The University of Connecticut is asking the state of Connecticut legislature for an additional $79 million in funding over the next two years.
The board of trustees approved a request for $234.3 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year (FY) and $269.7 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year on Aug. 1, according to the Connecticut Post. That is an increase of $79 million more than the $190.6 million UConn received from the state this year.
“The university’s Office of Budget and Planning has calculated our request as the amount of State appropriation needed to support our current level of services, plus collective bargaining increases of $10.3 million in FY20 and $10.9 million in FY21 as mandated by the SEBAC agreement,” a memo from UConn CFO Scott Jordan to the board of trustees said.
The request also includes Next Generation Connecticut funding of $18 million in FY20 and an additional $2.9 million in FY21, which would return state support to the planned FY16 level, according to the memo.
“This restored commitment would help the university maintain our current standing as the 18th best public university in the nation, continue our efforts to support and grow our academic and research mission by hiring 50 new faculty in both STEM and non-STEM fields and support these faculty with graduate assistants, start-up costs and associated operating needs,” the memo said.
University spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said UConn submits requests for funding each summer or early fall to help legislature have a sense of the university’s needs going into the upcoming budget season.
“It’s not binding on the legislature, but is meant to be informational,” Reitz said. “UConn wouldn’t know how much it will receive until the General Assembly goes through the budget process during its next legislative session.”
UConn has recently been grappling with state budget cuts. Last October, state legislature voted to cut the university’s budget by $143 million over the next two years, a reduction from the original proposal of cutting its budget by over $300 million.
UConn president Susan Herbst told the board of trustees last November that the $143 million reduction is almost equivalent to all of the reductions in funding that UConn has received from the state since 2010 combined, according to the Hartford Courant.
“A two-year cut of $143 million is… a very steep reduction. It will clearly have a significant negative impact on the University and will mean difficult decisions,” Herbst said in a letter to the UConn community last October. “UConn is the 18th best public university in the nation, out of 132 public research institutions. We will do all we can to maintain that position and- with the right resources- continue to grow and thrive as we move forward.”
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.