Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Subbaswamy encourages students to attend Advocacy Day Monday

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Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

Ahead of Public Higher Education Advocacy Day, University of Massachusetts Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy sent an email to students Thursday encouraging them to attend. Public higher education advocacy will take place Monday at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

“It is critically important for our state legislators to hear from you as they make decisions that will determine the budget for UMass for the coming year,” Subbaswamy said in the email.

He discussed Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed one percent budget increase saying, “While we are grateful that the governor’s budget includes enhanced funding for UMass, one percent is not enough for our campus to cover mandated cost increases in the coming year.”

In January, UMass system President Marty Meehan cancelled salary increases for employees working in the President’s Office and the Central Administration of the UMass system.

The Daily Collegian reported that the pay hikes are being cancelled for the University system to cover a $10.9 million budget shortfall.

According to the article, Meehan told the Board of Trustees that the cancellation of the pay hikes would save the UMass system $548,288 and prevent a reduction in the quality of the universities.

In September, Meehan said he was confident that the state legislature would increase funding to help cover the $10.9 million budgetary gap that he had approved. However, the House of Representatives and Senate did not approve the increase and the cost fell completely on the University. According to the email, the Massachusetts House and Senate will present their budget proposals for fiscal year 2017 in the coming weeks.

This is where students can have their biggest impact as they lobby individual legislators to increase funding for higher public education, according to Subbaswamy, who encouraged students to tell their “UMass story.”

Subbaswamy hopes that the final budget will include an increase from the proposed one percent, “given the role the University plays in providing an accessible, world-class education.”

The email also said that free round-trip bus rides would be provided for registered students to the State House from campus. The chancellor said this was organized in conjunction with the Student Government Association.

Marie MacCune can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MarieMacCune.

1 Comment

One Response to “Subbaswamy encourages students to attend Advocacy Day Monday”

  1. Ed on March 7th, 2016 1:42 am

    Yep, go tell the legislators what it’s like living in a police state.

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