News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

May 3, 2013

Indiana State’s budget cut not as severe

Legislature’s budget bill also includes $16 million to renovate Normal Hall

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State University will see its state operating appropriation reduced for 2013-15, but not as much as initially anticipated.

The budget bill includes a $342,252 reduction in the state operating appropriation for ISU.

ISU’s state appropriation both years of the biennium will be about $67.3 million, down from about $67.6 million, said Diann McKee, ISU vice president for business affairs.

“While any cut in appropriation poses challenges, Indiana State fared better than originally projected,” ISU President Dan Bradley stated in an electronic communication to the university.

“I am grateful for the support Sen. Luke Kenley and Rep. Tim Brown gave higher education and am appreciative of Greg Goode’s tireless work advocating for our university.”

Goode is ISU’s executive director of government relations)

The budget bill also includes $16 million over the next two years to renovate Normal Hall; $2.7 million in repair and rehabilitation funding; and $4.5 million for the final phase of renovation for ISU’s science labs.

Normal Hall will be renovated as a Center for Student Success and would house Student Academic Services, including tutoring and academic advising. Normal Hall and the science labs “are both priority projects for ISU, and we’re very grateful” those have received funding, McKee said.

Last Thursday, the House and Senate also approved Senate Bill 402, which establishes the Principal Leadership Institute at ISU. The new program is funded at $1.2 million over the biennium.

“This issue is a shining example of the state’s confidence in Indiana State University to spearhead professional development programs for public school principals around the state,” Bradley wrote. The bill had bipartisan support from legislators across Indiana.

Six percent of the state’s operating appropriation for higher education went solely for performance funding measures. As a result of those measures, ISU’s net loss was $342,000. Under initial scenarios, it could have been much greater, McKee said.

Initially in the budget process, each of the seven public colleges and universities was to contribute a portion of its appropriation (6 percent in fiscal year 2014 and 7 percent  in 2015) to a performance-based funding pool.

That was later reduced to 2.2 percent, and the legislature provided $42.2 million in new state funding for the performance funding formula, McKee said.

The money in the performance funding pool is then reallocated back to the institutions based on performance in seven areas, such as student persistence, on-time graduation and overall degree completion.

To meet the 2.2 percent, ISU initially contributed $1.5 million, but under the performance measures, it regained all but $342,000. ISU fared well in some of the performance measures, including on-time graduation and faculty and staff productivity.

It didn’t fare as well in the area of student persistence, McKee said, measured by the number of students completing 30 and 60 hours.

Overall, she said, “We were very appreciative of the new dollars the state put into the higher education budget,” she said.

The results of this year’s budget deliberations underscore the importance of efforts to improve student success, Bradley stated. “The portion of our budget impacted by our progress on student success benchmarks, such as four-year graduation rates, will undoubtedly increase. Indiana State will need to demonstrate true progress in meeting these benchmarks to favorably impact our appropriation in upcoming biennia.”

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

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