The new Indiana state budget flat-lines funding for higher education, essentially amounting to a funding cut with increases in health care and utilities, among other costs. But, Indiana University administrators are not only pleased with the budget, they think they couldn’t have fared any better.
In early June, Governor Mitch Daniels proposed a four percent reduction for higher education funding. To Indiana University, that was around 20 million dollars. With budget negotiations ever-changing and going to down to the wire, IU President McRobbie testified in front of legislators last week to plead against the cuts the Governor and others were proposing. While McRobbie says he’s not sure his testimony helped result in the sparing of IU, Purdue, Ball State and others from the ax felt by so many other state-funded entities, he says he can’t help but feel good about what came out of the six-month budget struggle.
Compared to some other institutions in some other states we’ll be in somewhat better position. We’ve actually fared quite well. Especially in what is an extremely difficult financial climate. There are very sober indicators suggest that we haven’t really moved into full recovery yet. And the situation of the state is obviously not good. So, in the circumstances I think we’ve actually done quite well.”
Within a month, McRobbie will present IU’s next budget to the university’s trustees. Proposed tuition rates will like come along next week. McRobbie says the university will have to continue to cut expenses university wide to deal with its drop in state funding.
IU received about 600 million dollars in state support during the fiscal year that just ended. That’s about 23 percent of its overall two-point-seven billion dollar budget. More than 100 million dollars in new building projects also received from funding under the new budget.