Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Students receive e-mail about 2005 budget

16. July 2004 • Matt Hollerbach
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In an attempt to increase transparency and appear more accessible, U-M Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper has sent an e-mail to students detailing some of the significant highlights of the recently approved FY 2005 budget for the Division of Student Affairs. It is unclear, however, exactly which students recieved VP Harper’s e-mail, as it was not sent to the entire campus.

This comes after a winter semester filled with protest and student outrage at administrative folleys that resulted in severe cuts to many vital student services and resources. While many of the students’ issues have been addressed (to varying extents), students and adminstrators are likely to remain opposed on key issues such as SAPAC and MESA.

More commentary and analysis of this budget can be expected on in the coming week.

The original e-mail:

To: “U-M Students”:;
From: “E. Royster Harper”
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 18:23:29
Subject: 2005 Student Affairs Budget

Dear Students:

I want to share with you some good news regarding the Division of Student Affairs budget, and its impact on student services and programs.

As a result of the continuing difficult state budget climate, Student Affairs, like other campus units, was asked to plan for a budget cut in 2004-05 of up to 5%. However, I believe strongly that further erosion of our programming budgets would hurt our ability to support our student communities. President Mary Sue Coleman and Provost Paul Courant agree with this concern, and together we have worked to identify resources that would allow us to protect Student Affairs from further cuts and restore some portions of our funding that had been cut in 2003-04.

Our budget planning and internal reallocations within and outside of Student Affairs have led to increased funding for the following items, among others: – $70,000 to create enhanced safe space for sexual assault survivors; – $27,000 in restored funding to Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs programs and Pow Wow (a restoration to 2003 funding levels), along with a continued commitment to work with the Native American community to provide support for the Pow Wow; – $8,000 in partially restored funding for Student Activities and Leadership; – $25,000 to support emerging opportunities; – Increased funding for International Center programs, including work related to new federal regulations; and – Expanding to full-time the position of education coordinator in the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs.

We also have focused our attention on how to use most effectively the resources that go into the University Unions, and you will see some positive changes at the North Campus Commons and at the Michigan League. At the Pierpont Commons, there is a new convenience store, new recreation and gathering space for students, and two new restaurant offerings: the Sky Grill, and the Earl of Sandwich. At the League, we have replaced the buffet with a grab-and-go food menu. You will be able to get food for longer hours during the day, and the underground space will have more Internet hookups and will be open longer hours for studying and gathering.

With respect to the William Monroe Trotter House Multicultural Center, I am pleased to tell you that we have been able to allocate additional funding both for facilities needs and for programming. These funds are in addition to the efforts underway to obtain support for Trotter through private donors as part of our major fundraising campaign.

Our facilities staff has been working on an assessment of the physical condition of Trotter House to determine what infrastructure updates are urgently needed. A fund of $800,000 has been set aside from investment proceeds to support infrastructure repairs and improvements over the next two years; and an additional $200,000 has been identified for immediate and forthcoming facilities needs, such as interior and exterior enhancements. Some of these improvements are already apparent.

In addition to these one-time investments in the facility, we have worked to find $80,000 in recurring funds to support the long-term development of multicultural programming connected with Trotter House. An advisory group, made up largely of students and including faculty and staff representation, will be established to guide us in planning for how best to use these resources to develop effective multicultural programming that supports the vision of Trotter House. This group will carry out its work during the coming academic year.

Because of the commitment of recurring University funds for multicultural programming, the leadership of the Michigan Student Assembly decided not to bring forward to the Board of Regents a request for an additional $1 student fee increase to support Trotter.

Our work together to create a vibrant, stimulating and supportive student community is tremendously important. The entire staff of Student Affairs looks forward to working with students in the months ahead as we put the University’s vision and values into practice.


E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Affairs

  1. Maybe they should try putting students’ “values and visions into practice” instead of the University’s.
       —David Boyle    Jul. 18 '04 - 11:23AM    #