The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has approved a state budget request.

Efforts to improve the university’s financial accounting and reporting systems, recruit and retain high-performing faculty and staff members, and upgrade UW’s science and engineering facilities are reflected in a state budget request approved today.

In addition, the university’s block grant request for the 2017-18 biennium proposes funding for operations and maintenance of new UW buildings, dollars to match private contributions for entrepreneurship, water management, and energy and engineering, matching funds for athletic competitiveness, funding for carbon engineering research, funding for a new research aircraft, and money for new outreach programs in counselor education and nursing.

The budget request now goes to the state Department of Administration and Information’s Budget Division and Governor Matt Mead, who later this year will present his state budget recommendations to the Legislature for the two-year period beginning July 1, 2016.

“Coming at a time when the outlook for state revenues is uncertain, this budget request represents our best effort to recognize those concerns while moving the university forward in key areas,” Board of Trustees President Dave Palmerlee says. “The bulk of the request reflects continued movement on projects already supported by state elected leaders, and we believe the other items are essential to maintain and enhance the quality of instruction, research and service provided by the university to the state.”

Trustees voted to request that any compensation increases granted to other state agencies be applied to UW employees as well. In addition, the board asks for $1 million annually to retain and recruit top faculty and staff members -- the same amount provided for that purpose in the 2015 supplemental budget.

In total, UW trustees approved exception budget requests for $10.66 million annually in recurring funding, $48.9 million in nonrecurring, or one-time, funding, and $85.6 million for capital construction projects.

Other requests for ongoing expenses are:

  • $2 million over the biennium ($1 million annually) for operations and maintenance, and environmental health and safety, related to new UW buildings.
  • $1.74 million over the biennium ($870,000 annually) to support the Revolutionizing Nursing Education in Wyoming (ReNEW) program, which would allow nurses with associate’s degrees to pursue registered nursing bachelor’s degrees without having to come to Laramie. UW has developed the program in cooperation with Wyoming’s community colleges.
  • $387,312 over the biennium ($193,656 annually) to re-establish the master’s degree program in counselor education at the University of Wyoming at Casper, to meet employment needs in the mental health and education fields in Casper and around the state.
  • $200,000 over the biennium ($100,000 annually) for wildlife and livestock disease research.

Other one-time and capital construction requests are:

  • $4.57 million to replace funding that was removed from the budget for a new building for the College of Engineering and Applied Science, to cover unanticipated costs for the High Bay Research Facility now under construction.
  • $4 million to continue renovating classrooms in UW’s aging buildings.
  • $3 million for a Level 2 study of a plan to replace UW’s residence halls and dining center, and build a new campus parking facility.
  • $3 million for property purchases to allow for construction of the planned Science Initiative facility.
  • $2.88 million to replace major elements of UW’s computing and networking infrastructure.
  • $1 million to continue upgrading Wyoming Public Media transmitters and translators around the state.