I want to thank you, Representative LaSata, and committee members, for inviting me today. We are always eager to talk about Michigan State University and the university’s ongoing commitment to opening world-class opportunities to the people of Michigan. Michigan State builds stakeholder value as one of the world’s top 100 universities, while serving Michigan first. We manage to do this despite diminished state support over a long period and limiting tuition increases, focusing on increasing external support through donors and grants, efficient operations and intensifying our ongoing commitment to quality, inclusion and connectivity.
I want to thank Senator Schuitmaker and Representative McCready and your committees for inviting me today. I also want to convey our thanks to Governor Snyder for moving to restore university funding in general to the pre-cut, 2011 level. I am concerned, however, that for Michigan State University, the recommendation falls $4.5 million short of restoring the appropriation to its FY11 level. MSU has complied with state tuition policy while continuing to build the excellence of its academic, research, and outreach programs. Not only do we educate a large proportion of this state’s undergraduates, our University Research Corridor studies confirm that we are part of a nationally competitive research cluster that is helping drive Michigan’s knowledge economy. Both the individual elements as well as the outcomes of any proposed funding formula must be reasonable in order to be considered useful.
Honorable members of the Senate and House subcommittees, I want to start by thanking you for your advocacy for higher education. In particular I appreciate the letter your committee chairs, Senator Schuitmaker and Representative McCready, sent to the governor early this month seeking restoration of higher education funding to 2011 levels.
Welcome to Michigan State University. We are the nation’s pioneer land-grant university. When Congress passed the Morrill Act 150 years ago establishing the national land-grant concept, MSU was already up and running thanks to our state legislature and governor. Since that time, MSU has had as our mission two key directives: first, to make a world-class education accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic status, and second, to bring the latest in science into practice across the state.