In addition to the funding that will be determined by IU’s achievements on the performance metrics created by the state, we also will be making a number of additional requests for operating or capital funding during the budget session. Here is a brief summary of the most noteworthy requests.
- $ 5 million to expand student success initiatives at our regional campuses, which provide a great deal of potential to help the state attain its ambitious goals around college degree attainment.
- $5 million to enable IU, through our Office of Engagement, to assist Indiana companies and governmental units by offering access to the university’s considerable faculty and staff expertise in information technology and informatics.
- $24.7 million for repair and rehabilitation of facilities across the seven IU-managed campuses in the state. This amount is based on the level of funding recommended by the Commission for Higher Education.
- $184.4 million for five special repair and rehabilitation projects on our campuses including the continued revitalization of the Old Crescent portion of the Bloomington campus, which we were very pleased to see was included in the governor’s recently released budget recommendations.
- $19.2 million for IU’s portion of a new multi-institutional health and medical education center in downtown Evansville. This project, which would greatly expand IU’s medical education presence in the city, also has been included in the governor’s budget recommendations, for which we are grateful.
A word on future tuition rates
For obvious reasons, tuition-setting cycles at Indiana public universities and colleges mirror the state’s biennial budget cycle. Finding the right balance of funding is a complex task that relies heavily on the level of state support provided to universities.
Despite the long-term decline in state support for higher education in Indiana and across the nation, we have been heartened in recent years by the commitment the state has shown to higher education in response to efforts by IU and other institutions to do their part to address issues of affordability, access and student success. At IU, state funding accounts for about 17 percent of the university’s total operating cost across all of our campuses, with the remainder coming from tuition and fees, donors and research dollars generated by faculty and staff.
We are keenly aware that despite improvements in the state and national economy over the past year the “sticker price” of a college education remains daunting to many current and prospective students and their families. With those concerns in mind, senior leaders at IU intend to thoroughly examine the university’s cost structure and take into account the level of state funding approved by the legislature in arriving at a tuition recommendation for our Board of Trustees this spring.
That recommendation will be designed to find the “sweet spot” that allows IU to remain an affordable option, while also providing the funds necessary for the university to continue delivering on its promise of providing a world-class educational experience. We will share more details on our thoughts around tuition for the next two years in the coming months and, as always, the public will have a chance to comment on any proposed changes.
None of IU’s success would be possible without the hard work of our talented faculty and staff, and the steadfast support of our alumni and friends around the world. As always, my deepest gratitude goes out to everyone for all you do to keep Indiana University strong.
Michael A. McRobbie
President, Indiana University