The governor’s budget proposal also included several other projects of interest to the University community. It recommends a 2.1 percent reduction, or $1.6 million, in our state budget appropriation. This reduction is significantly less than the 5 percent reduction that was under consideration last fall. And it is likely that the impact of that reduction will be mitigated by a non-recurring payment from the “hold harmless provisions” in the new outcomes-based formula. I will be meeting soon with the provost, deans and vice presidents to discuss budget needs and challenges and, as always, we will make efforts to minimize the effect of these potential changes.
The proposal recommends a 2.5 percent salary increase for all state employees, including employees of the higher education systems, effective July 1. As usually the case, it will not be fully funded and higher education institutions will be required to find a portion of that increase.
Last but not least, the proposal included $5,320,000 for four capital maintenance projects:
- $2,140,000 for underground electrical updates;
- $1,620,000 for updates to heating and air conditioning in the Murphy Center;
- $1,050,000 to replace the Walker Library roof;
- And $510,000 for water and sewer system updates.
As you can imagine, the governor’s budget proposal has recommendations that affect many state entities who interact with the University, so we are working to learn whether there are other potential impacts that we need to consider. I will keep you informed as we know more on the budget as it moves through the legislature and towards approval.