President Loh shares university budget cut concerns in presidential briefing

Photo by Pearl Mak

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh delivered his presidential briefing discussing how the State’s budget cuts would affect this university at a University Senate meeting on Wednesday.

Loh said that Gov. Larry Hogan implemented a $3.5 million cut in January, and the Department of Legislative Services demanded another cut of $3.5 million, a total of $7 million.

In addition to the State’s budget cut for the University, President Loh revealed that if the Trump administration repeals Obamacare, then the university would get hit with a $1 billion budget cut.

Loh also mentioned that the Trump administration wants to make enormous cuts to education, arts and humanities to fund the $54 billion increase to the Department of Defense.

This rise of nationalism, populist and authoritarian governments brings back the political trend of the 1930s, Loh said.

“What we have here is a major political issue,” Loh said to the audience. “Forget the budget. What is at stake is that we are dealing with the threat to the fundamental values of education.”

With the university’s fund balance being $1.1 billion and $800 million for the state of Maryland, the gradual tuition increase is not equal to the budget cut, implying that the university’s reserves exceed its one to one ratio.

Loh called the budget cut an “assault on the act of academic freedom” and ended his briefing with, “May you live in interesting times.”

Student Sen. Gregorio Zimerman, a sophomore aerospace engineering major, said he enjoyed listening to Loh’s address.

“He touched on pressing issues and always tied his points back to the university and the students,” Zimerman said. “He also brought up several ideas that I never had considered, like how the current U.S. president’s decisions affect the university and how important it is that we be wary of that.”

 

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