The state budget passed by the Massachusetts Legislature this week funds critical UMass Dartmouth needs. The Legislature's Fiscal Year 2016 budget has now been sent to the Governor's Office. The highlights of the budget include:
- $532 million - Base appropriation for 5-campus UMass System
- $2.7 million - For the continued lease of the College of Visual and Performing Arts in downtown New Bedford.
- $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.
- Tuition retention language - Allows UMass campuses to begin retaining tuition paid by students rather than remitting these funds to the Commonwealth. Currently, only fees remain on campus. This language is intended to simplify the bills sent by the University to students.
"With nearly three quarters of Massachusetts high school graduates now enrolling at our public campuses and the Commonwealth's innovation economy needing tens of thousands of new college graduates to grow, it is critical that the Commonwealth continue to make the investments needed to keep UMass Dartmouth and its sister campuses excellent and affordable," Chancellor Divina Grossman said. ''This investment is especially critical in southeastern Massachusetts where nine out of 10 college seats are at public campuses and where UMass Dartmouth is the only research campus. We appreciate the efforts of Senate President Rosenberg, Speaker DeLeo and their legislative colleagues, during a challenging year, to make these investments. We are also very appreciative of our SouthCoast delegation's success in once again securing funding for our downtown New Bedford College of Visual and Performing Arts facility and for critical fisheries research being conducted at the School for Marine Sciences and Technology."