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President Kahn Responds to Gov. Hassan's Budget Speech

February 14, 2013

Keene State College President Jay Kahn Issues Statement in Response to Governor Hassan’s Call for Funding University System of New Hampshire

The presidents of New Hampshire’s public four-year colleges and universities today thanked Gov. Maggie Hassan for her biennial budget proposal, in which she recommends increasing funding on behalf of in-state students to $75 million in FY14 and $90 million in FY15.

Dr. Jay Kahn, interim president of Keene State College, said:

"Governor Hassan's support to substantially restore funding for the University System of New Hampshire

  • Assures a pathway for New Hampshire students into the quality programs offered by the state's public colleges, and
  • Sustains a pipeline of New Hampshire students to support the state's workforce and economic development.

This is what New Hampshire's families and employers have been requesting."

State funding for in-state students at public four-year colleges and universities was $100 million until 2011, when it was cut initially to $51 million, or to roughly 6 percent of the operating budgets of the four institutions. In real terms over the past decade, the state's subsidy to each four-year public college and university student in the state had fallen by $5,000 to less than $600 per year.

"We have heard a lot from alumni, parents and friends of our colleges and universities who understand the importance of maintaining a strong system of public higher education and who want it to remain affordable,” said USNH Board Chair Richard Galway. “We also know from our conversations with businesses that they depend on us to prepare graduates who are ready for the modern workforce. We are pleased that the governor has taken a leadership position on these issues, and we look forward to working with the legislature to develop a bipartisan approach to building and sustaining our investment in the future of the state."

The presidents of Granite State College, the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University and Keene State College have committed to using the funds proposed by the governor to freeze in-state tuition for the two years of the biennium, as well as to increase substantially need-based and merit aid for students from New Hampshire.