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UW Trustees Approve Operating Budget Request for 2013-14 Biennium


August 25, 2011 — Reaffirming its commitment to academic excellence, the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees on Thursday approved the university's state budget requests for operating expenditures during the 2013-14 biennium. 

Faculty and staff salaries, library enhancements and high-performance computing are among priorities in the block grant request that will be presented later this month to the Department of Administration and Information's Budget Division.

Trustees supported a $20.15 million biennial request for salary increases, noting that human resources are the institution's most valuable assets. UW President Tom Buchanan said that following two consecutive years without pay adjustments, UW has lost ground in its goal to ensure that employee salaries remain competitive with efforts to move to the market average and attract and retain a high quality workforce.

UW is requesting $9.7 million for the biennium to allow UW employees' average salaries to reach the 91-percent level. Additionally, the university is seeking $10.45 million to raise average salaries to 95 percent of the 2011 marketplace average for all employee groups. 

Library enhancements of $3.6 million for the biennium were approved, allowing UW to pursue membership in the Greater Western Library Alliance. The university would join regional libraries that share resources and provide access to an array of books, journals and electronic materials to develop academic programs of distinction. 

To strengthen the university's high-performance computing capabilities for both research and education, UW seeks $4.78 million along with a one-time request of $2.17 million. State-of-the-art technology would promote student-faculty collaboration and prepare students to become more competitive in a technologically-advanced world. 

To continue the tremendous success that has resulted from the state-private matching funds program to support higher education, UW requests $50 million. Since 2001, 90 percent of more than $145 million in funds appropriated through this program has been matched on a 50/50 basis through fundraising initiatives in four areas -- academic endowment, academic facilities, athletics facilities and the Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center accounts.

Other operating budget requests approved by trustees for the 2013-14 biennium are:

-- School of Energy Resources, $20.4 million; UW seeks legislative support to replace funding for the SER that was previously supported by federal Abandoned Mine Land funds.

-- NCAR Wyoming Supercomputing Center, $1 million.

-- Brucellosis research, $400,000.

-- Natural gas vehicle initiative, $1.8 million.

In total, UW trustees approved exception budget requests for $50.3 million in recurring funding and $53.9 million in non-recurring, or one-time, funding.

The trustees also approved a request for a separate state budget category that covers medical education. It includes: Salary Increase, $1.45 million; Casper Family Medicine Residency Program, $4.6 million; Cheyenne Family Medicine Residency Program, $2.38 million; WWAMI medical education program, $1.7 million; and WYDENT dental education program, $480,000.

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