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June 20, 2011 - Image 2

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-06-20

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Monday, June 20, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
STATE BUDGET
Gov. Snyder to sign state budget into law

Despite cuts, 'U'
assures students
will recieve quality
education
By SARAH ALSADEN
Daily Staff Reporter
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's
proposed budget - which was sent
to his desk on June 7 for a signa-
ture after receiving approval from
both the state House and Senate
- is expected to be signed into law
within the next week.
The proposed budget includes
a 15-percent cut in funding for
higher education, and once signed,
the University will experience an
approximate $47 million dollar cut
for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, which
begins July 1 - a sizeable cut that
reduces the University to the level
of funding they received in 1964.
Kurt Weiss, public information
officer for the Michigan Depart-
ment of Technology, Management
and Budget, said despite the vast
cuts, Snyder's proposed budget
aims to help students by including
an incentive foruniversities to keep
tuition prices low by mandating
that tuition rates do not increase
more than the five-year average of

71 percent.
"The reason that incentive was
put in there - the 7.1 percent rule
- was to try to hold tuition hikes
down," Weiss said. "The goal was
to try to incentivize Universities
to not hike tuition drastically as a
result of this cut."
In accordance with this pro-
posal, the University's Board of
Regents voted to increase tuition
by 6.7 percent for in-state students
and 2.9 percent for out-of-state
student at their monthly meeting,
according to a June 16 article in
The Michigan Daily.
In a University press release,
University President Mary Sue
Coleman said that while the admin-
istration ultimately had to raise
tuition in response to difficult eco-
nomic times in the state, it would
not compromise the quality of edu-
cation provided by the University.
"While we continue to control
costs, we are driven by the funda-
mental missions of academic excel-
lence and affordability," Coleman
said. "On this we cannot and will
not compromise. This generation
of students expects their Michi-
gan education to be the same qual-
ity and deliver the same positive
impact in their lives as all those
who have come before. Our job is to
deliver on that promise."
Weiss echoed Coleman's sen-

timents and said that despite the
cuts, the administration believes
the University can maintain their
level of distinction in providing a
quality education to students.
"From a budget office perspec-
tive and from the administration's
perspective, we feel that the cuts
that have been proposed are doable
and that the University can contin-
ue to provide a great education for
the kids here in Michigan, for our
students," Weiss said.
She added that while the state
itself is looking for ways to cut
costs, so are the various universi-
ties around Michigan. It will ulti-
mately be up to each individual
college to determine how to best
allocate their funds and determine
policy, she said.
"(The state is) looking for uni-
versities to adopt the best practices,
to find savings in operational areas
- whether that be healthcare, non-
instructional line items," Weiss
said. "It would be up to each uni-
versity as to how to become more
efficient."
According to the University
press release, in order for the Uni-
versity to follow these recommen-
dations, sacrifices must be made,
including cutting employee ben-
efits and closing programs.
"The University will ask
employees to pay more for health

benefits, close several centers,
reduce operational staff through
attrition when possible, and reduce
and implement a host of other cost-
cutting measures campus-wide,"
the press release states.
John Jackson, a political sci-
ence professor at the University,
wrote in an e-mail interview that
though he believed the cuts may
be effective in balancing the state
budget, they might not be the most
effective in mitigating damage
done to the state's economy in the
long term, largely because it may
discourage students from attending
and graduating from the University.
"There is very sound research
that shows that economic growth
and performance at all levels -
metropolitan, state and national -
increases with the education level
and with the proportion of college
graduates," Jackson wrote.
Jackson added that research
has presented evidence that a high
number of college graduates is
instrumental in helping to trans-
form ailing economies like Michi-
gan's.
"If the shift from state to per-
sonal funding for college atten-
dance, which has been going on
for decades, reduces the number
attending the implications are
not good for the state's economy,"
Jackson wrote.

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University instates new study abroad policy

U
I
6
I

Students and faculty
must now purchase
insurance, confirm
with registry
By PATRICIA SNIDER
Daily StaffReporter
Changes have recently been
made to the University's inter-
national travel policy in hopes of
improving the study abroad expe-
rience for University members
traveling overseas.
According to John Godfrey,
chair of the International Travel
Oversight Committee, there are
three major changes being made
to international travel policy at the
University, including an alteration
to the University's risk assessment

of possible study abroad locations,
a mandate that all student travel-
ers have insurance and a require-
ment that students register with
the University's travel registry.
Godfrey said previous study
abroad sites were determined
based on State Department travel
warnings, while the new policy
allows the University to evaluate
the risks of locations themselves
and be more involved in the deci-
sion-making process of where to
send students.
"The benefits are going to be
enormous, as far as the Univer-
sity's ability to support all of our
travelers overseas in case they
have any problems," Godfrey said.
"Study abroad is evolving ... with
this new policy at hand, we might
be in a position to better evaluate
current risks and conditions and
make recommendations under

certain circumstances for study
abroad programs going forward."
He added that the State
Department travel warnings are
useful, but can limit the study
abroad experience of students.
"We've been considering this
for a number of years - that our
use of state travel warnings is easy
for us to use ... on the other hand
it comes at considerable costs,"
Godfrey said. "As a policy, we
found ourselves ending programs
in countries that did not have any
considerable risks."
According to a June 15 Univer-
sity press release, changes to the
international travel policy were
decided after Mark Tessler, vice
provost for international affairs,
consolidated a review of peer uni-
versity study abroad policies.
"Knowing where our students
and their mentors are and being

able to reach them is absolutely
essential in an emergency," Tes-
sler said in the release. "The low-
cost insurance coverage provides
a means to get assistance to them
when needed."
Godfrey said the required
study abroad insurance may ease
concerns of travelers and their
families, particularly because it's
cost efficient since its valued at "a
little over a buck and a quarter a
day." The insurance will provide
full coverage, 24-hour emergency
toll-free calls to English-speaking
personnel and evacuation if need-
ed.
While undergraduates have
been required to have Univer-
sity study abroad insurance since
2008, the new policy requires
everyone traveling through the
University to have insurance,
See ABROAD, Page 3

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