Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 2 Fiscal Year 2011

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2011

Higher Education

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Governor Patrick    FY2011 House 2 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor


Massachusetts’s public higher education system includes 56 campuses, satellites and other classroom locations across the state.  The public higher education system is governed by the Department of Higher Education and its Board and is committed to ensuring that all residents have the opportunity to benefit from a post-secondary education that enriches their lives and advances their contributions to civic life, economic development and social progress in the Commonwealth.  Budgeting for these institutions is a great challenge, and in previous years, the Department of Higher Education and its Board used two budget formulas – one for the state and community colleges and the other for the University – to determine total operating requirements at each individual campus and then allocated state support in a manner that is transparent, equitable, and is based on quantifiable data.  The budget formulas are premised on both aspirational and policy targets, and used a wide variety of financial and institutional metrics to determine total annual operating requirements.

Budget Preservation

Massachusetts public colleges and universities are funded at levels equal to fiscal year 2009 appropriation levels in the Governor’s fiscal year 2011 budget recommendation. This is possible due to state investment and the use of one-time federal stimulus funds. In fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2011, Massachusetts’ colleges and universities will continue to receive funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) to preserve budgets at the campuses.  This federal legislation allows states to use their allocations from this fund to help restore, for fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011, support for public elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education to the greater of the fiscal year 2008 or fiscal year 2009 levels and the funds for higher education must go to directly to “Institutes of Higher Education.” The funds from the SFSF have greatly benefited the higher education community by allowing the Commonwealth to maintain funding commitments to fiscal year 2009 appropriated levels with the use of both General Fund and federal stimulus dollars.  Although, the state budget reflects lower appropriations for higher education campuses, federal stimulus funds will be used to ensure each campus remains at fiscal year 2009 levels.  Over fiscal years 2009, 2010 and 2011, approximately $380 million in SFSF dollars are expected to be distributed to campuses from the SFSF:

State Funding for Massachusetts' Colleges and Univerisities
  FY2009 GAA ARRA Support
& FY2010
FY2011 H.2 FY2011 ARRA Total FY11
Campus Funding TOTAL 969,709,303 284,030,121 873,638,528 96,070,779 969,709,307
UMASS and Associated Programs 502,788,814 150,650,190 453,471,042 49,317,776 502,788,818
State Colleges 222,565,327 63,569,922 200,279,740 22,285,587 222,565,327
Community Colleges 244,355,162 69,810,009 219,887,747 24,467,415 244,355,162


SFSF dollars can be spent by campuses for: (1) education and general expenditures, and in such a way as to mitigate the need to raise tuition and fees for in-state students; or (2) the modernization, renovation, or repair of campus facilities that are primarily used for instruction, research, or student housing. 

The use of these one-time federal resources while fiscally prudent, presents the potential for some risk and concern within our higher education system.  To mitigate this risk and concern in fiscal year 2011, the Commonwealth is investing $134 million of General Fund dollars, and $96 million in State Fiscal Stabilization Funds in Massachusetts colleges and universities to hold these campuses to the fiscal year 2009 appropriated amounts, which total $969 million.

Massachusetts is faring better when compared to some other states in the nation.  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that 36 states have cut assistance to public colleges and universities, resulting in reductions in faculty and staff in addition to tuition increases. The University of California is increasing tuition by 32 percent and tuition at all 11 public universities in Florida increased by 15 percent for the 2009-2010 school year. Students in Washington and other states face significant tuition increases as well, costing families hundreds of dollars per year and Michigan and New Mexico have made deep cuts to need-based financial aid programs.   [ Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ]

Campus Consolidations

The Governor’s fiscal year 2011 budget recommendation includes a consolidated budget structure to fund the 15 community colleges and 9 state colleges.  Over time individual line items have been created in an effort to highlight a specific program or service.  This structure places limitations on an agency head’s ability to direct resources where they may ultimately be needed.  Although a consolidated approach is presented in the budget, the accounting of spending in the state’s accounting system is still managed in a way that clearly delineates how dollars are spent.  The consolidated approach provides maximum flexibility to the Education Secretariat and the Department of Higher Education to manage within limited resources.  In these challenging economic times, more students are considering attending our state’s colleges and universities, seeking an affordable, high-quality education.  As more students look toward our public higher education system, the campuses are met with the challenge of expanding their delivery of a world-class education with diminishing resources.  These real challenges and the recognition that each campus has unique programs and finances led to consolidating the disparate accounts into 2 separate line items.

State Colleges
7109-0100 Bridgewater State College 7100-3000 Massachusetts State Colleges
7110-0100 Fitchburg State College
7112-0100 Framingham State College
7113-0100 Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
7114-0100 Salem State College
7115-0100 Westfield State College
7116-0100 Worcester State College
7117-0100 Massachusetts College of Art
7118-0100 Massachusetts Maritime Academy


Community Colleges
7502-0100 Berkshire Community College 7100-4000 Massachusetts Community Colleges
7503-0100 Bristol Community College
7504-0100 Cape Cod Community College
7505-0100 Greenfield Community College
7506-0100 Holyoke Community College
7507-0100 Massachusetts Bay Community College
7508-0100 Massasoit Community College
7509-0100 Mount Wachusett Community College
7510-0100 Northern Essex Community College
7511-0100 North Shore Community College
7512-0100 Quinsigamond Community College
7514-0100 Springfield Technical Community College
7515-0100 Roxbury Community College
7516-0100 Middlesex Community College
7518-0100 Bunker Hill Community College


The Commonwealth and the rest of the country continue to face real economic challenges. In this environment the public higher education institutions will need to deliberately and creatively manage their budgets.  The individual institutions will be faced with unique challenges due to anticipated enrollment increases, various capacity capabilities of the campuses, and different levels of reserve funds.  The new consolidated line item structure presents a significant shift in the approach to budgeting that will allow campuses to make unique proposals to the Department of Higher Education and the Executive Office of Education to request funds based on the factors that drive costs at each of the campuses. The consolidated structures will assist the institutions in continuing to provide high-quality education at a competitive level.

Prepared by Brian Gosselin, Executive Office for Administration and Finance ·
For more information contact: (617) 727-2040

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