Indiana Universities Make Pitches To State For More Funding

Indiana public universities went before two states committees Thursday to make their requests for additional funding next year.

purdue entrance

Photo: Frank Gruber (Flickr)

Purdue University was one of Indiana's public universities that asked the state this week for additional funding.

Indiana‘s public universities are seeking more money in the new state budget, but that money may be hard to come by. Senator Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee and sits on the State Budget Committee, says he expects being able to increase state spending by just 1.5 percent, the same figure proposed by Republican Governor-elect Mike Pence during the campaign.

Leaders of Purdue, IU, Indiana State, Ball State, Vincennes, Ivy Tech, and the University of Southern Indiana have been trooping through the budget committee to lay out their funding hopes for the new two-year spending plan. Acting Purdue President Tim Sands says the university is seeking an increase of just $1.9 million in operating funds over the next two years, but it is seeking restoration of research funds. Its request was slashed by $4 million in the last budget, and zeroed out in the budget before that.

“A lot of our students are actively engaged in IP generation, and they‘re taking the next step as well: they‘re getting more and more involved in entrepreneurship and commercialization,” he says, adding that is something leaders in both parties have repeatedly called for.

Ivy Tech is seeking a 7-percent funding increase to catch up to enrollment growth of 37 percent over the last five years, though enrollment dipped last year.

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