Delaware State University is asking budget-writing lawmakers for a sizable boost in funding for Fiscal Year 2020.
Gov. John Carney recommends giving DSU $36.3 million for FY 2020, a more than three percent increase from last year.
But DSU President Wilma Mishoe is asking lawmakers for almost $55 million total, including nearly $20 million in new funding.
Mishoe told members of the Joint Finance Committee about $9 million of that additional money would go to pay raises for university staff.
She says some workers are paid just $22,000 a year and need more to live on.
“They have to live," she said. "And it’s not enough for people to live today, it’s substandard. So now is the time. If not now, when?”
Mishoe didn’t have a specific plan for how money for staff raises would be distributed, prompting some Joint Finance Committee members to voice concerns.
State Sen. Dave Lawson said it’s a lot of state funding for a proposal that doesn’t seem well thought out.
“People work hard for that money and for us to just take it out of their pockets, meaning the state, and just spend it where we want to spend it with no oversight and really not asking questions that need to be asked is just nowhere right,” he said.
Lawson said while he likes DSU, it should focus on raising the 43% graduation rate before trying to grow the university.
Mishoe said student retention is low nationally and there’s many reasons students don’t finish.