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Regents Approve Fiscal Year 2013 Budget and Facilities Request

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Atlanta — September 13, 2011

New dollars totaling $102.6 million to support continued enrollment growth in the University System of Georgia (USG) and a $7.2 million plan to further expand medical education are the highlights of a fiscal year 2013 (FY13) budget request approved today by the Board of Regents.

The regents’ request totals $1.85 billion, in addition to a separate $298.3 million request for needed facilities.

Along with the request for new dollars, the regents also approved a two percent budget reduction plan, as instructed by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.

“The University System is committed to the regents’ goal of creating a more highly educated Georgia,” said USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “This request helps us meet that goal, and we will work with Gov. Deal and the General Assembly on how to provide the needed dollars to meet the instructional needs of almost 318,000 students on our campuses this fall. We must use resources both effectively and efficiently.”

Presenting the budget request to the regents, USG Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs John Brown said, “This request reflects our focus on responsible stewardship of the state’s resources. The dollars requested are for documented needs in enrollment growth and to respond to Georgia’s shortage of physicians.”

Enrollment gains in the fall of 2010 (the year upon which the new budget request is based) generated a $72.6 million increase in the System’s funding formula. This formula is the mathematical model used to calculate the cost of instruction and needed state funding at the state’s 35 public colleges and universities.

In addition to enrollment gains, other factors in the formula made up the balance of the $102.6 million request, including increases in health insurance, retiree benefits and maintenance and operations funding.

The other critical component of the regents’ request is to continue efforts to expand medical education, especially Georgia’s shortage of physicians and nurses. Georgia currently ranks 40th in the U.S. in the number of physicians per capita.

The $7.2 million would be used in two areas:

  • The development of Georgia residency training programs for physicians: $1.2 million would be used as start-up funds, to be matched over time by local hospital and federal funds, to expand graduate medical education throughout Georgia, with an emphasis on primary care; and
  • The expansion of nursing programs: $6 million will fund an increase in the number of graduates from USG doctoral and master’s degree nursing programs to ensure an adequate supply of nursing faculty to educate nursing students. Funds also will be used to improve clinical rotations and training.

As a part of budget instructions, all state agencies were required to develop two percent reduction plans for the current fiscal year 2012 and to carry these reductions forward into FY13. For the USG, this is a $34.8 million budget reduction. Brown said cuts would be achieved largely through maintaining open positions and the attrition of personnel, along with the deferment of equipment purchases and maintenance.

The regents also approved a FY13 capital budget request of $298.3 million, which includes $11.1 million in equipment for six new facilities under construction, $206.1 million in new construction or renovation for six projects, and $50 million for major repair and renovation funds at all 35 campuses. The request also includes $15 million in construction for five System projects and $16.1 million in construction for 10 Georgia Public Library System projects.

Today’s actions on the FY13 operating and capital budget requests now go to OPB for incorporation into the overall state budget recommendations the Governor will present to the General Assembly in January 2012.

The FY13 capital budget request can be viewed at: http://www.usg.edu/ref/capital/budget/fy2013_Capital_MRR.pdf

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