Recommended higher ed. funding approved | Arkansas Blog

Recommended higher ed. funding approved

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The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board today approved the Dept. of Higher Education’s 2007-09 biennial funding recommendations for public colleges and universities.

Monies approved include about $235 million for operations and $318 million for capital projects.

In advocating for the funds, higher education officials cited the increasing enrollment at Arkansas institutions, as well as the increasing number of degrees being awarded.

“With an enrollment increase of more than 25 percent over the past five years and several new off-campus sites to serve rural communities, the need for these additional funds is easily documented," said state higher education director Dr. Linda Beene. "In terms of constant dollars, 2004-05 funding was at the lowest level per full-time-equivalent student since 1979-80. ...

"The progress that Arkansas is making in improving the public school system is very commendable, but it is critically important that the State also maintain its commitment to higher education. It would be a shame for the state to bring the public schools up to the desired level while letting the colleges and universities fall behind their peers in other states."

The recommendations will go to the Arkansas General Assembly for consideration.

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