President William R. Brody last week petitioned faculty, staff and students to express their concern to Gov. Robert Ehrlich and legislators about proposed cuts to the Joseph A. Sellinger Program, through which the state provides support to independent colleges and universities throughout Maryland. Letters also went out to Maryland alumni and to local community leaders.
The proposed cuts come at a time when private colleges have already been asked to absorb a reduction in state support in order to help close an enormous budget deficit; for Johns Hopkins, that means 13 percent less funding.
In his message, Brody said that under the current proposal before the Maryland General Assembly, Sellinger funding would return to 1992 levels, meaning that Johns Hopkins and other private institutions could lose an additional 50 percent of state support. The result, he said, could require schools to tighten financial aid, significantly raise tuition, cut programs or increase class sizes.
"Johns Hopkins has not yet completed its financial analysis of the universitywide impact of the proposed cuts, but they could amount to some $9 million, and they would hurt," he said.
To communicate opposition to the proposal, the university has provided sample letters. The student version can be found at: www.jhu.edu/president/student-letter and the faculty/staff at: www.jhu.edu/president/faculty-staff-letter.
The Web page also contains addresses for Speaker Michael Busch of the House of Delegates, Senate President Mike Miller and other legislators who are influential in this debate.