Gov. Gilmore Recommends $23 Million for George Mason

Posted: December 21, 1999 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Gov. James Gilmore announced last week that he is recommending approximately $23 million in additional funds to be allocated for George Mason University over the next two years. This allocation is part of a $600 million package for Virginia’s colleges and universities that, Gilmore said, would help ensure “our colleges remain among the best in the nation….and most of all, keep college affordable for hard-working Virginians.”

The governor said the $23 million for George Mason would support the institution’s ongoing efforts to enhance its high-technology capabilities and programs. It includes $11.8 million to allow George Mason to expand technology in its classrooms and improve academic quality, all with a view toward reducing class size and retaining quality students, and $3.2 million to allow George Mason to initiate a partnership with Oracle Corporation to create an information system within the university community and a program to certify students on their information technology skills.

President Alan Merten welcomed the governor’s support, but cautioned members of the university community that this proposal–if approved–does not yet address all of George Mason’s budgetary needs and initiatives. “Since our beginning days, George Mason has been the lowest funded of all of Virginia’s doctoral institutions. We have been struggling to achieve this kind of budget parity for years,” he said.

A breakdown of Gilmore’s budget recommendations for George Mason is as follows:

  • $11.8 million to support full-time faculty and academic support staff to reduce class sizes and dependence on part-time teachers, accommodate more students in technology, and provide more funds for merit scholarships

  • $3.7 million to maintain faculty salaries

  • $3.2 million to support a new partnership with Oracle Corporation to implement a student information system, financial information system, grants management system, and human resource system

  • $1.4 million for projected enrollment growth

  • $3 million in budget adjustments

According to the Washington Post, Gilmore is proposing to spend a total of $7.1 billion on higher education programs in his 2000-2002 budget, a 9.6 percent increase over the two-year budget that expires in June.

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