Indiana’s public colleges and universities have adjusted their approach to lawmakers ahead of the 2021 budget to account for COVID-19.
Typical state budget presentations from higher education institutions have focused on degree attainment, average student debt and then their funding requests. This year, university presidents made sure to emphasize the cost-cutting measures they’ve taken since the pandemic began.
Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne) even applauded Ball State University for firing a few dozen people.
“I appreciate you're taking the charge to cut costs," Brown said. "That’s significant.”
The pandemic also altered schools’ capital requests. Indiana University President Michael McRobbie’s lone ask, for instance, is money for a new primary medical school campus.
“These dollars are critical during a pandemic when the school is providing essential medical support to the entire state,” McRobbie said.
Lawmakers will pass a new, two-year state budget in 2021.