Utah Board of Higher Education hears Prosperity 2020 Report, discusses priorities

Five college students sit outside on a table laughing

Completion of a postsecondary credential is as valuable as ever

The Utah Board of Higher Education convened today in Salt Lake City. The Board notably discussed the USHE Prosperity 2020 Update Cicero Report, a common application and institutional and Board priorities, among other items

Key findings and recommendations of the USHE Prosperity report include:

  • Value: Completion of a postsecondary credential is as valuable as ever. Postsecondary education remains strongly correlated with increased job security, lifetime earnings, civic engagement, and personal health and happiness.
  • Financial barriers are preventing more individuals from furthering their education. The most common barriers preventing students from completing postsecondary education include financial concerns such as insufficient tuition aid, food and childcare insecurity, and doubts about being able to afford a degree.
  • Increasing levels of attainment: Higher education can propel Utahns to greater levels of attainment for years to come. Personal educational attainment is highly correlated with the number of people in one’s immediate family who have also completed a postsecondary degree. Increasing enrollment numbers now will build Utah for the future.
  • Income: Average annual compensation for those with a degree or certificate remains roughly double that of those without a degree or certificate.
  • Job Stability: Those without a degree or certificate are twice as likely to experience long-term unemployment.
  • Childcare: The ability to afford quality childcare is highly correlated with postsecondary attainment.
  • Civic Engagement: Postsecondary degree or certificate holders remain significantly more likely to vote and volunteer in their community.
  • Physical and Mental Illness: Physical and mental illness are significant contributing factors to the discontinuation of postsecondary education.

The Board will be meeting with a representative group of presidents in the coming weeks to pinpoint a recommendation around a common application. The Board also made a motion to approve the allocation of $1.916 million in available one-time UHEAA set-aside funding to support the continuation of UCAC operations in Fiscal Year 2025 and further recommend the Board request ongoing-legislative appropriations for future years provisional on systemwide adoption of the program.

Later, the Board discussed the System budget request for the upcoming 2024-25 fiscal year, taking action on several items.

In addition to one information item on campus safety reports, the Board approved the following items on its consent calendar and then went into closed session:

  • General Consent Calendar
    • Property acquisition – USU
    • Program alignment
    • Deep tech
    • SUU faculty workload policy
    • UESB and Board policy repeal

The next meeting of the Board will be on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, and Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. Details regarding this meeting will be posted to ushe.edu as it becomes available.

Additional information on each agenda item is available in Board materials at ushe.edu.

Listen to the full meeting recording.

Media Inquiries

Trisha Dugovic
Communications Director