N.H.'s University System Unlikely to See Increase in State Aid

May 16, 2017

The University System of New Hampshire will likely not see an increase in state funding over the next two years.  That’s after Senate budget writers Tuesday voted to approve the recommendation of both the Governor and the House Finance Committee in keeping the system’s funding at current levels - $81 million a year. 

A proposal to add $3 million to that number failed along party lines – with Republicans against. Republican Senator Bob Giuda of Warren said the university system had not shown it deserves more state support.

“Whether the state belongs in the business of funding an institution that continues to spend well beyond its means as evidence by its debt load – self funding or otherwise? It’s a billion dollar industry; they have 800 million dollars of debt," Giuda told his fellow committee members.

In a letter to the Senate Finance Committee members later in the day, Catherine Provencher, the state university system's treasurer, called Giuda's figures "misleading" and noted they included future interest payments on the system's bonds, a figure not typically included in calculations of outstanding debt.

The University System still has a chance to see more state dollars in the next budget. There’s a proposal to add roughly $4 million to freeze tuition for the 2019 academic year. That measure was postponed until Monday.