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Highlights of 2017 MD General Assembly

Dear University of Maryland community,

The General Assembly recently concluded its 2017 session.  Governor Hogan and the legislature demonstrated their continuing support for the University System of Maryland (USM) and UMD.

The session began with the state facing projected revenue shortfalls​ of about $200 million in ​FY17 (fiscal year July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017) ​and another $5​00 million in FY18 (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018).​

Therefore, in this fiscal year, UMD had to return to the state $5.5 million by eliminating unfilled faculty/staff positions. ​The initial recommendations for next fiscal year called for a $25 million reduction in​ USM’s base operating budget, with a large share of the cut coming from UMD, since we are the largest institution in USM. 

But instead of additional base budget reductions​ next fiscal year, the legislature decided to take​ money from funds we are required to set aside for savings and investment. This one-time cut leaves our current operating budget intact when we start FY18, significantly reducing the fiscal sting.

Still, UMD's operating budget will remain tight in the coming year. The state did not approve cost-of-living or merit increases for any state employees ​in FY18. 

In support of college affordability, Governor Hogan proposed, and the General Assembly agreed, on additional appropriations that will limit resident tuition increases to 2% in FY18.

The Governor and the General Assembly were very supportive in keeping our campus building projects on schedule. (Money for the capital budget comes from selling long-term bonds; money for the operating budget comes from current tax revenues.) These projects are the A. James Clark Hall for Engineering; the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation; and the clinical facilities (orthopedics) and research facilities (neuroscience; health and human performance) in the renovated Cole​ Fieldhouse. 

In addition, the capital budget provides planning funds for a new School of Public Policy building, leveraged by a generous private gift. This new facility will provide needed space for the School's growing programs. The current space that it now occupies will then be available to serve the growth needs of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. 

Again, I thank the General Assembly and the Governor for their ongoing support, even in these difficult financial times. 

I also want to acknowledge those who helped advocate for UMD in Annapolis: ​USM officials; ​our state government relations staff; ​our faculty, staff, and students; and University of Maryland Foundation Board ​of Trustees, ​comprised of ​loyal alumni and generous supporters. To all, thank you.

Sincerely,

Wallace D. Loh
President