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University of Wyoming Board of Trustees Action

June 2, 2009

At Saturday's special meeting of the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees, trustees took three actions:

1. Approved the university's spending authority for the 2010 fiscal year.

The budgets include both increases in budget authority stemming from appropriations from the Wyoming State Legislature for specific projects and reductions resulting from lowered expectations in state revenue.

The university's Section I budget includes the general fund, income funds, federal mineral royalties, other federal research funds, land income funds and foundation income, totaling $237.4 million for FY 2010. That's a decrease from the $243.9 million approved and amended FY 2009 budget.

The Section I budget authority increases are:

Biennium Budget
- Brucellosis testing and research, $100,000 (recurring) for brucellosis vaccine and testing research in the Greater Yellowstone risk area.
- Clean Coal Technology Research, $1,422,522 (one-time).

Special Appropriations
- Western States Energy and Environment Symposium, School of Energy Resources, $250,000 (one-time) to provide the staffing, technical support, and the costs of planning, conducting and reporting on the Western States Energy and Environment Symposium.

Capital Construction
- Fine and Performing Arts, $2.7 million: level III final design and construction documents for Phase I, the Arts building.
- NCAR architectural and engineering services, $3.5 million.
- South parking lot, $1.4 million.

UW's Section II budget covers UW's need for its self-sustaining operations, which include auxiliary services, sponsored funding for research and gifts and contributions among other things. The approval for the FY 2010 budget incorporates the budget authority for ASUW, Student Media, and the Wyoming Union. The only change in this budget resulting from the reduction in state general funds for the FY 2010 is an increase in Section II expenditures of $344,717 to replace state general funds now used for functions in Student Affairs.

Trustees approved a Section II budget of $176.6 million.

2. Directed university staff to deny requests for loan repayment under the WWAMI Medical Education program in cases where the physician's practice is located in another state.

3. Approved a plan to create a program under which UW would offer vouchers for health insurance coverage for domestic partners of UW employees. 

At the same time, the board's vote directs that the system be implemented only when UW President Tom Buchanan determines it's fiscally feasible to do so. UW administrators have been considering such a move for several years.

"UW competes nationally and internationally for faculty members," UW Provost Myron Allen says. "The range of institutions against whom we compete includes research universities and corporations that offer domestic partner benefits. More than half the companies of the Fortune 500 offer them. At the university level, 42 percent of colleges and universities surveyed by College and University Professional Association for Human Resources offer them."

Two years ago, the board of trustees directed the UW administration to retain a consultant qualified to help UW evaluate the feasibility of providing health insurance coverage for domestic partners. In July 2008, Buck Consultants delivered a report to university officials that concluded a voucher program was the most appropriate mechanism.

The program will cover domestic partners of either sex and is patterned after those at other universities.


Posted on Tuesday, June 02, 2009

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