General Assembly Approves Additional Funds for JMU and Higher Ed

Press Release -- February 28th, 2011

On Sunday, February 27, 2011, the General Assembly approved amendments to the Governor’s introduced 2010-2012 Biennium budget that includes additional funds for James Madison University and higher education in the Commonwealth. JMU will receive an additional $6,084,540 in General Fund support for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. These additional funds are intended to support the goals of the Governor’s Higher Education Commission.

• In-state enrollment growth
• Increase the number of full-time faculty
• Operations and maintenance of new buildings
• Increase in-state undergraduate enrollments
• Public-private partnership
• Base operating support
• Additional undergraduate student financial aid

As a part of the approved budget, the General Assembly outlined important information regarding the Virginia Retirement System and Optional Retirement Plan for state employees. State employees who are enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and were hired before July 1, 2010, will receive a five percent salary increase effective June 25, 2011. This salary increase will offset the required five percent contribution for state employees hired before July 1, 2010, and enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS); effective June 25, 2011.

The Optional Retirement Plan will remain unchanged.

“It is gratifying to see that public higher education is once again a priority. We are grateful to the Governor and the General Assembly for reversing the funding trend of recent years. We look forward to using these additional funds to improve our base operations, to add to our faculty, and to serve additional Virginians. We are particularly pleased to note that the Commonwealth is moving to secure state pensions without penalizing employees who have not had a raise in three years,” said JMU President Linwood H. Rose.

JMU also received $12,575,000 in capital appropriations. The boiler replacement and infrastructure project currently under way will receive $3,000,000. State supported bonds in the amount of $4,675,000 will be issued for equipping the new Biosciences Building currently under construction. Furthermore, bonds will be issued in the amount of $4,900,000 to support the renovation and construction of the new Student Health Center, which will be located in the East Wing of the former Rockingham Memorial Hospital building.

“This approved budget provides JMU with the much-needed resources in critical core operations within the university. We are particularly pleased to receive $4.6 million to equip the new Biosciences Building,” said Charles King, senior vice president for administration and finance.

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