March 30, 2011/Central Michigan Life
By Maria Amante
University President George Ross testified before Michigan lawmakers today and urging them to invest in the state’s higher education.
Before the state House and Senate Appropriations Higher Education subcommittees, Ross spoke on Central Michigan University’s budget in response to Gov. Rick Snyder’s recently proposed 23.3-percent cut in funding to CMU, and said public universities need to be funded fairly and equitably.
“If I go back 30 years, 75 percent of our budget was funded by state appropriations,” Ross said. “If the proposed cut to the budget (gets approved), then we will have less than 15 percent.”
Ross said the university has been making cuts in response to dwindling state funding since 2008, and highlighted several places the university has found efficiencies in order to make reductions. He said the university has saved $21 million by making self-imposed cuts.
He also said CMU had a $2 billion impact on the state’s economy.
“Ninety-six percent of our undergraduates come from the state of Michigan,” Ross said. ”We contribute to the state (of) Michigan mightily.”