A monthly letter from President Martin C. JischkeDear Purdue Partners,
The Indiana General Assembly completed its 2007 session on April 29, passing a $26 billion state budget that is the most supportive of higher education in the last 10 years. For Purdue, this means we will be able to make some progress in key competitive areas, especially faculty salaries. The fiscal year that begins July 1 will be the seventh I have started during my time at Purdue, and in each of the previous six, state operating funds have remained essentially flat.
This has happened despite strong support from legislative leaders and the governor's office. The state simply has not had the revenue to fund higher education at the level needed for Indiana. This year, with a brightening fiscal picture, Gov. Mitch Daniels and the leadership of the General Assembly did not let the universities and their students down. Purdue West Lafayette will receive a 3.6 percent operating increase in the 2007-08 fiscal year and an additional 4.8 percent in 2008-2009. I have recommended to the board of trustees that student fees for each of the next two academic years be increased by 4.5 percent. These are the smallest increases during my Purdue career, with the exception of one year in which universities were mandated to a 4 percent increase.
The budget also will repay the remainder of the delayed payments the state owed to universities, including $17.2 million to be paid to Purdue to be used to supplement the regular repair and rehabilitation funding formula. The regular formula was funded at 50 percent, resulting in $19.8 million systemwide. The budget does not specifically include funding for the Indiana's New Economy Manufacturing Initiative, but it does include $5 million in the second year of the biennium for Purdue to support the recruitment and retention of world-class scientists specializing in the life sciences.
Funding for the expansion of the Purdue Technical Assistance Program and the Statewide College of Technology programs also is part of the budget. TAP received an additional $800,000 in 2008-09, allowing for expansion to more regions in the state. This also will help the program capture additional federal funding.
A Statewide Technology funding increase of nearly $800,000, also in the second year of the biennium, will create new bachelor's degree programs in New Albany, Columbus, Muncie/Anderson and Vincennes. These new degrees will support the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines and serve to support Indiana's manufacturing base.
The state budget also addressed, at least partially, every capital project brought forward by Purdue. Boiler No. 6 on the West Lafayette campus, which is a critical infrastructure project, received $53 million in state bonding authorization. Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne received $24 million in bonding for its Student Services and Library Complex, which had received planning funds in the current biennium.
Both the Gyte Annex demolition and science addition at Purdue Calumet, and the Student Services and Recreation Complex at Purdue North Central, received planning funds - $2.4 million and $1 million, respectively.
The budget bill also provided bonding authority, without state funding eligibility, for the mechanical engineering addition at West Lafayette. Bonding authority to construct a parking garage on the North Central campus was increased. The state also will fund a $30 million facility on the West Lafayette campus, allowing the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory to address animal health and biosecurity issues on behalf of the state.
The governor's proposal to outsource the state lottery to create a fund to support higher education initiatives did not receive legislative approval. However, Gov. Daniels has encouraged legislators to study the issue over the summer and consider it in a future legislative session.
I believe this budget is a good sign for Indiana. It proves that our leaders understand the economic and social importance of higher education. I am grateful for the leadership that made this progress possible.
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