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State cuts millions from university programs

In early May the University of Miami, and other Florida universities, said goodbye to $459 million because of government funding cuts.

The Miller School of Medicine and other UM programs lost state grants while financial aid awards remained stable in Florida’s 2007-08 fiscal year budget.

Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed $2.5 million allotted for UM’s Sylvester Cancer Center-money that would have been used for research in patient care, said Assistant Vice President of Government Affairs Richard Candia.

Gov. Crist also cut a $500,000 grant that would have supported the accelerated bachelor’s program in the School of Nursing and decreased the awards for other medical programs.

Laurie Plotnick, the associate dean for Advancement and Alumni Affairs at the School of Nursing, said the governor’s veto of that request will not hurt the school so much as it will the students who may have been reconsidering enrollment into the Accelerated Bachelors in Nursing Program.

Although approximately $3 million has been cut, administrators are not worried about the loss.

“It’s peanuts for what the university gets from the federal government [in grants],” Candia said.

He noted that most of the medical school’s funding comes in the form of grants awarded by the federal government such as a peer-reviewed grant. These grants are given to programs that could possibly be successful.

In the last academic year, the School of Medicine received 61.8 percent of its funding from federal grants, 13.6 percent from state and local government grants and 24.6 percent from private grants as well as donations, according to the school’s Office of Research.

Through Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG), a tuition assistance program, private universities will also be receiving a total of about $100 million for enrolling 34,321 Florida residents.

James Bauer, UM’s assistant dean of Enrollment Management and director of Financial Assistance Services, considers the FRAG assistance a good amount considering that the Florida Legislature decreased funds to other agencies.

Furthermore, the state reserves the right to lower the award amount in the spring term to accommodate extra students if the number of Florida residents were to surpass the budget’s limit.

For the 2006-07 academic year, there were 4,567 FRAG recipients at UM. The number of FRAG recipients for 2007-08 will not be determined until October, Bauer said.

In addition to grants, the med school will receive a subsidy worth about $7 million for enrolling up to 500 Florida residents.
The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and the award limit for students receiving the Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) were increased as well.

Furthermore, Candia believes state legislators did all they could to limit budget cuts.

On Sep. 18, there will be a special session for the state legislature to review the approved budget, and Candia believes “numbers may change.”

Grants awarded to UM by the Florida legislature

In the Miller School of Medicine:
-Dept. of Pediatrics: $1,429,170
-Medical training and simulation lab: $3,500,000
-Cancer research: $1,875,200
-Ph.D. program in biomedical science: $1,076,200
-Spinal cord research: $700,000
-Brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation trust fund: $1,000,000
-Project to cure paralysis: $700,000
-Regional Diabetes Center: $596,094
In other schools/departments:
-RSMAS: $241,473
-SoC for B.S. and MFA in motion pictures: $349,897
-Office of Financial Assistance Services for Florida Resident Access Grant: $102,693,000

Walyce Almeida may be contacted at w.almeida@umiami.edu.

August 30, 2007

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.