According to Governor Corzine's proposed Fiscal Year 2010 budget, Rutgers University is facing a budget cut of $15.5 million dollars. If enacted, Rutgers would receive $294 million dollars in state aid next year, continuing a long decline, as I noted back in January.
Rutgers was in a precarious situation during the relative "boom" times; state aid to higher education around the country was increasing by a fair amount, while it was falling in New Jersey. Rutgers received $309 million in state aid (25% of its budget) last year, a cut from $374 million (34.5%) a decade ago. Now that things are much worse, the school could be in for more cuts. This budget process won’t begin in earnest until March. I am not advocating any specific course of action; only that Rutgers alumni, and fans of its athletic teams, remain active and engaged.
Of course, this is a contentious issue. However, if you disagree with the funding cuts, it would probably be a good idea to contact Governor Corzine and your local legislators. The Friends of Rutgers organization will likely be active over the next few months.
Regardless of your position on state support to universities, it is clear that Rutgers University is in a difficult financial situation. The effect of recent budget cuts has been to force surging enrollment, which has placed great strain on many key aspects of the university.