USHE’s 2020-21 Legislative Budget Priorities

The USHE Board of Regents approved budget and capital facilities requests for the Utah System of Higher Education at the September Board of Regents meeting in preparation for the 2020 Legislative Session.

These budget priorities will enable USHE institutions to fulfill institutional missions and to maintain affordability for students.

The operating budget request complies with the Budget Development Process Guidelines adopted by the Board at the August 2019 meeting, which established three budget categories:

  1. Compensation and mandatory increases
  2. Institution priorities through performance funding
  3. Regent priority initiatives: Utah College Access Advisors

The priorities reflect the most pressing needs of USHE institutions as well as the strategic objectives of the Board of Regents:

Compensation and Mandatory Increases

These funds will reward performance and continue to attract world-class faculty and staff. USHE requests parity with state employees in salary and benefit adjustments provided by the state legislature. USHE requests that compensation increases be funded with 75% state funds and 25% institutional tuition increases, except for those institutions with statutory responsibility to provide Career and Technical Education (Snow, SLCC, USU-Eastern/Blanding) for which increases are requested at 100%. USHE further requests funding for mandatory cost increases such as internal service fund adjustments and the premium increase for liability and property insurance.

Performance Funding Priorities: $29,500,000

USHE institutions provided detail on how they would spend performance funding based on allocations of a $29,500,000 legislative appropriation and revenue from growth in targeted jobs. Those areas include workforce development, campus safety, IT infrastructure/security, cybersecurity infrastructure, academic success initiatives, and more.

College Access Advisors: $3,000,000

This funding supports the program to place a full-time college access advisor in every high school statewide to help students through the college process. This $3 million would expand the program from 34 high schools to 90 high schools, reaching over 80% of Utah’s high school students. USHE expects to see a 4-5% increase in statewide postsecondary participation rates as a direct result of this program.

Technical Education Funding Priorities: $1,754,200

These funds are requested separately from other requests for USHE schools of applied technology for non-credit Career and Technical Education funding.

Growth Funding: $3,916,000

The USHE growth funding model provides funding to USHE institutions for each additional 100 student full-time enrollment growth in vocational, lower-division, and upper-division courses based on actual instructional, academic support, and student services costs. The model pro-rates the costs based on institutional mission and tax funding and adjusts for institutional size (with smaller institutions receiving slightly higher funding). Based on current student FTE estimates, the model funds USU $386,000, SUU $362,000, DSU $904,000, and UVU $2,264,000.

Operation and Maintenance: $528,200

The USHE Board of Regents reviews and authorizes institutional requests for non-state-funded capital projects.

For FY 20-21 the Board requests three non-state-funded projects received consideration for state-funded O&M for the following primarily academic and student support facilities:

  • Salt Lake Community College Westpointe Building $328,900
  • University of Utah Rio Tinto Kennecott Addition for Engineering $162,100
  • Utah State University Blanding Professional CTE Laboratory $37,200

See the full FY2021 Legislative Budget Request.