May 10, 2021

Warrior voices needed now to oppose proposed state appropriations cuts

Under the House Appropriations Committee's proposed “Plan B” budget, Wayne State University would see a 4% funding cut, resulting in an $8.2 million dollar loss. Thirteen of Michigan’s 15 public universities would see a flat or increased budget.

A pivotal vote on a controversial budget bill that would have dire consequences for Wayne State will take place in Lansing Tuesday or Wednesday, and it’s important that members of the Wayne State community express their strong opposition to the measure.

Under the proposed “Plan B” budget being contemplated by the House Appropriations Committee, Wayne State would see a 4% funding cut, resulting in an $8.2 million dollar loss. Thirteen of Michigan’s 15 public universities would see a flat or increased budget.
 
“Like many of our higher education counterparts, the pandemic has hit Wayne State hard,” Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson said. “We are currently operating at a deficit but managing through the use of our rainy-day fund and all-around belt tightening. However, if this iteration of a higher education budget is passed, we would be forced to take several painful actions.”

WSU continues to be at the forefront of COVID recovery efforts, led by alums who pioneered the COVID-19 vaccine, current faculty who were leading and participating in vaccine trials in Detroit, and nursing and medical students who served on the front lines throughout the pandemic.

“As we focus on post pandemic recovery, the state should be putting a heavy emphasis on investing more in public higher education and in partnerships between higher education and industry to prepare ourselves for next generation economic needs,” Wayne State Director of State Relations Elizabeth Kutter said. “We need to invest in ways to bring more individuals to Michigan, foster opportunities in our state, and provide employers with the type of highly skilled workers they need.

Wayne State has an annual $2.5 billion dollar impact on Michigan’s economy. More than 80% of its Law School alumni live and work in Michigan and nearly 40% of Michigan’s practicing physicians received some or all of their medical training there.

Wayne State and its University Research Corridor partners bring in 94% of the state’s federal research dollars and $640 million in tax revenue for the state of Michigan. Moreover, Wayne State is the 10th largest employer in Detroit.

“We must move quickly, as the vote on this budget bill is coming within days,” Wilson said. “Members of the Board of Governors and I have been in contact with key donors, alumni, business leaders, and elected representatives urging them to reach out to legislators in opposition of this bill. Its passage would severely hamstring our ongoing efforts to provide a talent base of skill and innovation for future generations in Michigan.”

To send your opposition to this legislation, click on Warrior Voice.

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