Emily Anderson
Free Press Staff Writer

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September 2, 2008
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Funding could go up for Mesa State

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. " Mesa State College could get 50 percent more money from the state next year if a request for increased funding is approved by the governor's budget office.

Increases year to year are common because of inflation or increased operations costs, said Gayle Berry, a Denver-based lobbyist for Mesa State. The proposed increase would take Mesa State from a $49.5 million 2008-2009 appropriation of cash and reappropriated funds from the state budget to nearly $75 million.

Where the money could be spent will be discussed this morning at a Mesa State Board of Trustees meeting, said College President Tim Foster. He expects 2009-2010 state appropriations for the college to come in somewhere between $50 million and $75 million.

"People and technology" will be the top priorities for budgeting any extra money next year, Foster said.

The deadline for budget requests to the governor's budget office is Nov. 1. The Colorado Commission on Higher Education will discuss preliminary budget options at their Sept. 11 meeting in Boulder.

The amount of money available for higher education in the future will depend on reforms to the higher education funding system and the economy.

"If the economy goes down significantly, the number could decrease," Berry said, referring to the $25 million boost figure.

Last year, half of the state money that went to Mesa State came from tuition. Nearly half a million dollars came from student and academic fees.

Reach Emily Anderson at eanderson@gjfreepress.com.

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The Post Independent Updated Sep 2, 2008 11:31PM Published Sep 2, 2008 11:31PM Copyright 2008 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.