Higher education emerged from the legislative session with a 3 percent increase in state funding, including the $7 million needed to fund a 1 percent compensation bump for faculty and other campus employees, as well as $8 million for a new mission-based funding model.
"They funded our top two priorities. We're pretty happy with that. We could use more, but we know they have a lot of demands on them," said David Buhler, associate commissioner of higher education.
Lawmakers also pledged $22 million toward upgrading the University of Utah's failing power and hot-water distribution system, projected to cost nearly $100 million. Turned down were several other campus proposals, including Weber State University's request to replace its science building. The Legislature did award $2.2 million toward planning a new classroom building at Utah Valley University, however.