Though it’s important to point out that the “good news” comes in the form of “things might not be that bad.” EMU Faculty Senate President Matt Evett emailed faculty over the weekend to let us know that a) the cut to funding might not be quite as bad as we had originally thought, and b) the stuff in the bill that would take away benefits to domestic partners is unconstitutional or unenforceable, and Snyder’s legal counsel is suggesting it be taken out. So we’ll see.
Incidentally, I was busy at an academic conference this past weekend, and I spent some time talking with a colleague from North Dakota, which is one of the few states in the country that is running a significant budget surplus. The conservative state legislature there is also keen on making cuts to social services and to higher education, which to me is another example about how none of this is about money so much as it is about politics.
Anyway, Evett’s email after the “continued” part.
Here’s Evett’s email:
I have learned of some promising news from Lansing that I would like to
share with you.
First, Pres. Martin has told me that there is real hope that EMU may see
slightly less than a 15% cut in state appropriations. (The Gongwer News
Service–a Lansing political news source–reports that the varoius
universities will be cut different amounts.) Obviously that is still a
big and painful amount, but at least the trend seems to be moving toward
a smaller, rather than larger cut.
Also according to the Gongwer News, Gov. Snyder’s legal counsel has
informed the Senate and House leaders that proposed bills to penalize
universities for embryonic stem cell research and for offering benefits
to employees with unmarried partners are “unconstitutional and
unenforceable”. Hopefully this will lead the legislature to drop these
actions that could do so much damage to our universities and to our
faculty here at EMU. If you want more details, see www.gongwer.com