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ERIC Number: EJ771747
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun-8
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Public Colleges Sink or Swim in the Great Lakes State
Smith, Lauren
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n40 pA23 Jun 2007
For more than half a century, the lucrative Detroit automobile industry drove Michigan's economy, providing the state with plenty of tax revenue to support its public colleges and universities. In recent years, however, the woes of the Big Three auto companies have caused state spending to plummet, resulting in cuts or minimal increases in the higher-education budget. Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and many lawmakers publicly acknowledge that the way out of this budget hole is to use higher education to transform the state's economy to one more dependent on knowledge-based industries. But paying for that transformation is proving harder than first thought. Michigan faces three big fiscal problems: the deficit for this fiscal year, another projected deficit next year, and the elimination of a major business tax -- which brings in $1.9-billion annually -- on December 31. Late in May, the governor and leaders of the Legislature reached a tentative agreement that would postpone a $73.3-million payment to higher education from August until the beginning of the next fiscal year, October 1. If the full Legislature approves the plan, meant to help close Michigan's $800-million budget shortfall for this fiscal year, the state will also delay the payment of an additional $29-million in funds to its community colleges. As part of her budget, Governor Granholm has proposed dividing Michigan's public universities into two groups in the budget process, so that lawmakers would handle appropriations for its three large research universities differently than for its smaller public universities. Many of the regional universities are voicing concern, viewing division of the budget process as a way to potentially finance the three universities with medical schools at a different level in the future. But the governor's proposal could be good news for the regional colleges, based on success of the University of California and California State University systems after their appropriationswere split in the 1960s. Splitting the appropriations may allow the flagship universities to act more like privately supported public universities, a trend that some see as most promising for universities' future prosperity.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Michigan