The National Science Foundation is warning that state cuts in funding for higher education put students and universities in danger, and it says Virginia is among the worst offenders.
Declines in state funding threaten the ability of major public research universities to educate new scientists and engineers, recruit and retain the best faculty and students, and continue performing top-quality research, according to the NSF.
The group says per-student funding for the nation's 101 major public research schools fell by an average of 20 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars between 2002 and 2010. On the list of the ten worst offenders, Virginia ranked sixth, with a drop of 34 percent caused not only by smaller contributions from the state, but by a 19 percent increase in enrollments.
Virginia provides about $5,000 a year per student to its five state research universities.