December 19, 2011
Today Governor McDonnell released his 2012-2014 biennial budget proposal, which contains good news for both higher education in general and Old Dominion University specifically. In recognition of the university's good work in meeting the stated objectives of the Governor and the General Assembly in enrollment growth, STEM education, student retention and degree attainment, as well as economic development and research initiatives, the governor has included $8.8 million in base General Funds for ODU each year of the biennium.
The breakdown of the funds is as follows:
- Enrollment Growth - $1,111,000
- Base Funding - $4,284,306
- Degree Incentives - $1,598,657
- Expand Project Lead the Way - $450,000
- Financial Aid- $598,000
- Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics - $768,000
- 9C and 9D bond authority for important capital projects to include a new dining facility, Webb Center expansion and renovation and student housing renovations.
- Capital authority for the privately funded basketball practice facility.
In addition, the governor approved the following capital outlay initiatives:
- $9,000,000 in maintenance reserve funds, including funding for campus safety, ADA and other regulatory compliance, and the replacement of the mechanical systems in the Oceanography and Physical Sciences Building.
- Detailed planning funds for a joint policing facility.
There is also $1.3 million in the biennium for modeling and simulation activities, which will be used to market Virginia's strengths in modeling and simulation to incentivize the formation of companies using modeling and simulation and enhance collaboration among higher education institutions and the private sector.
More generally, the Governor included language to increase the Virginia Retirement System contribution rate from 6.58 to 8.76. It is important to note, however, that the budget assumes no change to the contribution made by employees. The budget calls for a total contribution of $2.21 billion to guarantee the security of state employees' and teachers' retirement benefits.
A three percent performance bonus for state workers is recommended, provided there is a state revenue surplus in fiscal year 2012. That surplus is currently projected to equal at least $160 million. The bonuses are also contingent upon each agency generating savings of two times the general fund cost for the bonuses.
I wish to thank the Governor for his continuing support and commitment to higher education. I also wish to thank the members of our Board of Visitors, the Hampton Roads legislative delegation and Elizabeth Kersey for their assistance.
John R. Broderick