CMU Trustees adopt budget focused on student support, success

Successful outcomes demonstrate the value of a CMU education

| Author: Kevin Essebaggers | Media Contact: Ari Harris

The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees today approved an operating budget that strategically aligns resources to serve students while keeping tuition, housing and food rates  among the lowest in the state.

“At the end of the day, a budget is a plan to achieve our priorities. Our most important goal is student success, and the budget aligns our resources with that goal,” CMU President Bob Davies said.

The Board-approved 2023-2024 operating budget totals nearly $434.5 million. Areas of greater investment include high-demand academic programs, such as counseling, computer science and health professions. Student services also see a funding increase in areas like information technology and campus safety.

Trustee Denise Williams Mallett commended university leaders for keeping the needs of students the top budget priority, saying “I know through this process that was top of mind — making sure that support services were front-facing for the students we serve.”

The value of a CMU degree

Davies said CMU has had one of the state’s lowest overall tuition increases over the past decade and has increased financial aid by 60% over that same time period. This year, CMU is committing $55.4 million in financial aid, with nearly 80% of all undergraduate students receiving scholarships and grants. Institutional aid includes Centralis, Maroon and Gold, Multicultural Advancement and Leader Advancement Scholarships, many of which cover a substantial amount of tuition costs.

“We believe we offer the highest value in the state in terms of return on investment in a CMU degree. We believe our students will graduate and do better and prosper with that CMU degree in their pocket,” said Trustee Todd Anson.

Davies highlighted the latest results of the First Destination Survey, which show nearly 94% of CMU recent graduates are employed, entering a service program or pursuing additional education. That rate is higher than nearly every public university in Michigan, according to the most current publicly available data.

Davies said, “CMU students graduate with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to pursue their personal and professional goals.”

Rate adjustments

Skyrocketing inflation has impacted every university in Michigan, a fact that has prompted every public university to raise more revenue through tuition, housing and food costs, Davies said. He said rising costs in food, distribution, equipment and labor are impacting every aspect of CMU.

To address increasing costs, trustees voted to increase first-year domestic undergraduate tuition 4.09%, or $18 per credit hour. Upper-level undergraduate, masters, doctoral and international student tuition rates also will rise, though the rate increases remain below the state’s tuition restraint cap.

Trustees also approved increased rates for housing and food for on-campus students to diminish some of the impact of inflation and retain the quality of the CMU student experience. Rates for 2023-2024 still represent some of the state’s lowest-priced options for double-occupancy housing, as well as competitive options for popular premium housing and dining.

“We are committed to continuing to provide an outstanding educational experience for all of our students, and we are keeping rates lower than most public institutions in Michigan,” said CMU Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Mary Hill. “Even after these rate adjustments, we will still fall in the lower half when compared to all public universities in Michigan.”

Enrollment projections

The Academic and Student Affairs Committee welcomed positive news about CMU’s student enrollment from Jennifer DeHaemers, Vice President of Student Recruitment and Retention.

In her report to the committee, DeHaemers said, “We couldn’t increase enrollment if we didn’t have a good product to offer and really good student support.”  She said CMU is on target to reach its freshman goal for the fall and also expects an increase in undergraduate transfer students coming to CMU for the second year in a row.  

Celebrating achievements

In his report to Trustees, Davies also highlighted several achievements by CMU students and faculty, including:

Fulbright award recipient, Chloe McKinley.

  • Two Mid-American Conference Medal of Excellence Awards, gymnast Hannah Demers and football player Robi Stuart.
  • The Association of International Certified Public Accountants 2023 Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award, Dr. Thomas Weirich.

Davies thanked staff for their efforts to support first-generation students, and shared that, in recognition of CMU’s commitment to improving experiences and outcomes for first-generation students, the Center for First-generation Student Success selected CMU to join the First Scholars Network.

Davies also acknowledged positive developments in CMU’s College of Medicine and The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions, including:

  • Establishment of the CMU Rural Health Equity Institute, which partners with local communities to promote well-being, quality of life and improve overall health.
  • Participation in the MIDOCS program, which offers significant loan forgiveness for psychiatry residents who agree to practice in underserved parts of the state.
  • Addressing childhood trauma through the Michigan ACE Initiative, which aims to raise awareness about Adverse Childhood Experiences, prevent and reduce them, and foster trauma-informed healing.
  • Expansion of several health care professions programs, including the cohort sizes of the physical therapy and physician assistant programs.

Other Board of Trustees business

The consent agenda for Thursday’s meeting included a name change for a program in the College of Business Administration. The Department of Marketing and Hospitality Services Administration program will be changed to the Department of Marketing, Hospitality and Logistics.

Trustees also approved appointments of the following individuals to the CMU Research Corporation’s Board of Directors:

  • Todd Anson, CMU Board of Trustees
  • John Veilleux, CMU Vice President of University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer
  • Melinda Coffin, Chief Executive Officer of Soaring Eagle Gaming
  • Julie Messing, Director Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship (reappointment)

In other action, trustees also approved:

  • Faculty tenure, promotion and salary adjustments.
  • Emeritus rank for one faculty and two staff members.
  • Increasing campus parking permit rates by $15 and meter rates to $1 per half hour.
  • Changing the criteria for the Susan Colby Maly Endowed Scholarship.
  • Extending the Board of Trustees meeting schedule through calendar 2025.
View latest news