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with our State appropriation down 18% from the
last biennium.  For the fall of 2011, our support from
the State was very nearly the same as fall of 2005.
Circumstances are greatly altered, however.  Since
the fall of 2005, enrollment has grown 64%. 
As State appropriations have decreased and
enrollment increased, we have had to raise tuition
and fees.  At the same time, federal support or Pell
grants have not increased as expected, and Pell funds
no longer cover summer classes. Students are paying
a larger portion of the cost for their education.  Now
more than ever, our Laredo youth need our help to
finance their studies.  I can assure those of you who
have established endowed scholarship funds that
now, more than any time in recent memory, your
investment opens the door to new life.
The lingering question for us and all Texas public
universities concerns the 2013 legislative session and
the new biennium beginning in September, 2013. Will
the present reductions, 18% forTAMIU, become what
many are calling “the new normal?”  That we cannot
know what the next two years will bring cannot
hobble our work today.
The momentum of a decade and a half of
unstinted growth continues to propel us forward into
this biennium. We continue to pursue new strategies
for preserving the quality of this experience, including
enhanced use of technology, more intrusive advising
and counseling, and a consistent push for timely
We continue to imagine the American dream, our
shared view of what this country offers humankind.
Education opens the path to that dream, and we in
Laredo are keenly positioned to show the way.  We
have been blessed to receive, from the State and
from private philanthropy, a magnificent institution
of higher learning.We are nowasked to preservewhat
we have been given and use these gifts in ever more
creative ways to put the American dream in reach of
all committed to pursuing it.