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UW Trustees Amend Action on Reserves

July 20, 2017

Indirect cost recovery funding from University of Wyoming faculty research grants will remain with academic units, following action by the UW Board of Trustees today (Thursday).

Meeting in Rock Springs, the board revisited its June action relating to the university’s unspent cash balances, ensuring that indirect cost funding from research grants remains available for use by UW faculty members. The action came at the recommendation of the UW administration.

“We appreciate the board’s effort to address our concerns and those of our faculty members regarding indirect costs related to research funding,” President Laurie Nichols says. “This action resolves any questions about the status of this important funding for the faculty’s research activities.”

“We are grateful that the board recognized that the faculty entrepreneurial and research activities supported by these funds directly enhances the education and research opportunities for UW students,” Faculty Senate Chair Michael Barker says.

In approving the university’s budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Board of Trustees in June took a centralized approach to UW’s reserve funds. The FY 2018 budget process is the first under UW’s new fiscal management system, which has given the board and administration a more complete look at the university’s finances, including significant unspent cash balances among various UW units.

In essence, the board voted in June to move 80 percent of campus units’ unspent cash balances into centralized reserves, leaving the other 20 percent proportionally in the accounts of those units.

The board’s vote today distinguishes a total of $15.05 million in indirect cost recovery funding from UW operating reserves.

Separately, the board voted to move additional unspent cash balances from the 2016-17 fiscal year into the specific reserve accounts that had been established previously. It also added nearly $7 million to the unspent cash balances of the various units, lifting that total from $12.43 million to $19.11 million.

With today’s action, here are the university’s centralized reserves and sinking funds:

-- A $50 million operating reserve.

-- A $20 million capital facilities reserve.

-- An account to save money for replacement of UW’s passenger aircraft, funded by an initial $1 million, with annual contributions of $140,000 to follow.

-- A permanent risk pool/litigation reserve fund of $5 million.

-- An account for replacement of UW residence halls, funded with an initial $14 million.

-- An endowment fund to generate revenues for one-time employee compensation increases, including bonuses and recruitment/retention payments. It is funded with an initial $10.4 million.

-- A special projects reserve/sinking fund “to fund such programs, expenses and other matters deemed important and necessary” by the university. The expected initial funding is $50.56 million.

Additionally, the board requested that the administration draft a policy regarding unspent cash balances to be considered by the trustees at a later date.


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Chad Baldwin

Institutional Communications

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Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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