Sen. Alfond introduces $2 million measure to support marketing and scholarships
AUGUSTA – A bill to provide $2 million to the University of Southern Maine for student retention and recruitment was introduced at a public hearing in the state’s Education & Cultural Affairs Committee yesterday.
“Investing in the University of Southern Maine is critical for the Greater Portland region as a whole,” said State Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland, the sponsor of the measure. “Greater Portland is the economic engine and a strong well funded USM is the only option for Maine students, businesses and region.”
Over the last several years, USM has faced several challenges. Declining enrollment, coupled with a tuition freeze, have led to a serious financial crunch.
The bill, LD 99, “An Act To Stabilize the Faculty and Programs at the University of Southern Maine,” would provide $2 million to USM for student retention and recruitment.
During his public testimony, Senator Alfond stressed the need for a strong public higher education system. “Everyone on this committee understands the importance of higher education and the connection to Maine’s economic future. There is no signal that illustrates a state’s vitality more than the health of the public higher education system.”
A work session for LD 99, “An Act To Stabilize the Faculty and Programs at the University of Southern Maine,” will be scheduled