Expected funding for Robinson demolition, renovation not included in state budget

Senior university administrators held a forum on Jan. 28th on the current budget situation at Mason as well as the implications as to what the governor’s proposed budget would be.

According to Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance, J.J. Davis, there are many internal and external factors  placing pressure on the way forward for the university, ranging from the presence (or lack thereof) of state support to the national conversation around student debt and affordability of higher education.

Editor’s Blog: Top higher education bills to watch in the upcoming General Assembly session

The Virginia General Assembly will convene its 2014 legislative session on January 8th. The session, which only lasts until the beginning of March, is a whirlwind of policy debate that affects all Virginians. As a public university, George Mason University is heavily influenced by decisions made by state policymakers. This year, there are a number of bills that could impact Mason and its students. Here is a brief roundup of some of those bills:

1. Restrictions on out-of-state enrollment

Federal budget cuts affect scientific research

Recent budget cuts have had a severe impact on scientific research conducted at Mason. The National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases and the Department of Molecular and Microbiology failed to receive a grant from the National Institute of Health in May because of the NIH’s tight budget.

Editor’s Blog: Mason’s funding problem in one question

At a regularly held budget forum on Oct. 10, two senior university officials painted an optimistic picture of the future of Mason’s finances, but emphasized that many challenges remain.

Provost Peter Stearns and Senior Vice President JJ Davis, presented a number of data sets revealing little support Mason receives as a public university. For example, out of Virginia’s six doctoral institutions, Mason receives the lowest per-FTE (full time equivalent) student funding. At the same time, the university spends 62 percent that of its peer institutions.

INFOGRAPHIC: Faculty Pay at Mason

With ongoing forums and discussions about Mason's budget, here is everything you need to know about faculty pay at Mason:

Shrinking support raises questions about higher education funding priorities in Virginia

Compared to older state universities, Mason receives the least funding per-student than any other public doctoral institution in Virginia. As less and less of Mason’s budget is supported by state funds, questions are raised about how the Commonwealth supports higher education.

Week in review: June 13, 2013

Earlier this week, a state report showed that the rising costs of public higher education in Virginia are largely due to increased spending on non-educational expenses. According to the study, “student housing, dining, and intercollegiate athletics – through auxiliary enterprises – has been the largest driver of spending increases at Virginia institutions.” At the same time, financial support from the state has declined 22 percent over the past 20 years, putting more financial strain on students. 

Fairfax passes 1-cent increase in tax rate, closes budget gap

Faced with reduced federal government spending, a $169 million budget gap and sequestration, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a compromise budget for the 2014–2015 fiscal year.

The budget presented by Fairfax County Executive Ed Long initially proposed a 2-cent increase in the real estate tax rate, but the board ultimately decided on a 1-cent increase. According to a county press release, the increase will cost the average county homeowner an additional $216 in real estate taxes.

Mason facing budget shortfall after new state requirements

At a budget town hall on April 15, Senior Vice President J. J. Davis and Provost Peter Stearns discussed increasing student tuition and the 2014 fiscal year budget.

Tuition rates are expected to rise, however, the exact amount of the increase is yet to be determined. Stearns hopes that it will be less than 4.2 percent, which is the expected increase for other Virginia public universities.