Executive Director of Communications
PRESS RELEASE PACKAGE: FY 2011-2012 Legislative Budget Highlights for the State University System
FOR MORE INFO: Kelly Layman, email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 6, 2011
FY 2011-12 LEGISLATIVE BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM
… Board Chair Parker: ‘Investing in the State University System is critical to the future of Florida’s economy’
… Operating budget of State University System stays steady with no massive losses as in years past, while Legislature fills in lack of revenue tax receipts to continue some activity in university facilities’ deferred maintenance, construction
Overall, the State University System budget, including state funds and proposed tuition increases (both the 8 percent base tuition increase and a legislative assumption built in the budget of 7 percent differential to the 15 percent statutory cap) is 4 percent less (at $3.48 billion) than the current FY 2010-11 appropriation ($3.62 billion) – but that 4 percent reduction in the recurring base budget includes the loss of federal stimulus ($140 million statewide). Federal stimulus, which were funds for two years, were not expected by the Board of Governors to be replaced.
During the three-year period of FY 2007-08 through FY 2009-10, the State University System’s base budget was reduced 24 percent cumulatively.
There are 321,503 students enrolled in the State University System’s 11 institutions as of Fall 2010. See www.flbog.edu.
Major budget highlights in this area:
- $98.9 million in base general revenue reductions.
- 8 percent base undergraduate tuition increase set by the Legislature – this increases the per credit undergraduate hour rate from $95.67 to $103.32.
- The Legislature builds in again a projected 7 percent undergraduate tuition differential increase Systemwide – these optional proposals are up to each university to pursue first with the local University Board of Trustees, and then in June to the Board of Governors. All of these actions, if finalized, would take effect for the fall semester.
- The Legislature built in a projected 8 percent increase for out-of-state undergraduate and in-state graduate-level and professional tuition (potentially generates $39.4 million), but the universities do not indicate or have plans to do this.
- Employees of the State University System are now required to contribute 3 percent toward their retirement – a complementary reduction of $67.3 million was made in the System’s budget for this.
- The Legislature’s budget transfers $7.1 million of the State University System financial aid to the Florida Student Assistance Grants.
- No funding was provided for the Major Gift Matching program – there is more than $200 million pending on the eligible match list Systemwide, dating from 2008. In this program, academic programs – such as scholarship endowments, establishment of eminent scholar posts and library collections – are matched on a tiered scale from 50 cents on the dollar to dollar-for-dollar, as outlined in statute, to the donor’s gift.
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
All 11 universities in the System will receive capital infrastructure funds of some kind. There is a total appropriation of $123.4 million funded from PECO and Lottery bond proceeds. This compares significantly down from the prior year appropriation total (of $339.4 million and before $80 million in Governor’s vetoes, a large portion of which are back in this year’s budget).
Major budget highlights in this area:
- $13.8 million was provided in SUS PECO formula maintenance, which is a significant decrease from the 2010-11 appropriation of $49.3 million.
- This part of the budget will allow institutions in the System to complete 7 projects, remodel 3 existing facilities, initiate 2 facilities, and conduct $26 million for infrastructure needs and deferred maintenance that is desperately needed.
- No funding was provided for the Courtelis Facility Matching program – there is $89 million pending on the eligible match list Systemwide, dating from 2008. In this program, facilities are matched dollar for dollar to the donor’s gift.
- No funding was provided for transportation concurrency issues with local government, which is developing into a critical issue for public universities.
MORE ON TUITION
- Florida is 48th-lowest for tuition and fees in the nation. While the Board of Governors is proud of what this means in terms of accessibility to students as we face ongoing demand for admissions, we know that sustaining and growing quality educational experiences for the workforce requires the ongoing commitment of the State.
- For FY 2011-12 (starting this fall semester), the range at the 11 universities for undergraduate tuition, including tuition differential, will be between $124.74 and $135.32 assuming a Systemwide tuition differential.
- In the past several years:
|Base Tuition Per Credit Hour||$73.71||$77.39||$82.03||$88.59||$95.67||$103.32|
|Base Tuition Increase per Credit Hour||$2.14||$3.68||$4.64||$6.56||$7.08||$7.65|
|Tuition Differential Average Increase per Credit Hour||$0||$0||$6.03||$2.86||$7.54||$9.16|
|Total Base and Tuition Differential Per Credit Hour||$73.71||$77.39||$88.06||$91.45||$103.21||$119.74|
* Only 5 universities were authorized to charge tuition differential in this year – the first year of the differential in statute as an option provided to the State University System by the Legislature, and FY 2009-10 was the first year this option was available to all 11 universities. (FY 1995-96 was the last time there was a 0% increase in tuition.)
In the 2009 Session, for the first time, the Legislature set new specific mandates tied to any increase in tuition differential. Base tuition, on the other hand, has more flexibility for the universities.
The Board of Governors is extremely sensitive to our students’ situations, and takes accessibility to public higher education very seriously, all the while understanding the economic conditions under which all of America continues to struggle. The Florida Legislature has had unprecedented challenges, as has the State University System.
A student representative sits as a full and voting member of the 17-member Board of Governors; this person is the President of the Florida Students Association. There is also one student as a sitting and voting member at each of the Boards of Trustees at every university (13 members sit on each Board of Trustees). The Board of Trustees at a university must approve any tuition differential proposal before it is forwarded to the Board of Governors for consideration.
Students have significant input in these tuition decisions at both the university level, which is important for the Board of Governors to have evidence toward, and again at the Board of Governors level. For the first time this year – which is also the first time the Board of Governors had the responsibility to evaluate fees as outlined from last year’s governance agreement with the Legislature – the Board asked for the university President or a designee as well as the university’s Student Body President or a designee to sit en banc with the Board of Governors for deliberations and any questions on each proposal.
Florida tuition ranks 48th among the 50 states for public university tuition and fees, according to The College Board. If and when Florida tuition ever approaches the national average – which is nowhere in our near-term future – there is yet another thoughtful legislative mandate that any increases after that threshold must be tied to or revert to the Consumer Price Index on any future potential increases. This is current law, which states that if the Legislature does not set base tuition in the appropriations bills, the tuition will increase at the CPI rate.
The Board of Governors will continue to experience and handle decision-making of these conversations from the perspective of the students.
The Board of Governors will hear any tuition differential proposals at its June 22-23 Board meeting in Tampa, along with the respective universities’ plans on how they intend to utilize the differential tuition. The universities also have presentations scheduled for their annual work plans, part of the ongoing accountability and measurements that interface with the Strategic Plan and Annual Report documents and Systemwide metrics of the Florida Board of Governors.