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Stimulus Package Could Infuse IU With Millions, But Questions Remain

Money from the federal stimulus package signed into law earlier this week could start to make its way to Indiana University in three to four months. WFIU’s Daniel Robison has more from the IU Trustees Meeting in New Albany…..

The State of Indiana is slated to receive about a billion dollars that could be used for education, which includes $824 million higher education would have to share with K-12 public schools. Out of that amount, IU could receive tens, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars from the stimulus, either directly or indirectly, through grants or funding.

That’s the word from IU Office of Federal Relations director Doug Wasitas.

“It was enacted Tuesday so the clock started ticking. I would imagine that that we would have a good sense about some of the programs, 90 days, February, March, April, May… June. Around June.  We’d have a good sense with how we’re going to fare with some of the research dollars,” Wasitas said.

Exactly how those funds will be used, however, is so far unclear. So the university is urging faculty and administration to contact the right people over the next 90 days to try to secure a piece of the funds.

The cash will not go into the baseline budgeting for the university’s 2010 fiscal year. Wasitas admits the stimulus money could free up funds that would delay cuts in other areas of the university.

While the stimulus bill made its way through Congress, university officials met with representatives from every Indiana congressional office. President Michael McRobbie personally contacted each Congressman before their votes.

Wasitas also expects the university to receive less money from federal earmarks this session of Congress. Last year IU received $11.6 million in federal earmarks, but expected drops in discretionary funding levels, as well as opposition to the practice from the Obama administration, likely lowering that total.

Daniel Robison

Daniel started as WFIU's Assistant News Director in July 2008. He graduated with a B.A. in history in 2007 and earned an M.A. in journalism two years later. Daniel hosts Ask the Mayor weekly and the occasional Noon Edition. He also hosts Morning Edition on Thursdays, sleepily. Daniel's beats include everything News Director Stan Jastrzebski wants him to cover. And it feels strange to type biography of myself in the third person like this. So that's that.

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