The Board of Regents reviewed on May 18 a proposed operating budget for the coming fiscal year that calls for the use of $18 million in local funds to supplement salary increases funded by the state legislature for faculty, professional staff, librarians and teaching and research assistants. Local funds will provide for the hiring of faculty and staff to help with additional student enrollments and also will make possible investments in new program initiatives in teaching and research.
The Regents are expected to vote formally on the capital and operating budgets for Fiscal Year 2007 at the June meeting.
The budget would provide a three percent increase for professional staff and librarians, effective Sept. 1. It would provide teaching and research assistants a 2.6 percent increase, effective July 1.
Faculty would receive a 2 percent increase, effective June 1, which reflects the ongoing cost of the faculty pay lawsuit settlement. They would also receive a 2 percent continuing merit increase, effective Sept. 1; (and an additional 0.6 percent merit increase effective the same day.
The majority of contract classified staff will receive a 1.6 percent increase on July 1. A new top annual increment salary step will be added to most of the represented pay scales (averaging between a 2.5 to 3 percent increase). Employees who have been in the same job classification and at their top step for at least one year will be moved to the new step effective the first pay period in July. Employees who have not been at the top step of their pay table for one year as of June 30 will move to the new step on their next scheduled increment date. Some labor contracts were negotiated with a different wage package that did not include the new incremental top step and/or 1.6 percent across-the-board adjustment.
Classified non-union staff will receive a 1.6 percent increase on Sept. 1. The University has requested a new top annual increment salary step for classified non-union pay scales to be effective July 1. Final approval of that request from the director of the Department of Personnel in Olympia is still pending.
The legislature authorized and funded expanded enrollments of 140 undergraduate, 40 graduate and 150 math, science and engineering students at the Seattle campus; 125 lower division undergraduates and 75 upper division undergraduates at UW Bothell; and 125 lower division undergraduates and 100 upper division undergraduate students at UW Tacoma.
The UW administration is proposing to spend an additional $1 million on efforts to attract and retain diverse students, including an additional $300,000 to expand the outreach efforts of the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement program, which works with K-12 students statewide.
Other operating budget allocations proposed were:
- Allocations, both permanent and temporary, to the four colleges that have hired new deans. The funds will be used to assist in attracting and/or retaining outstanding faculty;
- Creation of a temporary fund of about $2.1 million for research equipment;
- $200,000 to expand the undergraduate honors program;
- $330,000 to help cover inflationary cost increases for materials in UW Libraries and the Law Library;
- A pilot project that would provide bridge funding for selected researchers, to cover short-term gaps between grant awards
- Approximately $1.8 million for investments in administrative oversight activities, including those that enhance stewardship, ensure compliance with federal law and maintain institutional integrity.
Direct legislative action will provide $2.4 million for operations and maintenance support for the South Lake Union Phase 2 building; $2 million in operations and maintenance funds for the Bioengineering and Genome Sciences buildings; and $400,000 to support the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.
The proposed budget calls for a 7 percent increase in resident and non-resident undergraduate tuition, and for increases ranging from 6.8 to 17 percent for tuition in graduate programs. Financial aid allocations would increase by over $1 million, to ensure that the university conforms to the policy adopted by the Regents, ensuring that at least 55 percent of additional financial need for resident undergraduates is met through grants and tuition waivers.
“This is a year in which we’ve decided that it is important to make investments in programs that help faculty and staff do their work,” says Provost Phyllis Wise. “The combination of increased state investment and the ability to increase tuition will provide the resources to enhance the quality of our education and research programs. It also will help us recruit and retain our very best faculty and staff who make such high quality programs possible.”
The capital budget proposal for the coming year is over $127 million. The legislature’s supplemental budget provided funds for renovations to support nanotechnology research and also for land acquisition at UW Tacoma. It also provided funds for the More Hall Annex demolition. Design funds also have been made available for the renovation of Savery and Clark halls, as well as the Playhouse Theater. In addition to these projects the proposed budget for the coming year includes UW Medical Center expansion, which is supported entirely by local funds. Minor projects, including those that deal with health and safety issues, as well as preventive maintenance, would receive nearly $27 million.
“State capital resource allocations continue to lag significantly behind needs,” the budget proposal states. “For example, while the UW accounts for 35 percent of state higher education facilities, the 2005-07 state capital budget allocation to the UW was only 10 percent of the total provided to higher education.”