General Assembly Update From President Alger
Dear Faculty and Staff:
As many of you know, the General Assembly has concluded its session and provided an approved budget to Gov. McDonnell. This session included many important opportunities and specific challenges facing the Commonwealth.
Although the budget process is not finalized until the veto session is complete, we appreciate the work of the General Assembly. We are very encouraged about the increase in funding of higher education and the continued support of James Madison University.
With that said, I would like to share with you some General Assembly highlights that are specifically related to JMU.
The budget from the General Assembly includes a total estimated General Fund (funds from the state) increase of $2,538,494 for JMU. This includes $401,821 for undergraduate financial aid and $2,136,673 for operations.
The estimated operations increase includes $1,716,601 in allocations for enrollment growth and base funding. The additional money for enrollment growth ($1,397,062) is part of the ongoing plan to increase the number of in-state undergraduate students at JMU by a total of 395 over a four-year period. This funding, combined with the amount included in the budget, represents the state’s share for the third year of this growth.
The university has been working diligently on behalf of all faculty and staff to identify funding for a long overdue salary increase. We are pleased to report that the budget includes a 3 percent annual salary increase for Instructional and A&P Faculty. The budget also provides classified staff with a 2 percent salary increase. Classified staff members who have been continuously employed by the state for 5 years or more will receive an additional $65 per year of service increase up to a maximum of 30 years ($1,950). The salary increase for faculty and staff is scheduled to take effect on July 25th of 2013.
Lastly, the budget includes funding for the construction phase of the new Health Sciences building project and the preplanning phase of the Madison Hall renovation (former RMH Cancer Center).
As I mentioned, the budget process is not finalized but we are thrilled with the increase in state support. This additional support is a direct reflection of the commitment and results-driven work of all JMU faculty and staff. Thank you.
We look forward to communicating with the campus community in the coming weeks on a final budget and the impact on JMU.
Jonathan R. Alger