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Regents Revise Principles Used to Evaluate, Prioritize Major USG Construction Projects

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Atlanta — February 8, 2006

The Board of Regents today revised the evaluative process used to assess and rank the University System of Georgia’s (USG) major construction projects.

The policy changes adopted at the regents’ February board meeting introduce a new set of “Principles for Capital Resources Allocation” to guide the regents in evaluating capital project requests from the University System’s 35 campuses.

Introduced for first consideration at last month’s board meeting, the approved principles update the board’s criteria for evaluating and prioritizing capital projects, and also revise and consolidate the current 10 “System Principles for Capital Outlay Prioritization” into seven principles.

A six-member committee from the University System Office developed the revised principles.

“The Board of Regents exercises discipline in considering USG construction projects and stresses the importance of securing external funding to the greatest extent possible,” said Vice Chancellor for Facilities Linda Daniels in her presentation to the board. Daniels added that the Board of Regents views essential external funding “as a complement to, not a replacement for, state funding, which is the core of the USG’s capital funding.”

The new principles approved by the board are as follows:

  1. Capital investment will support the University System’s strategic plan and its statewide mission.
  2. Capital investment will implement the strategic mission and goals of USG institutions.
  3. Capital will be allocated within a comprehensive program of integrated projects prioritized in adherence to systematic physical planning and sound financial models.
  4. Capital investment will be economically and environmentally sustainable, promote optimal stewardship of existing state resources and have a superior long-term benefit/cost ratio.
  5. Capital investment should meet the following criteria to the greatest extent possible:

* Increase quality of instruction, research and/or public service; * Maintain or increase capacity (as strategically warranted); * Enhance regulatory compliance; and * Enhance productivity and operating efficiency. 6. Capital investment should enhance output to geographic areas and in occupations and technologies that support state workforce needs and economic development goals. 7. State capital investment should be leveraged and enhanced by external funds at a rate appropriate to the characteristics of the individual institution, program, and project.

The revised principles are a key outcome of Board of Regents Chair J. Timothy Shelnut’s four-point plan for his year-long chairmanship.

A key emphasis of the past six months has been consideration of a financing model to accelerate the funding of USG construction projects. Those discussions resulted in action last month, when the regents – in addition to considering the new principles – announced plans to propose legislation to the General Assembly. If approved, the bill will create a new state authority to address increasing construction funding needs at the state’s public colleges, universities and technical colleges.

The Board of Regents is optimistic the proposed legislation, whose consideration is expected during the current legislative session, will have an impact on the capital project prioritization process already underway. That annual evaluation of campus construction needs will culminate with the board’s Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Request, to be considered during the next legislative session.

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