UVU is the fastest growing school in Utah. Expansion, growth and spending should all be anticipated, yet exclusivity is not one of the items President Holland wants to add to that list.
“UVU has the lowest Legislative funding in the state,” Holland said while also stating his intent to “keep tuition as low as possible.”
Holland has proposed a single line item initiative to make UVU the highest funded school in the state annually.
Historically, the state of Utah has funded 75 percent of UVU’s compensation budget, which is what the university spends on instructors, administration, maintenance, growth and expansion. The other 25 percent comes from tuition increases. This is only First Tier Tuition.
Second Tier Tuition is amended by the current Board of Regents, President Holland and his staff. Individually, it isn’t much: $20-80 a semester. The actual percentage will be determined at an open meeting on March 30. The school needs more money but just how much has yet to be finalized.
Holland outlined the four proposed areas of allocation with student success, retention and resources comprising the majority of the spending. The remainder is to be used to improve tools and salary for faculty. Faculty have not received a pay raise in over three years and President Holland can no longer neglect their need to be compensated. A one percent increase has been proposed.
UVU is comparable to many other schools in the region and similar schools nationally. The real discrepancy has been in state funding. There seems to be no balance. Funding in 2001-2002 was mostly from the state, at $41 million to be exact and $28 million from student tuition. There has been an unchecked shift in an unfavorable direction for students. Tuition currently stands around $94 million and the state funds $59 million.
UVU is growing and Holland is embracing it.
“We want to be the largest university in the region. This valley needs a community college and a university. It [UVU] needs to remain a point of opportunity for people in this region.”
Every way possible to utilize students’ money is being investigated. Distance education, online options and classroom use are being evaluated continually to get the most out of what resources are already available. Hybrid classes have been created to place 64 additional classes.
“I believe in the magic in the classroom,” Holland stated, reminding everyone that, “We want to make school as affordable as possible.”
Managing growth, securing resources and operating effectively are the priority of this administration. The need for more offices, classrooms and student access has grown and the student role is more important in this process than ever.
“Take the faculty/instructor evaluations (SRIs) seriously,” Holland said, “Communicate with your legislature, specifically building and equity funding.”
By Collin Lawrence