NAU requests additional funding to meet growing student population, faculty
By Abigail O’Brien
With the expansion of Northern Arizona University (NAU), the demand for additional funding is essential. Over the past eight months, president John Haeger has met with the presidents of the other Arizona universities to discuss the various plans to move forward.
The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) asked for an overall request sum to present to the state legislator. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 State Operating Budget Requests for the Arizona University System totals $910.1 million. The budget request has two distinct components: base adjustments of $81.9 million and one-time adjustments totaling $120.9 million.
“This revenue comes from tax payer dollars,” said Cindy Brown, public affairs coordinator. “How it works is the university budget request goes to the governor, who then takes that and provides it to the legislator with her recommendations.”
There will be no action on the budget until March 2013. NAU is likely to be asked to testify before the legislator regarding the requests and its dividend.
“Given the size of each university, we get a proportional share,” Haeger said. “It is a very fair system. It is performance funding. They’re looking at a lot of our metrics.”
The growth of the school’s enrollment and graduate rate may help NAU with their appeal and, ultimately, the approval of the request.
“In general terms, if we get it, we would put some of that money into faculty and staff salaries and some into even more instructional technologies,” Haeger said. “Those two are the primary ones.”
According to the budget report, between 2008 and 2011, NAU’s percentage of tenured and tenure-eligible full-time faculty declined from 71 percent to 60 percent. NAU plans to strategically re-invest in its faculty to continue quality in programs, offer more courses and meet accreditation standards. Almost 5 million dollars will be set aside for faculty, and support staff.
The additional funds will also support the advancement of the Lumberjack Mathematics Center and the start-up costs associated with new occupational therapy programs.
NAU is also determined to designate the funds for facility renovations.
The renovations of certain older facilities will include elevator safety upgrades and modernizations in multiple academic buildings. Investments made in 2011 and 2012 have already shown statistically positive outcomes. NAU hopes to continue to grow in its competitiveness and provide students with necessary materials to succeed.
A forum will be held on Nov. 26 in which Haeger will discuss the FY 2014 budget.
To see full break down of budget request, visit http://www4.nau.edu/pair/UniversityPlanning/KeyPlanningDocumentation/BudgetRequestFY14.pdf