When a year comes to an end and a new one begins, we tend to survey the past year’s accomplishments and failures. Looking back over 2007, we see that it has been a remarkable year for our beloved Utah Valley State College. From Senate Bill 70 and the Fulton challenge to new degrees and greater enrollment, UVSC has seen it’s fair share of triumphs.
Many may recall that Senate Bill 70 was proposed and passed in the first quarter of 2007 by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This Bill authorized the full accreditation and legal status accompanying the name change from UVSC to Utah Valley University. Beginning July 1, 2008 Utah Valley University, or UVU, will be Utah’s fifth public university, and the only public university in Utah county.
Transitioning from a state college to a fully accredited university requires many resources, including considerable amounts of time and money. According to Senator Lyle Hillyard of Logan, UT, “Gaining full accreditation is going to cost a lot more than $10 million.” This financial challenge was met by $10 million in state funding as well as over $8 million in philanthropic efforts by Ira and Mary Lou Fulton of Tempe, AZ, as well as donations by the UVSC student body.
The Fultons, who are well known philanthropists, donate half of their company’s annual profits to educational efforts. The Fultons’ challenge to the students was to set a fund raising goal and meet it by the end of 2007, a goal which they would match dollar-for-dollar. The student body managed to reach their goal of $24,000 before the end of December. Speaking of this challenge, Mr. Fulton states, “When I match, I have other people matching as well. We don’t stop until everyone is happy.”
Another $35 million will be acquired by various other fund raising commitments.
A lot of new and exciting changes to the school come with university status, including more degree programs, more faculty positions and new school logos. The official number of degrees offered at this time is 56 bachelor degrees and more than 270 career-preparation programs.
With this increase in the number of degrees and preparation programs comes a need for an enlargement in faculty and staff. The change will create 90 new faculty and staff positions throughout campus, allowing for better educational and social advancement opportunities.
With nearly a month of 2008 behind us, we are in the position to use what we have learned from 2007 to look forward to the experiences that will come upon us as the rest of this year unfolds.
We can feel prepared and excited for the change awaiting us in July as we all become a part of the history of UVSC and help UVU become an incredible university experience for all who enroll.