The National Science Board, the governing body for the U.S. National Science Foundation and independent advisors to Congress and to the President just released –Diminishing Funding and Rising Expectations: Trends and Challenges for Public Research Universities– as a policy companion report to Science and Engineering Indicators 2012, the biennial report that provides a quantitative information on the U.S. and international science and engineering enterprise. Deep state cuts over the last decade in per student state appropriations at major public research universities in the USA contributed to increases in tuition and fees that have outpaced both inflation and the comparable increases at private universities. The new report also warns of a widening gap between public and private research universities in key areas. From 1999 to 2009, instructional spending per full-time student increased by 9.9 percent, to $9,986, at public research institutions, while it grew by 24.5 percent, to $20,232, at private institutions. And faculty salaries, already higher at private institutions, grew three times faster at private research universities than at public research universities over the last decade. Public research universities perform more than 60 percent of the academic science and engineering R&D funded by the federal government. Of the 25 universities with the highest academic R&D expenditures in 2009, 17 were public institutions. The top ten states that had the largest per-student state funding cuts for their major public research universities were:
|State (#universities)||% change in per student state funding, 2002-2010||Per student state funding, 2010||% increase in enrollment, 2002-10|
|Rhode Island (1)||-47%||$3,692||15%|
|South Carolina (2)||-38%||$6,565||19%|
|West Virginia (1)||-30%||$7,231||27%|
Seven states did not cut per-student funding for their major public research universities between 2002 and 2010. New York and Wyoming increased funding per student 72 percent and 62 percent, respectively, and Wyoming led the nation in 2010 in funding per student at $16,986 for its single major public research university.