Michigan ranks 8th worst in the nation for state support of public research universities. That’s according to an 8 year study by the National Science Board.
Funding from states averaged 20-percent lower - and universities’ reliance on tuition for revenue was up to 50 percent higher during the study. Michigan per pupil funding has dropped almost a third during the study.
Dr. Ray Bowen is with the National Science Board. He says public research universities are a driving force for the US economy. "Our ability to compete economically in the world, in this high tech, aggressive, global economic environment, is affected by the quality of these big public universities."
Bowen warns that if this downward trend in state university funding continues, top level research may only be possible at private universities with fewer students able to afford the costs for that education.
Steve Forrest is Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan, and says efficiencies, cost cutting and alternative funding are offsetting the reduction in state aid. "It's tough, and we have been still very lucky. In spite of all of the cuts, we have not cut into any of our academic programs and we maintain a very high quality ranking worldwide."