Regents approve budget, prioritize capital projects; DSU, SUU projects low on priority list

SOUTHERN UTAH – During its September meeting held today at Utah State University, the State Board of Regents approved the Utah System of Higher Education’s 2014-15 ongoing budget request and capital development funding priorities. Among the capital projects listed are Dixie State University’s physical education/student wellness center and Southern Utah University’s new business building, at a state funding cost of $13.5 million each (additional donor funds may apply), and ranked second and third to the bottom of the capital development projects priority list.

The Regents’ top budget priorities are employee compensation, acute equity, and distinctive mission for the state’s 66 percent goal. The request for compensation is $30,300,100, which covers a 3 percent performance-based increase and health care premium increases. Acute Equity addresses the most severe funding issues that have developed over a number of years when enrollment growth exceeded state funding. Distinctive Mission includes initiatives to further participation, completion, and economic development in furtherance of the state’s goal that 66 percent of adults hold a higher education degree or certificate by 2020. The Regents have requested $69.7 million and $10 million for these areas, respectively. The budget also requests $7 million in operational expenditures in infrastructure and technology and $7.8 million for student access initiatives and collaborations. A total of $10.4 million was approved for state initiatives at four different institutions.

The Regents approved a prioritized list of state-funded capital development projects submitted by Utah State Higher Education institutions. The list has Weber State University’s new Science Lab Building, with a requested $57.4 million in state funds, ranked number one. A new Science Building at Snow College with a request of $18.9 million is ranked second. Following in order of priority are: University of Utah Crocker Science Center at $34 million; Utah State University Statewide Instructional Initiative at $26.425 million; Salt Lake Community College Career & Technical Education classroom building at $27 million; Dixie State University Physical Education/Student Wellness Center at $13.5 million; Southern Utah University new Business Building at $13.5 million; and Utah Valley University Performing Arts Building at $30 million. These figures represent the state funding portion only. In many cases, private funds have also been raised toward the building costs.

The budget request and building priorities will be submitted to Gov. Herbert for his consideration as he makes his overall recommendation to the Utah State Legislature for the upcoming 2014 legislative session.

About The Utah System of Higher Education: USHE includes all of Utah’s eight public colleges and universities: The University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, Southern Utah University, Snow College, Dixie State University, Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College. For more information on the Utah System of Higher Education, visit the Utah System of Higher Education website. Follow USHE on Facebook and Twitter.

Submitted by Office of the Commissioner, State Board of Regents

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