Merten Updates BOV on State Budget Battles

Posted: March 22, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch

“There has been much activity in Richmond regarding the budget in recent times, but at present little has been resolved,” said President Alan Merten in his report to the Board of Visitors (BOV) at the governing body’s meeting yesterday.

“We in higher education are in the business of speaking out for the needs of our students and our institutions,” he said. “I will continue to speak out on behalf of the needs of George Mason.”

As part of the ongoing budget discussions, both Merten and BOV Rector Edwin Meese noted that the university is currently requesting the state to exempt two of George Mason’s capital projects from the budget freeze that is now in place: construction on Academic IV on the Fairfax Campus and planning money for Arlington II on the Arlington Campus.

Merten also reported that preliminary enrollment figures for fall 2001 are encouraging. Presently, freshman applications are up approximately 10 percent over last year’s total at this time of year. This figure includes increases in the number of freshman applications from out-of-state students and out-of-region students.

In other action, the BOV approved two new degree programs–the Master of Public Policy and the Doctor of Engineering in Information Technology. The board also approved summer tuition and fee rates, with no increase from the rates of the previous academic year. Finally, it granted approval to Washington Gas to install permanent and temporary construction easements to facilitate the construction of a new gas line adjacent to the Fairfax Campus.

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