April 15, 2010

Dear Goucher College Faculty and Staff:

The 2010 session of the Maryland General Assembly ended at midnight on Monday, April 12, and I write now to give you an update on the legislative/budget issues important to the college.

Sellinger Program
Governor O’Malley had proposed total funding for the Sellinger Program in FY 11 at approximately $30 million, a significant decrease. Due to the outreach efforts of the Goucher College community and the other independent institutions in Maryland, I am pleased to report that the General Assembly appropriated $38.4 million for the Sellinger Program in FY 11 and FY 12. This is far below where the program would be if it were not for cuts in recent years, but it still represents a victory. In another positive development, adjustments were made to the Sellinger multiplier (used to calculate the funding), which will be 10 percent in FY 13, and will increase each year until it gets to 15.5 percent in FY 2021.

For FY 11, it appears that Goucher College’s Sellinger Program appropriation will be $1.59 million.

To put this into context, at the end of the General Assembly session a year ago, Goucher’s portion of Sellinger funding was supposed to be $2.26 million. By the end of 2009, it had been reduced to $1.66 million through cuts made by the Board of Public Works (BPW) at the request of the Governor.

There is always the very distinct possibility that the Governor could cut the Sellinger Program through the BPW again next fall, so we will have to be very cautious about how much we count upon from the state in the final FY 11 revised Goucher budget.

Capital Budget
Three Maryland independent institutions received a total of $8 million for capital construction and renovation projects, which was an increase of $4 million over the Governor’s capital budget proposal.

As part of that appropriation, Goucher College received $3 million toward the renovation of the Julia Rogers building. Before it can be disbursed, we must match this amount with philanthropic contributions toward the project in the next two years – a requirement that seems eminently achievable, given our success so far with the capital campaign.

I want to take a moment to thank all members of the Goucher College community who wrote e-mails and letters, visited, and called their members of the House of Delegates and State Senate during this session to help preserve the Sellinger Program. Your hard work paid off; we are very pleased with this level of support for independent higher education – and for Goucher – despite the state’s fiscal crisis.

If you have any additional questions about the Sellinger Program or capital budget, please do not hesitate to contact Wendy Belzer Litzke, our vice president for government and community relations, at wendy.litzke@goucher.edu or at extension 6042. Thank you again for making the 2010 session of the Maryland General Assembly a successful one for Goucher College.

Sincerely,

Sandy Ungar
President