 7.1 percent. This represents the average tuition hike of state universities and colleges over the past five years.
In his state budget proposal for the 2012 fiscal year, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder included a 15-percent across-the-board decrease in higher education allocations. Schools that don’t keep their tuition increases below 7.1 percent would receive a 20-percent funding cut.
The approval of Snyder’s proposed budget would reduce the University’s state funding by about $47.5 million from the present amount of approximately $316 million. Under Snyder’s proposed plan, however, a tuition increase of more than 7.1 percent would cost the University an additional $14 million cut in funding, which would result in a total loss of about $61.5 million.
Snyder’s goal is to have the state budget finalized by May 31 — about four months before the state fiscal year officially begins. Coleman said in an interview last month that it would be beneficial for the University if the plan was finalized in May, so the administrators can use actual appropriation numbers instead of projections when they develop the University’s budget for next year.
“We’re very hopeful that the Legislature will act and that everything will get resolved in May, which is what the governor had hoped to have happen, but since we don’t have any certainty from the state yet … we are modeling the 15 percent,” Coleman said.
After the regents meeting in June, Coleman and Hanlon said their schedules will be less busy and they’ll be able to work on other projects. Coleman said she’ll continue fundraising in preparation of the opening of the new C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital in November. Coleman added that will also spend time working on projects for the North Campus Research Complex.
“It’ll be a very busy and very active summer, but it’ll be wonderful, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Coleman said.
Hanlon said though he hadn’t figured out exactly what his office’s summer projects will be, things should be less hectic than usual.
“We’re just now compiling our list of summer projects we’re going to do around here, but it’s a time to be more thoughtful when things aren’t flying at us right and left,” he said.
Coleman and Hanlon said they also plan on taking some time off for themselves to pursue their own research and to relax.
“I have several days marked off for research,” said Hanlon, whose research is in the mathematical field of Combinatorics. “I will go on vacation at some point for a few weeks.”
Coleman also said she has plans to have some time away from Ann Arbor.
“In August, I’ll take a little time off and go visit my grandchildren,” Coleman said. “So that’ll be great fun.”