Central Michigan University President Bob Davies on Thursday morning addressed the Michigan House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education and Community Colleges, urging legislators to reconsider funding allocation for Michigan's public institutions of higher education and highlighting the university's role in Michigan's economy.
Per-student funding at Michigan's 15 public universities ranges widely. Central receives $4,227 per student — the sixth-lowest in the state.
"We need additional support from the state to continue to serve Michigan families. Funding from the state represents less than one-fifth of Central's operating budget," Davies said.
Davies highlighted CMU's role in Michigan's return to economic competitiveness — moving from 47th in the nation in 2002 to 20th last year. He noted the $1.2 billion CMU generates each year in economic impact.
"We are proud of the role Central plays in this great economic comeback. To continue this climb, Michigan relies on institutions like Central Michigan University to prepare students for high-demand careers," Davies said.
Highlights from Davies' remarks include:
- Nearly 85 percent of CMU students are from Michigan, representing all 83 counties.
- The university's Center for Integrated Health Studies, which will advance interdisciplinary learning for students in health professions programs, is on track to begin serving students next academic year.
- CMU is leading its second $10 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to monitor Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
- Through its Sarah R. Opperman Leadership Institute, CMU offers more leadership development programming than any other college or university in the country.
- CMU is a leader in flexible learning options through its online programs and satellite locations throughout North America.
"We need to educate students who will be change-makers, innovators and visionaries. We need individuals who will not simply be great at their jobs, but who will work hard to improve their communities through civic engagement and service," Davies said.
"At Central Michigan University, we empower our students to use their knowledge to improve the lives of others and position them to be life-long learners."