DHE Forward: The Vision Project, Mass. Higher Ed. Policy, News & Events

Governor Baker Files FY2017 Budget

$39.6B plan would expand dual enrollment, protect Vision Project grants

Governor Baker announces FY17 budget proposalGovernor Baker announces his budget proposal at the Massachusetts State House. Photo courtesy of the Governor's Office.

On January 27, Governor Baker released his “House 2” budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017, a spending plan that reflects no new taxes and targeted investments in education, workforce training, transportation and social services. The budget for higher education at a glance:

Community Colleges

  • Increase of $2.7M (+1% over FY16) to be allocated through funding formula

State Universities

  • Increase of $2.5M (+1% over FY16) to be allocated through funding formula

University of Massachusetts

  • Increase of $5.3M (+1% over FY16), representing net of $31M reduction in state appropriation to reflect first year of tuition retention by UMass

Department of Higher Education

Next step in the budget process: The House Ways and Means Committee will release its blueprint in mid-April.

Watch Governor Baker’s budget announcement >
Read the Governor’s news release >

Presidential Appointments

Ramon Torrecilha Takes Helm at Westfield State; New Presidents Selected for MassArt and MCLA

Ramon Torrecilha meets with WSU faculty and staff during a visit to campus December 2nd, 2015Westfield State University President, Dr. Ramon Torrecilha, meets with WSU faculty and staff during a visit to campus on December 2, 2015. Photo courtesy of Westfield State University.

Selected last fall by the Westfield State University Board of Trustees to be the next president of the university, Dr. Ramon Torrecilha took office on Monday, January 25. Torrecilha is a lifelong educator who has worked across divisions and departments to build successful programs to support student success. He is the first Latino to serve as president in the university’s 176-year history.

On January 19, the BHE approved the appointments of two more incoming presidents:

  • Dr. Jaimie Birge, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (effective March 1, 2016). He will succeed Mary K. Grant, who last year left the position to become chancellor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Asheville. Birge, who has worked in higher education for more than 30 years, has served as the fourth president of Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H., since 2008.
  • Dr. David P. Nelson, Massachusetts College of Art & Design (effective June 1, 2016). Nelson, provost and chief academic officer at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) since 2010, will succeed Dawn Barrett, who stepped down in August 2014.

Making News

Op-Ed: Higher Education Has Responsibility to Bridge Gaps

estfield State University nursing students pose in front of the house they built in Guatemala

January 25—Incoming president of Westfield State University, Ramon Torrecilha, makes a public pledge to play a central role in his region and the Commonwealth to bridge the gap between K-12, institutions of higher education and the workforce to ensure access to an affordable public higher education for all residents. Continue >


College for $28,000? MassBay, Framingham State Offer Bargain BA

Archway marking entrance to MassBay Community College in Wellesley, MA

January 25—Joining several similar regional agreements among public campuses in Massachusetts, MassBay Community College and Framingham State University have launched a new program that offers students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in four years for $28,000 — an amount that is less than one year at many private institutions. Continue >

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
One Ashburton Place, Room 1401
Boston, Massachusetts 02108

Add us to your address book

Visit our website
Copyright (C) 2016 Massachusetts Department of Higher Education All rights reserved.