The Department of Higher Education (DHE) has been charged to distribute and oversee funds coming to the state and community colleges and universities through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Worcester State University’s level of funding as approved through the July 29, 2009 General Appropriations Act (GAA) is $3,907,318.
According to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5, the university that receives funds under this title must use the funds for education and general expenditures, and in such a way as to mitigate the need to raise tuition and fees for in-state students, or for modernization, renovation, or repair of institution of higher education facilities that are primarily used for instruction, research, or student housing, including modernization, renovation, and repairs that are consistent with a recognized green building rating system. Public Law 111 - 5 (H.R. 1) Section 14004(a).
Public higher education institutions have flexibility both in the expenditure of these funds and in determining when to use these funds, as long as the ARRA funds are spent by September 30, 2011. The Executive Office of Education, DHE and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the State Comptroller have oversight authority for the expenditure of ARRA funds at the public higher education institutions. The Division of Administration and Finance at Worcester State University is charged with oversight, compliance and reporting for the ARRA funds and is constantly receiving direction regarding these matters from the appropriate state departments/agencies.
University leadership (drawing upon suggestions from faculty and staff) has prepared an ARRA spending plan consistent with Commissioner Freeland’s recommendations on the use of state fiscal stabilization funds. Emphasis has been placed on funding projects that reflect onetime investments that have minimal recurring costs beyond the two year ARRA funding period. This strategy attempts to avoid the 2012 “funding cliff” that the Commissioner has warned of in his communications with the campuses. The University’s overall goal for the distribution of funds is to address deferred classroom/equipment needs, the changing curriculum, and the mitigation of future student fee increases, without negatively impacting the overall fiscal stability of the institution.
Other direct grants fully or partially funded by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:
· The National Science Foundation has awarded an ARRA 3 year grant with a total award of $199,710 for “A Track 1 Proposal for Creating a Pipeline for Diversity in the Geosciences.
· Congress provided an additional $200 million for the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program in ARRA of 2009. At Worcester State University $35,000 of the $172,057 received for Federal Work-Study support are ARRA funds.
More information on the grant awards is available through the links below.
Worcester State Projects funded by the USDE State Sustainability ARRA Grant
The National Science Foundation ARRA grant “A Track 1 Proposal for Creating a Pipeline for Diversity in the Geosciences: A Sustainability-based Approach"
For additional information or questions please contact Worcester State University Public Relations Office at 508-929-8018