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HIGHER EDUCATION BUDGET IS HALF REGENTS’ REQUEST

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The governor's proposed higher-education budget of $29 million would give Utah's nine colleges and universities slightly more than half the amount requested by the State Board of Regents.

Gov. Norm Bangerter said higher education should receive a $47 million increase, a $29 million increase in ongoing operations and another $18 million in one-time supplementals.However, $7 million of the $29 million recommended by the governor is not a true increase in state appropriations. Rather, it is the $7 million tuition increase, approved by the State Board of Regents, that will come out students' pockets.

Excluding tuition, the increase in state appropriations is $22 million, or a 7.9 percent increase in state funds. The regents had requested a 15.6 percent increase, or $42.7 million, in state funds.

Last year, the regents asked for $21 million, or an 8.34 percent increase, but the final appropriation was cut almost in half - to $12.6 million, or 4.85 percent. It was the largest increase higher education had received since fiscal 1985-86.

Among the increases the governor recommended is a $16 million compensation package for faculty and staff. That translates into a 4 percent to 4.5 percent pay raise and 1 percent to 1.5 percent benefits package.

The regents want a 7 percent, or $18.9 million, increase in salaries alone. They have an additional request of 9.8 percent, or $6.1 million, to pay health, dental and other benefit cost increases.

The governor is asking for $18 million in one-time supplementals to pay for equipment, library and other needs. The regents requested $24 million.