House and Senate state budgets fund critical UMass Dartmouth needs

SouthCoast delegation-driven efforts support tuition affordability, fisheries research, cranberry health research, Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center, and College of Visual and Performing Arts support

The House and Senate versions of next year's state budget fund critical UMass Dartmouth needs related to affordability and economic development. The two versions of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget are now the subject of House and Senate negotiations.  The highlights of the budget relating to UMass Dartmouth include: 

$518 million -- Base appropriation for 5-campus UMass System.  This amount represents the second installment of the 50/50 funding plan which seeks to equally share the cost of a UMass education between the university and the state. 

$2.7 million -- For the lease and operations of the College of Visual and Performing Arts in downtown New Bedford. Also known as the "Star Store" campus, this facility attracts hundreds of students, staff and faculty to the city's downtown and is recognized as a powerful example of the creative economy. 

$1.6 million -- For the lease and operations of the Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center in Fall River, which houses start up companies, UMass Dartmouth labs, and conference space. UMass Dartmouth is currently working on a plan to accelerate the recruitment and development of ATMC companies. 

$450,000 -- For funding of fisheries research at the School for Marine Sciences and Technology related to yellowtail flounder and other species to assist stakeholders in sustaining fishing habitats and the commercial fishing industry. 

$100,000 -- For Cranberry Health Research Center which is investigating the cranberry's ability to fight cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses. 

"I want to thank Speaker Deleo, Senate President Murray and the entire SouthCoast legislative delegation for its support of these initiatives that will expand opportunity for our students while leveraging the intellectual capital of the university to expand the cultural and economic development of our region," Chancellor Divina Grossman said. "We are so fortunate to have elected leaders who truly understand the transformative role that public higher education plays in the lives of individuals and communities." 

"When I think of UMass Dartmouth, I think of access to high quality education opportunity and a nationally recognized commitment to the community,'' said Junior Political Science Major and Student Trustee-elect Jacob Miller. "These are the attributes that make me proud to be a student here and I appreciate our legislators' continuing strong support."

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