Adopted 26 October 2017

Whereas, Montana State University was endowed as a land-grant institution under the Morrill Act of 1862 with regular funding provided by the Morrill Act of 1890; and,

Whereas, The purpose of the land-grant institution was to “without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactic, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.”; and,

Whereas, Montana State University’s Value of Student Success is to “Value all students and believe in creating an environment in which they can be successful and reach their full potential.”; and,

Whereas, The economic solvency of attending a university is a critical component of student success; and,

Whereas, Tuition at Montana State University and the broader university system are at historic highs having more than doubled since the 2000-2001 academic year for undergraduate, graduate, in state, and out of state students; and,

Whereas, The largest recent cut to land-grant universities was 7.6 percent in the 2012-2013 academic year; and,

Whereas, The Montana Budget overestimated revenues which could result in cuts to general fund spending of 10 percent in order to balance the budget; and,

Whereas, Such cuts could result in a funding loss of up to $44 million for the Montana University System, which would force the administration to either raise tuition or close campuses; and,

Whereas, At current funding levels the university has already had to reach out to private donors to fund large projects; and,

Whereas, It is within the power of the Governor of Montana to call a special session to balance the budget; and,

Whereas, Members of the legislature have expressed resistance to finding alternative ways to balance the budget that would not result in tuition increases; and,

Whereas, Montana State University represents over 16 thousand potential voters in the state of Montana; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the students of Montana State University urge the governor and the legislature to call a special legislative session for the purposes of balancing the budget in a manner that will not decrease state funding or support for the University System.