Higher education funding appropriation increases by more than 11 percent

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Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 9:45pm

With the 2014 legislative session over and the state budget finalized, the Utah legislature has shown substantial commitment to the state’s public colleges and universities by approving a budget increase of slightly more than 11 percent.

“This is a significant increase in state funding for higher education, which will make a measurable difference in the lives of our students,” said David Buhler, Commissioner of Higher Education. “We appreciate the support of legislators who are investing in Utah’s future.”

Many of the budget priorities of the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) were approved, including a 1.25 percent compensation increase and $50 million to address acute equity at Weber State University, Utah Valley University, Salt Lake Community College, Dixie State University and Utah State University – regional campuses. This appropriation will ease long-standing capacity issues and will help to balance the state funding per student with other institutions.

Mission-based funding, which bolsters initiatives to increase college participation and graduations, was increased by $7 million.

Several of USHE’s capital development requests were funded, including a much-needed new science building at Weber State University as well as critical classroom buildings for the regional campuses of Utah State University in Brigham City and Price. The Regents Scholarship and New Century Scholarship were both fully funded.

Bonnie Jean Beesley, chair of the State Board of Regents, stated, “We appreciate this considerable show of support from the Utah legislature, who together with Governor Herbert, business and community leaders, and others recognize that higher education is critical to the economy and well-being of the state and its people.”

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. USU Eastern is under the Logan campus.

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