President Caret praises Senate budget proposal; UMass poised to realize two-year, $100 million state funding increase
- The UMass System
BOSTON -- May 14, 2014: UMass President Robert L. Caret today said the Fiscal Year 2015 state budget proposed by the Senate "sends a strong message of support for the University of Massachusetts" and would allow UMass to "continue to move forward in the critical areas of quality and affordability."
"I want to thank Senate President Therese Murray, Senate Majority Leader Stanley Rosenberg and Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Stephen Brewer for the funding increase contained in this budget and also for their support for UMass and recognition of the proposition that a high-quality public university changes lives and builds a better future for our Commonwealth," President Caret said.
Under the budget proposed by Senate leaders today, the UMass system would receive $519 million in state funding during the fiscal year that begins on July 1 - funding that could potentially trigger a second freeze in tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduates under President Caret's 50-50 plan. President Caret's 50-50 plans calls for a two-year, $100 million increase in state funding for UMass, with the goals of strengthening the University overall and of equalizing the amount of money students and the state provide for educational programs. UMass has said it would freeze tuition and mandatory fees in each of the years it received full funding of the 50-50 program.
If the proposal becomes law, state funding for the five-campus UMass system, when measured by the state appropriation as augmented by a corresponding increase in fringe-benefit funding for employees, will have increased by $100 million - one of the largest increases realized by any public university in the nation.
"Massachusetts is the birthplace of public education and as such, it is appropriate that our state government leaders are taking bold steps to ensure that its citizens will have the knowledge and skills they need to compete in the global economy and be successful in life," President Caret said.
Tuition and Fees for academic year 2014-2015 will not be officially set until the UMass Board of Trustees meets on June 18 at UMass Dartmouth. In setting tuition and fees, trustees are expected to examine how UMass is faring in the state budget process and will also have to take note of the collective-bargaining process, which is of particular relevance this year as the University will be obliged to provide 8,900 state-funded, unionized employees working in a variety of faculty and staff positions across the UMass system increases expected to cost up to $14 million in FY 2015. Historically, the state provides funding for the first year of new contracts via a separate appropriation.
Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073; Ann Scales, 617-287-4084