State passes budget
Gov. Janet Napolitano and the Arizona Legislature demonstrated their continued support for the state university system during a difficult budget process. While the 2009 state budget signed into law Friday, June 27, includes a $50 million operating budget reduction for the state universities, it supports $1 billion in infrastructure investment.
“We are very grateful to the legislature and the governor for continuing their investment in ASU with an appropriation that is both substantial and appropriate considering what an extraordinarily difficult budget year this has been,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “We are also very appreciative of the infrastructure funding provided in the state budget that will be used to renovate buildings badly in need of repair.”
The two important investments in ASU will enable the university to meet the challenges of educating Arizona's rapidly expanding population, stimulating the state's economy, and helping solve the many human health and environmental problems the state and the nation face.
Like all state-funded agencies, ASU will have to make significant budget cuts but has have been preparing for the possible cuts for months and will be able to continue its core educational mission without any reduction in quality.
The new budget includes the University Infrastructure Economic Stimulus package supporting $1 billion in capital financing for construction at the state universities. The stimulus plan will finance critical building maintenance at the universities, construction of much-needed new facilities and the completion of the Phoenix biomedical campus.
The capital construction plan will help boost the state's economy in two ways: in the near-term by giving a boost to the construction industry and, long-term, by allowing the state universities to accommodate growth and increase the number of qualified graduates in the Arizona job market.
The Arizona Board of Regents will apportion the cuts to the individual universities and approve the operating budgets soon. The regents also will approve the time frame for the capital construction plans.