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EMU explores Governor Whitmer's higher education budget proposal

Eastern Michigan University
F Deventhal
Eastern Michigan University

Governor Gretchen Whitmer released her state budget proposal for the new fiscal year that begins October 1st. It includes more money for education including public universities. Yet, the proposed increase may not turn out to be much more than an offset.

The governor’s recommendation includes funding to make pre-k through the first two years of community college free for Michigan residents. For the four-year public universities, the governor has proposed a funding increase that is about half of the 5% increase in the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget.

“We’re looking at about 2.5% [increase]. My calculation is that’s barely going to meet inflation targets."

That’s Eastern Michigan University president, Dr. James Smith. In last year’s fiscal year budget, EMU received $90.1 million in state appropriations. Smith adds that the new budget proposal cuts funding for infrastructure maintenance at universities. That, he says, is a hit to older institutions like EMU.

“All things aren’t equal. You know, the campuses that are 1960 and forward are not the same as those that are from the 1800s and forward."

The budget will soon be introduced to the Michigan Legislature and, per the Michigan Constitution, must be adopted into law by October 1st. 2024.

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Taylor Bowie joined WEMU as a reporter in October 2023.
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