USM Advocacy Day to be Held February 28 in Annapolis
System of Maryland Faculty, Staff and Students to Rally for Budget Support
Adelphi, Md. (Feb. 27, 2017) --
University System of Maryland (USM) leadership councils representing students,
faculty, and staff will participate in USM Advocacy Day in Annapolis on
Tuesday, February 28.
The Council of University System Faculty (CUSF), Council of
University System Staff (CUSS) and USM Student Council (USMSC) will meet as a
group with key legislators in the morning and during a noon luncheon to discuss
advisory councils to the Board of Regents and to the Chancellor, these members
represent the academic professionals, technically skilled and managerial group
employees, and students-all of whom are so vital to the USM. Council members
work diligently to engender a sense of university community and cultivate an
ideal environment for teaching, learning and service.
Advocacy Day is an annual event undertaken largely by the USM
councils in conjunction with the USM Foundation. The USM Office of Government
Relations helps to coordinate the organization process.
This year, roughly 35 legislators from the Maryland House of
Delegates and Maryland Senate will attend the lunch, to be held in Room 170-180
of the Lowe House Office Building.
During Advocacy Day, the USM community via the respective
councils will advocate for Governor Hogan's $1.35 billion fiscal year 2018
budget for the USM.
This proposed total
state support for the USM of $1.35 billion from the governor would come from
the General Fund and the Higher Education Investment Fund. The proposed budget results
in an increase from the current fiscal year of $26.6 million-or approximately 2
percent for the USM.
There are three
components to the $26.6 million increase in state funds: 1) funding for tuition
relief; 2) support to implement SB 1052, the University of Maryland Strategic
Partnership Act; and 3) funding for operating expenses for new building
The $16.4 million
fund for tuition relief will allow for a "tuition buy-down," enabling the USM
to cap resident undergraduate tuition increases at a modest 2 percent. This annual increase is well below annual
increases for in-state, undergraduate tuition that have risen between 5% and
12% from year to year in certain states around the U.S.
With a continued
focus on tuition affordability, this is the second consecutive year Governor
Hogan has provided tuition relief to make college in Maryland more affordable
At this time
during the annual legislative session, the legislature
is considering the entire state operating budget. The legislature cannot add to
the budget. It has the ability only to make reductions in the budget. USM's main
priority is to ensure the legislature does not reduce the system's budget and
all funding is kept for higher education.
A critical message during USM Advocacy Day is that an
investment in the USM is an investment in the state of Maryland.
CUSF, CUSS, and the USMSC will urge legislators to remember
that strong budgetary support of the USM helps to ensure the benefits that USM
brings to the state. These benefits include continued economic development and
improvement in the quality of life for Maryland citizens; advancement of commercialization
and technology transfer; and development of groundbreaking research and
discovery in such areas as health care, energy, and cybersecurity.
The USM leadership groups will meet with lawmakers who sit
on influential committees and represent USM institutions. The USMSC's
legislative agenda centers on the advancement of USM students, on campus and in
the work place, to ensure that Maryland's excellent public higher education
institutions remain as accessible and affordable as possible for students of
all backgrounds, while maintaining their high quality.
Contact: Mike Lurie