The Utah System of Higher Education will ask state lawmakers for more than $83 million during the next Legislative session, as well as funding for several new campus buildings.
Members of the Utah Board of Regents on Friday finalized their wish list, which would combine state funds with an expected 1.8 percent hike in tuition costs.
“Funding these budget priorities will help institutions move the needle in critical areas essential to student success, and will give students more resources and support they need to succeed,” Dave Buhler, Utah‘s commissioner of higher education, said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the governor, Legislature, and institutional presidents in the coming months to advance these key priorities.”
Included in the budget request is roughly $30 million for employee compensation; $16 million to address enrollment growth; $8 million for financial aid and mentoring; and $13 million for campus performance funding and infrastructure upgrades.
Lawmakers are not obligated to follow the recommendation, which represents additional funding on top of current budget levels. The $83 million figure is larger than the regent’s 2016 request, but for the most part in keeping with recent annual adjustments to Utah higher education funding.
Beyond operations included in the $83 million request, the Board of Regents also prioritized eight campus construction projects.
At the top of the list are a $40 million engineering building at Weber State University; a $50 million science building at Dixie State University; and $64.5 million for the business school at Utah Valley University.
“This is a hard job every year, as our institutions propose important and worthy building projects that will make the student experience that much greater,” Board of Regents chairman Dan Campbell said in a statement. “As more students come to USHE institutions, it is imperative that we have the capacity, the technology, and the essential student services that are part of a top-notch college education.”