WMU News

Haenicke to testify before House panel

April 28, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University President Diether H. Haenicke will make a presentation before the state House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 20, in room 351 of the Capitol in Lansing.

Note: This presentation was previously scheduled for May 6. It has been rescheduled for May 20.

"My goal will be the same as it has been for several years," Haenicke said. "It will be to convince legislators once more of the need to recognize WMU's unique status as state's only public Doctoral I university, which so far this year has not occurred."

The state Senate has approved a 3 percent increase in appropriations for WMU and several other state universities. Other institutions are pegged to get increases ranging from 3.6 percent to 10 percent, increases that Haenicke says are driven by enrollment.

"It is always the lowest funding level that is being addressed," Haenicke said, reiterating his belief that the state should recognize three funding levels rather than just one. The state, he said, should recognize research, doctoral and master's institutions with separate funding levels per student.

"We are now about $1,000 per student above the lowest funding level," Haenicke said. "Under this scenario, we will not see improved funding until we sink to the lowest level."

The Senate version of the higher education appropriations bill sets a minimum of $4,429 per student and grants increases to institutions based on enrollment to meet that minimum. But it does so without regard to institutional classification. Universities already at that level or above receive a 3 percent across-the-board increase.

WMU's appropriation per fiscal year equivalent student for 1998-99 would be $5,482, which would continue to rank WMU seventh among the state's 15 public universities. Haenicke and other WMU officials have argued repeatedly that WMU ranks fourth in key measures of size and complexity, and should be funded accordingly.

Media contact: Mike Matthews; michael.matthews@wmich.edu

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