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Board of Regents FY2002 Budget Request Emphasizes Technology, Economic Development and Accountabiliy

Atlanta — September 12, 2000

The Board of Regents’ Budget Request for next year presents a “fiscal blueprint” for the University System of Georgia - the “business plan” and the related required funding needed for the System to achieve the state’s ambitious goals for higher education.

Today the Board of Regents took the first step in approving that blueprint, in the form of a $1.715 billion Fiscal Year 2002 Budget Request that will wind its way through the General Assembly during the 2001 legislative session.

Meeting as a “Committee of the Whole,” the Board of Regents’ approved the FY 2002 Budget Request this afternoon (Sept.12) at their monthly meeting in Atlanta; however, the budget is expected to receive final approval at the full board meeting tomorrow (Sept. 13). Next, after undergoing the review of the state Office of Planning and Budget, the document will be considered by Gov. Roy Barnes and the General Assembly for funding during the 2001 legislative session. The request emphasizes the Board’s current strategic themes of maintaining momentum, enhancing the University System’s regional and national competitiveness, expanding the use and effectiveness of educational technology, broadening the System’s role in economic development, and increasing accountability – particularly in the areas of student and teacher preparation.

The System’s data-driven Budget Request reflects $50.4 million in proposed new funding for Board of Regents’ initiatives, which complies with the Governor’s directive to cap all state agency’s budget requests at 3 percent over the base of the previous year’s budget. The Board of Regents’ FY 2001 Adjusted Appropriation was $1.658 billion.

“We have some major challenges ahead of us, and this budget will help us tackle them,” said Chancellor Stephen R. Portch. “Considerable resources have been invested to get the University System to the competitive position we’re in today; so we must maintain our momentum. I’m optimistic that we still can achieve much more; however, we must build on our progress and continue to raise expectations and standards.”

An area of major emphasis in the Budget Request, with an as-yet-undetermined price tag, is the faculty salaries request for FY 2002. While the University System of Georgia’s competitive position within the then 16-state Southern region moved from sixth in 1994 to second in 1998, it returned to fifth during the 1999-2000 fiscal year. (Although Delaware has joined SREB since then, and currently is ranked #1 on salaries).) Georgia is loosing ground on competitive salaries, which is beginning to result in challenges in attracting and retaining top faculty. System officials hope to stem that trend by pursuing a competitive increase for FY ‘02, allowing ground to be regained. Among the $50.4 million in enhancement requests included in the Budget Request, $18.2 million is aimed at technology initiatives, which, if approved, would fund new demands as well as continue existing efforts. The largest portion of technology funds, $7.7 million, would be dedicated to expanding the capacity of the state’s Peachnet network, the University System’s primary technology bandwidth infrastructure. To continue efforts with technology master planning, $3.5 million is being requested to fund the development of individual information technology plans for all 34 USG institutions.

The University System of Georgia also is requesting funding for these additional and/or continuing initiatives for FY 2002:

  • Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP) - $3.23 million:
  • South Georgia’s Regional Engineering Program - $3 million:
  • UGA/MCG Research - $5 Million:
  • Developing and Preparing Quality Teachers - $5.35 million:
  • PREP - $1.8 million:
  • Eminent Scholars Program - $3 million
  • Mission Related Initiatives - $3.26 million
  • Accountability Program - $7.5 million
  • Capital Budget - FY 2001: The University System’s capital funding request is grouped into three areas: major, minor and payback projects. The major’s list – which is a multi-year request – includes 24 projects in priority order totaling $514.6 million. That list was approved by the regents at their June meeting, along with four payback project requests, to be supported by fee revenues, totaling $35.1 million. The minor’s list includes 15 projects totaling $59.7 million.

In addition to the $1.7 billion Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Request, the Board of Regents also approved the System’s proposed $37 million Fiscal Year 2001 Supplemental Budget Request.

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