The Board of Regents approved budget and capital facilities requests during the September 2018 Board meeting for the 2019 Legislative Session. The top budget priority of the Regents is Statewide College Access Advisors in every Utah high school.
This year, USHE’s budget request would be a 5.7% total increase in state tax fund support in addition to compensation and internal rate fund increases. The priorities reflect the most pressing needs of USHE institutions as well as the strategic objectives of the Board of Regents— (1) Affordable Access, (2) Timely Completion, (3) Workforce and Research, and (4) Student Growth and Capacity.
Affordable Access: $14,430,200
These funds will go toward the statewide college access advising program, which would provide a permanent, full-time college access advisor for every high school in Utah. This also includes growth in the Regents’ and New Century scholarships as well as funding to expand student employment and internship opportunities.
College access advisors will help students register for and complete college entrance exams, submit college applications, apply for scholarships and financial aid, and connect them to first-year experience programs to ensure a smooth transition from high school to college.
While not in the Regents’ budget request, another important piece of the college access puzzle is need-based scholarships. H.B. 260 Access Utah Promise Scholarship, by Rep. Derrin Owens, takes the model of SLCC Promise and Dream Weber and expands it statewide. This scholarship program would cover the remaining college costs for qualifying students when federal grants fall short. H.B. 260 can be seen as a companion to the college access advising program, as both emphasize college access for underserved and first-generation students.
Timely Completion: $15,711,287
This will help expand a new university-wide, three-year degree pilot program at Southern Utah University. It will also help institutions enhance advising to be more individualized, automated, and real-time, as well as expand online offerings in high demand and new courses including first-ever competency-based programs.
Workforce and Research: $9,419,800
Institutions intend to expand programs to work with local, regional, and state business and industry partners to meet workforce needs, especially in high-demand, high-wage occupations including:
- Health professions and related programs
- Engineering, IT, and related technologies
- Construction, composites and diesel technologies/technicians
Student Growth and Capacity: $18,651,800
This will help advance classroom technology and enhance business and student services support while institutions are also working toward efficiently leveraging their existing resources to maximize what can be accomplished especially in areas regarding the use of technology, energy efficiency, and business process reviews and evaluations.
Additional descriptions of the budget requests are available in the meeting materials of the Board of Regents.
USHE Capital Facilities Request
Each year, the Regents re-evaluate the capital facilities needs of its institutions. This prioritization is conducted after an extensive evaluation process including project site visits by the Regents’ Capital Facilities Committee, space inventories, and various scoring methods.
The Regents also prioritized the following state-funded building projects:
- Dixie State University New Science Building – $59,900,000
- Weber State University Noorda Engineering Building – $43,937,901
- Utah Valley University Business School – $56,000,000
- Southern Utah University Technology Engineering Design Building – $38,373,000 (tie)
- Salt Lake Community College Herriman Campus General Education Building – $34,279,687 (tie)
- University of Utah Interdisciplinary Physical Science Building – $60,000,000
- Snow College Social Science and General Education Building – $17,200,000
- Utah State University Center for Languages and Cultures – $24,000,000