Here’s part of the minutes of the most recent meeting of the “Michigan Roundtable,” a hand-picked group of student “leaders” that Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper meets with on a monthly basis. Think about the leaders of the largest corporatist student organizations (with titles like Vice President for External Relations) sitting around with administrators eating free food. Yes, through some unexplained fluke, I’m a member, although I suspect it’s because they think I’m still the “chair” of the ACLU (I’m not).

“Budget Discussion:

We were joined by Provost Paul Courant and Frank Cianciola, who did a wonderful job outlining how the University approaches the budget. Paul outlined that, unfortunately for students, tuition prices have to go up. These increases in tuition secure that the university will continue to grow and remain a driving force in higher education.

Of the General Fund, 54% of that budget comes from student tuition, 33% from state appropriations, and 13% from indirect cost recovery (money provided from research grants which are used to cover normal utility and maintenance bills for university space). The State Legislature has cut 54 million from the appropriations, which equals about $1400/student currently enrolled at the University.

Fun Fact:
1.Michigan has the highest out-of-state tuition rates than any other public institution in the country.

Without going into details about where/what was cut from each department, Frank was sure to point out that when looking at budget cuts, we cannot assume that a cut implies valuing one service over another. In many cases, valuable services must have their budgets reduced in order to balance the University budget; it is not necessarily that “this department is better than that department.”

Questions were raised concerning MESA, the Safe-walk with DPS, tuition rises versus inflation, and the endowment fund.

Meeting Wrap-up

If you would like to work with Sarah Koeze and Frank Cianciola in developing a model for a campus-wide room reservation system, please sign-up or email Sarah at (”

God forbid he go into details! Our pretty little heads might explode.

Author: Rob