Supporting UW: Governor and Wyoming Legislature grant university big funding
During Wyoming’s 67th Legislature, Gov. Mark Gordon and other state legislators showed strong support for the University of Wyoming (UW) and for the College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources, especially.
In fact, according to a UW press release dated March 20, the university will receive $120 million to complete construction projects and provide staff pay raises, in addition to other one-time and ongoing funding provided through the supplemental budget, which was approved during the 2023 General Session.
Support for the College of Ag
UW’s College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources was specifically awarded several million dollars and will reap benefits from the state’s generosity.
According to the press release, this includes a one-time $2.5 million in endowment matching funds for chairs, professorships and programs within the college, as well as a $1.6 million annual, ongoing increase for UW’s Agriculture Research Station and Extension Centers, due to inflation.
Additionally, UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER) will be awarded one-time appropriations of $1.5 million in endowment matching funds and $14.75 million to continue developing new, nonenergy uses for Wyoming’s coal through a state-sponsored carbon engineering program, in which $300,000 will be used specifically to analyze the feasibility for producing high-grade graphite from coal.
The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory is also set to receive up to $860,000 to help recruit and retain pathologists and other critical positions.
Annual increases in funding
In addition, the press release explains the supplemental budget includes an annual increase of $12.27 million for staff and faculty pay raises, on top of another $8 million, which was approved during the 2022 budget session and will provide the first broad-based raise for UW employees since Fiscal Year 2018-19.
“UW leaders have not finalized the allocation model, but increasing pay for staff, especially entry-level and positions at the low end of the pay scale, will be a top priority. This second round of raises will take effect in the fiscal year beginning July 1,” UW explains.
Other annual increases for ongoing initiatives at the university include $5.5 million for tier-one engineering initiative programming and $3.6 million for science initiative programming.
Gordon and state legislators also supported a number of UW’s other funding priorities through one-time appropriations, including $5 million for UW’s Advanced Research Computing Center, $2 million to convert LiDAR data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey’s 3D Elevations Program, $5 million for major maintenance projects and an inflation adjustment of up to $2.7 million for utilities.
The legislature also provided authorization and partial funding for three major construction projects including new residence halls and a dining facility, renovation of War Memorial Stadium’s west-side stands and construction of a new competition facility for UW’s swimming and diving teams.
“The $120 legislative appropriation in the state’s capital construction budget will make it possible for those UW projects to be completed in spite of cost increases due to inflation, with precise construction timelines to be determined,” reads the release.
UW notes an additional $12 million will go toward completion of unfinished space in the Science Initiative Building, specifically for the Student Collaborative Research, Outreach and Learning Lab, the Model Organism Research Facility and more, highly flexible lab research space.
Hannah Bugas is the managing editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.