May 30, 2024

A win and a loss for CEU

This archived article was written by: Mike Overson

The 2008 legislative session ended as one of the most exciting for the College of Eastern Utah. Excitement is not always good however. According to a press release summary of events dated March 5, 2008, institutional priority funding disappeared in mid-February after new revenue estimates crimped the legislature’s funding plan. The majority of funding went towards salary increases and K-12 schools. The nine higher education institutions in Utah received $35.3 million in new money, a 4.8 percent increase. An additional $1.16 million was allocated for CEU, a 6.5 percent increase over 2008 funding.
CEU’s allotment was almost evenly split between one-time and ongoing funds. Compensation for Price Campus, San Juan Campus and the museum will all be drawn from the $543,000 set aside for ongoing projects. “This was a tough session. It’s hard when everyone goes in with high expectations only to see revenue estimates fall. It’s hard to recalibrate,” said Kevin Walthers, vice president of finance.
House Bill 4 changed funding incentives for insurance programs offered by the Public Employees Health Plan (PEHP). The press release continued stating that subsidies provided by lower cost plans held the Preferred Plan price artificially low. The Legislature created a model that hold costs steady for Summit Care while increasing the cost of the Preferred Plan by 25 percent for single and dual coverage and 34 percent for family coverage. More importantly, the plan calls for an employee share of 27 percent of the total cost of the premium, Approximately five times employees’ cost now. Employees can switch to PEHP Summit Care, which would allow the college to use legislative compensation appropriations for salary increases. Intent language in House Bill 3 will allow CEU employees who stay on Preferred to move one time during fiscal year 2009 outside of open enrollment.
The legislature did not approve any funding for higher education facilities. CEU had hoped to receive planning funds for the Fine and Performing Arts Center. Next year CEU will address structural problems in the SAC building in addition to the ongoing problem of the Fine Arts Building. Talks of a merger between Utah State University and CEU ended abruptly as they started. Regents will likely take a more in-depth look at services provided in Southeastern Utah. Intent language in BH3 requires the Board of Regents to report to state legislature on ways to best serve SE Utah’s educational needs.
Compensation of $524,500 was allocated for the Price Campus, $104,200 was allotted for the San Juan Campus, also $35,000 was set aside for utilities increases, and $600,000 one-time funding went to WETC mine-safety programs. “At the end of the day, CEU did pretty well. Senator Dmitrich and Representative King worked overtime for us and it shows,” stated Walthers.

1 thought on “A win and a loss for CEU

  1. Comment
    If you want money for new buildings first get students. COME ON PEOPLE. ADRTISE PR. If people knew how great and cheap (as in not expensive) CEU was maybe enrollment would quadruple.

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