Universities to present budget requests
By ELISA SAND, Staff Reporter
South Dakota universities will be presenting their budget priorities to the Board of Regents when they meet June 18-19 in Vermillion. The Regents have set aside time for budget hearings from each of the public universities. Dakota State University President David Borofsky said the schools were directed to present their budget requests based on three specific areas: affordability, student success and research.|
In all, DSU is asking for $846,345, which would be put toward specific areas -- the development of an advising center on campus; the addition of a postdoctoral research position; funding that would support undergraduate research; expanded funding for student employment on campus; and matching funds for the state's new need-based grant program.
Borofsky said the advising center is something that has been a point of discussion with the Board of Regents for the last two or three years.
"A lot of research indicates really positive, strong advising is critical to student success," Borofsky said. "We've not been able to fund it."
DSU's proposal seeks $256,345 for this program, which would include the addition of professional advisers in each of the campus colleges as well as eight peer advisers. Funds are also included for partial release time for a faculty coordinator.
Borofsky said the most effective advising center is one that is set up by the college with specific advisers for online students.
When it comes to faculty research, DSU has presented a two-fold request -- $50,000 for undergraduate research support and $150,000 for a postdoctoral research faculty position.
Borofsky said the postdoctoral research position is needed to support the growing number of graduate students in DSU programs.
"It's both for doctoral programs and master's level to make sure we have enough research faculty," he said.
When it comes to affordability, DSU is asking for $250,000 in supplemental funds for the work study program and $140,000 in matching funds for the state's new needs-based grant program.
The work study program is federally funded and provides a specific amount each year that pays salaries for student employees. According to DSU's budget proposal, that amount has been $258,204 since before 2004-05.
Since that time, however, the university has experienced enrollment growth. DSU's budget proposal indicates that between fall 2004 and fall 2012, DSU's headcount increased 35.5 percent. This number includes both on-campus and students taking classes via distance. Borofsky didn't have specific numbers related to on-campus enrollment growth.
Borofsky said the additional funding would expand the federal work study program "so we can hire students who don't qualify but need a job on campus."
The state's needs-based grant program requires participating state universities to provide $3 for every $1 awarded by the state grant program. According to DSU's proposal, the university would need additional funding sources identified for the program if the matching funds exceed $60,000.
The Regents have two salary options under consideration. Both proposals include a 3 percent salary increase, but the second proposal includes an additional 1 percent increase using the salary competitiveness fee.
At other universities, budget requests included a variety of items, from one-time purchases for research equipment to salary increases for faculty.
By far the largest budget request came from South Dakota State University. SDSU's total request exceeded $37 million and included a $2.9 million salary package; $5.9 million in one-time research equipment purchases; and $21 million in capital funding requests.
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