President’s Blog: Georgia’s Legislative Process & Middle Georgia State University

From the President’s Stand for Greatness blog…

Dear Faculty & Staff:

A couple of weeks back I blogged about education and democracy.  This blog is part two, in a sense, and is much more immediate and concrete.

Today begins the second full month of the Georgia General Assembly, and deliberations and decisions by law makers on the future of Georgia, the funding of key projects, and accomplishing its work under the leadership of Governor Brian Kemp.  For the past two weeks new and returning faces have been busy doing the people’s business under the Gold Dome.

For Middle Georgia State University, our business as usual is to promote MGA’s legislative priorities. On tap for this year’s session are two specific opportunities to SUPPORT $10.6 MILLION FOR ACADEMIC AND STUDENT SUCCESS RENOVATIONS, to funding construction and renovation in Roberts Library and Dillard Hall on the University’s Cochran Campus in Bleckley County.

We’re also asking for SUPPORT of $5 MILLION IN AVIATION FUNDING to provide for additional tools on the University’s Eastman Aviation campus and at Aviation expansion sites throughout the state, meeting the need for increased capacity to educate students in aircraft operation (flight) and aviation maintenance technology. The funding will provide flight training equipment, including a simulator and multiple aircraft and aviation maintenance technology training equipment.

Together with the University System of Georgia (USG), Middle Georgia State University’s Government Affairs team will also work to promote important System-wide priorities. This includes supporting the Governor’s recommendation of $82.6 million in new Formula Funds for enrollment growth, shared among all USG institutions to support critical day-to-day operations and academic quality, and $50 million in major repair and rehabilitation Funds to repair aging facilities across the USG.

Our state appropriations tends to be driven primarily by enrollment and secondarily by special appropriations.  The projects outlined above belong to the former special category, and you are familiar with how importance enrollment is to our funding.  About one-third of our entire budget depends on state appropriations, so you can see how vital our performance and our legislative outreach is to our strength and our future.

We remain an extraordinarily great value-for-money proposition to our legislators.  Providing an MGA degree is a wonderful use of taxpayers’ dollars.  We must cherish and sustain that work to keep doing that so well.

On behalf of Middle Georgia State University, I thank our legislators for all they do to support, higher education in our region, the USG and the people of Georgia. I would also like to thank the faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication in realizing our state’s vision for an engaged and educated workforce.