Michigan House, Senate reach deal on higher education funding

By Kevin Graham

For Oakland University, $44, 033, 300 of state funding is hanging in the balance of the Gov. Rick Snyder’s pen.

The AP reported that the Michigan Senate cleared their last hurdle in passing the state budget when they approved of increased funding for universities, community colleges and public schools on June 5.

Under the terms of a recommendation made by a joint committee of the Michigan Legislature Friday, June 1, Oakland would receive a state funding allocation of $44,033,300 if signed into law by the Gov. Snyder.

The proposed allocation for OU represents a 2.1 percent increase in state aid over the budget for the current fiscal year. Oakland’s new budget would take effect Oct. 1.

This additional funding is based on metrics for measuring OU’s performance. The formula is based in part on degree completions in critical skill areas such as mathematics and the sciences, as well as overall degree completions.

Oakland University’s Chief Financial Officer John Beaghan said it is important that OU focus on improving graduation and retention rates while continuing to offer quality programs.

The deal also requires universities to limit tuition increases to four percent in order to receive full performance funding.

The proposal would also place certain reporting requirements on universities conducting stem cell research.

Director of Media Relations Ted Montgomery said administration officials plan to present a proposed budget to the board of Ttustees at its next meeting on June 11.