The Alabama Senate Finance and Taxation Education committee's version of the state's education budget would cut Alabama State University's funding by more than $10 million. That news didn't go over well with those connected to ASU.
The budget allows for level funding, which means they would receive exactly what they got the year before, for all colleges and universities except for Alabama State University.
State Sen. Trip Pittman, the chairman of the Senate Finance and Taxation Education committee, says the nearly $10.8 million cut would come with a $10 million first conditional funding grant. The governor would have the authority to release that money.
Pittman told the committee that ASU President Gwendolyn Boyd agreed to this.
"She and I discussed it, and she felt like and agreed it was ok for her appropriation to be put in a first priority conditional, this would be ahead of any other conditional," Pittman said.
Boyd says she didn't agree to the cut. Boyd released the following statement Thursday:
"Let me be very clear. I unequivocally did not agree to a $10 million cut to Alabama State University's budget! In my meeting with Senator Pittman, he informed me there would be reductions across the board in the education budget. At no time did he inform me there would be a $10 million cut to ASU's budget. This cut is an attack on the students, faculty and staff of our University. I am grateful that Gov. Bentley has publicly supported me, Alabama State University and most importantly, our students by agreeing to reinstate the $10 million back into ASU's budget."
State Rep. John Knight is ASU's Executive Vice President. He says this budget won't go all the way through. Knight released the following statement:
"Alabama State University has come too far to allow the chairman of the Senate Education Committee to destroy our university. He has proposed ten times more cuts to Alabama State University than all the other universities in the state of Alabama combined.
We have never asked for special treatment, but we absolutely demand fair treatment. I urge reasonable minds on the Republican side of the aisle to prevail.
For me this is personal. They will pass this budget in the House when they pry my cold, dead hands off of the microphone, as I will fight this injustice until the bitter end."
Bentley doesn't believe this is the version of the budget that will end up on his desk. When asked about the cut to ASU, he said he had nothing to do with it and the state should fully fund the university.
Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive