Bruininks reacts to federal budget bill

Got this from the University of Minnesota this afternoon.

Read this piece for context/details of the bill.

The following is a statement from University of Minnesota President Robert H. Bruininks regarding the federal budget bill:

“It is a relief to see that Congressional leaders and the president were able to prioritize Pell grants and research funds among the many difficult choices they made in this budget,” said University of Minnesota President Robert H. Bruininks. “I thank the university’s many advocates across the state and the country as well as the lawmakers who made the case for these programs and their future return to our society and economy during very challenging fiscal times.”

The bill goes to the House and Senate this week. Details of the bill include the following:

  • It maintains Pell Grants at their current level of a $5,550 maximum Pell grant. (Last year 10,712 University of Minnesota undergraduates, or roughly 25 percent, received some level of Pell funding.)
  • For cost reasons eliminates the so-called year-round Pell grant, which allowed Pell recipients an additional grant to use for summer classes. (Across its five campuses, the university had 1,590 students take advantage of the second Pell Grant last year.)
  • It makes minimal cuts (less than one percent) to research agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (which sponsored $260 million in U of M research expenditures last year); the National Science Foundation ($68.2 million), the Department of Energy ($21.9 million) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture ($18.1 million).