President Caret says budget proposed by House ushers in ''a new era of investment in the University of Massachusetts''
Commends Speaker DeLeo, Chairman Dempsey for "vision and leadership"
BOSTON - University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret today expressed his appreciation as Massachusetts House leaders proposed a new state budget that, if adopted, would have the effect of increasing funding for the five-campus UMass system by $100 million over the course of the current and upcoming fiscal years.
"We appreciate the generous funding proposal put forward by Speaker DeLeo, Chairman Dempsey and the leadership of the House. In an era when many states are doing less for their public universities, Massachusetts is doing more, and that is a matter of great significance for our state and its future," President Caret said. "We are witnessing a new era of investment in the University of Massachusetts."
President Caret added: "If the House proposal becomes law, funding for the five-campus UMass system will have increased by $100 million over two years, bringing state funding to a record high, which would represent a great victory for our 72,000 students and for everyone who values affordable, top quality public higher education. After two decades of flat funding, UMass now stands to see an unprecedented two-year, $100 million increase, which would be an extraordinary achievement and a testament to the commitment and vision of our state government leaders."
Under the budget proposed by House leaders today, the UMass system would receive $519 million in state funding during the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Coupled with $10 million in additional state fringe-benefit funding that UMass is receiving this year and would again receive next year, total state funding for the University would reach $539 million in Fiscal Year 2015 - up from the $439 million allocated for UMass just two years ago, in Fiscal Year 2013.
The effective $539 million would be the largest amount of state funding that UMass has received in its history.
The budget put forward in the House does not contain specific funding for salary increases the University will be obliged to provide 8,900 state-funded, unionized employees working in a variety of faculty and staff positions across the five-campus system -- increases expected to cost up to $14 million in FY 2015.
"The House budget proposal gives us cause for great optimism," President Caret said. "It is our fervent desire to be in a position to institute a second consecutive tuition and fee freeze when the budget process has concluded. A second freeze would benefit our students and their families in clear and meaningful ways, and we will continue to work to achieve this key goal. We appreciate this great expression of support in the University of Massachusetts and believe that it will enhance our ability to serve the Commonwealth and all of its citizens."
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