University of Utah Priorities, Legislative Session 2018 (FY 2019)
The 2018 general legislative session ended March 8. Here were this session's top priorities for U advocates and our successes!
Bonding request 2018
ACHIEVED: Approval to bond for the new south campus student housing and dining project.
OUR ASK: The U needs to bond to increase undergraduate housing on campus. Numerous statistics support the benefits of on-campus housing: Universities achieve much better graduation rates, students get better grades when they live on campus, etc. The U would like to add about 1,000 beds. The state building board is prioritizing the request. The full project will be funded by a mix of bonding, donor gifts, and food vendor income; no state funds. The new housing is proposed for the old Annex area by the Huntsman Center.
Funding requests 2018
ACHIEVED: $535,000 for the Utah Poison Control Center.
OUR ASK: $535,000 for the Utah Poison Control Center, a nationally recognized center that serves all Utahns and is based at the U. Previous funding cuts to the UPCC were too deep, and it urgently requires this appropriation to continue operations.
ACHIEVED: 2.5% increase for faculty and staff, plus 4.1% for increased cost in health insurance.
OUR ASK: A 3% performance-based compensation increase for state higher-ed faculty/staff retention and recruitment, plus coverage for the increased cost of health care benefits for employees. To remain among the top Research I higher-ed institutions, we need to get and keep high performers. This is a USHE-wide priority.
ACHIEVED: More than $9 million for workforce capacity, of which more than $2,500,000 will go to the U.
OUR ASK: "Workforce alignment" funds—part of educating students for the right jobs. This year, the big emphasis for the U is nursing (a huge need). The state higher education request is for $4.5 million. (About $2 million would go toward the U.) It has been at least seven years since the last nursing-related request. Also a USHE-wide priority.
Read the full report on our results in the 2018 Legislative Session here.