Hard decisions for assuring quality, value, and opportunity

06-19-2009

The MSU Board of Trustees today unanimously adopted budget guidelines that unambiguously address our responsibility to preserve quality, remain internationally competitive, and ensure that MSU is a place of opportunity for our students. The budget, I think, considers our values and our aspirations, our compact with our students and with society, our past successes and our momentum. Make no mistake, difficult decisions are called for. But the budget is designed to get us where we need to be in the future. I will be communicating regularly in the days and weeks ahead about more specific aspects and components of this budget, from its multiple-year approach to the dramatic commitment of financial aid, from its reflection of past stewardship efficiencies to its “expectation” of very difficult management and organizational decisions to come.

We started this budget process having already made $70 million in budget reductions over the last nine years, as well as operating with the least amount of state support per student of any school in the Big Ten. For a comprehensive look at factors that affect the budget, please visit our Web site at www.budget.msu.edu. As you explore this material, you will see the plan adopted by the Board responds to the need to balance many competing tensions.

We still have much more to do. The coming years will not be easy. But we will not let the challenges before us sap our hope and limit our vision. With this budget plan I am confident that MSU will emerge a stronger, more dynamic institution. MSU is a critical “momentum magnet” in a very troubled economy. Maintaining the quality of this institution is critical to our students and families, as well as to the future economic growth of our state.

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