University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston used his annual state of the university speech largely as a pitch for additional state funding.
In his address, Huddleston reiterated his pledge to again freeze tuition if the state boosts its funding, saying “in fact all it will take is for our lawmakers to return funding to 2009 levels. How heavy of a lift can that be?”
That would be an increase of almost $40 million dollars over two years. In her budget, Governor Maggie Hassan proposed a more modest, $13 million dollar increase.
As the budget process continues, Huddleston suggested that public universities are ready to apply political pressure. He says the university system has a database of 4,000 advocates, ready to contact their legislators.
“And when we push the button and ask them to make those phone-calls and send those e-mails we can move the needle,” he said.
Whether they can move the needle with a Republican controlled House and Senate remains to be seen.