March 8, 2012
Commissioner expresses appreciation for legislators’ hard work
SALT LAKE CITY – As the 2012 Legislative Session closes, Utah Commissioner of Higher Education Bill Sederburg expressed appreciation to the Utah Legislature for the priority given to higher education this year. He also thanked legislators for appropriating funds based on priorities recommended by the State Board of Regents. Sederburg says, “We are pleased the Legislature took into account our priorities for the year, and are also encouraged that, for the first time since 2008, base funding increased. This will help us continue to serve Utah’s growing college-going population.” Sederburg adds, “Also we are pleased at the support the legislature showed for our faculty and staff by approving a compensation increase. It is only through their hard work and dedication that we have weathered these challenging times.”
The Legislature funded Higher Education’s top two priorities of compensation ($6.7 Million) and Mission Based Funding/Equity ($8 Million) in addition to funding for system wide capital facilities projects, the Women’s College Task Force and partial growth for the Regents’ Scholarship. According to Sederburg, “Our top priority heading into the session was compensation for our employees in order to retain and recruit top talent to our colleges and universities. We thank legislators for recognizing our priorities and needs.” New funding this year totals $19.9 million, or approximately a 3% ongoing increase.
Last year, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education along with other state agencies and business leaders, began a major effort to have 66% of Utah’s workforce with post secondary training or degree by the year 2020; the workforce the State of Utah will require in order to achieve economic prosperity for the future. Commissioner Sederburg notes, “While we are grateful for the funding higher education received this year, it is also important to note that it’s essential to continue to invest money in our colleges and universities if we want Utah’s economy to thrive.”
About The Utah System of Higher Education: USHE includes all of Utah’s eight public colleges and universities: The University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, Southern Utah University, Snow College, Dixie State College, Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College. For more information on the Utah System of Higher Education, visit our website at http://www.higheredutah.org.
# # #Posted by: psilberman