Supplemental budget request itemized

Following is an overview of the WSU Supplemental Budget Request for 2008, approved Sept. 28 by the WSU Board of Regents.

Operating Budget

• Under funding of salary increases               $1,388,000
The 2007 Legislature mandated special salary increases for state employees.  Systems or formatting problems with our data caused many of our job titles for bargaining unit, civil service and other employees to be excluded from or miscalculated by the new OFM salary model and subsequently  underfunded. The total cost of these increases is $1,388,000.   Several of the miscalculations were identified during the legislative session and discussed at that time with legislative and OFM staff as a supplemental technical correction.  Without this funding WSU would have to absorb the funding in its general budget. (Karl Boehmke)

• Information Systems Revolving Fund   $423,616
In response to State Auditor requirements and federal government restrictions the state has made changes to how it budgets for information systems. The 2007-09 biennial budget included an adjustment in the maintenance level budget to cover these changes.  Washington State University received an increase of $385,000.   The first bills for the new charges have now been received, and the costs for WSU are now estimated to have increased to $808,616.  These increases represent both rate changes and the imposition of new rates for services (including some services that WSU does not use). WSU requests a technical correction of the missing $423,616.  Without such a correction WSU would be unable to pay the revolving fund charges or would need to make unrelated program reductions. (Karl Boehmke)

1. WSU Tri-Cities Enrollment                    $512,000
$512,000 is requested for an additional 40 students to the campus FTE base beginning in FY 2008. Seventy more freshmen enrolled at the campus this fall than were funded in the biennial budget. WSU Tri-Cities is currently over-enrolled by 50 students and projected to remain over-enrolled due to expansion this spring in nursing and other programs. The request is based on $6,400 per full-time equivalent student. (Vicky Carwein, Clark Haueter)

2. Emerging Global Animal Health & Agriculture Issues   $3.85 million
Funding is requested to address emerging issues, both biological and economic, that have the potential to impact human health or the viability of Washington’s farms, ranches and food distribution system. Funding is requested to create the School of Global Animal Health to provide practical, innovative solutions to global infectious disease challenges through research, education, global outreach, and application of disease control at the animal-human interface. Four internationally recognized senior-level faculty, with established extramurally funded research programs in Zoonotic Disease Transmission, Vaccine Development, Emerging Disease Surveillance and Global Animal Health Policy and Metrics will be recruited to partner with existing WSU faculty in creating the School’s foundation. Additionally, $2.1 million of the request is to add critical scientific capacity at WSU research and extension centers to address emergent issues such as honey bee colony collapse, threats from plant diseases and pests, catastrophic livestock disease (e.g., mad cow disease), and food safety in produce and organic crops.  Critical research support is also added to support perennial crop research facilities recently added to assure the global competitiveness of the State’s tree fruit and wine industries. (Warwick Bailey, Guy Palmer, Terry McElwain; Dan Bernardo; Linda Fox)

3. Administrative & Student Core Computer Systems Study $1 million
A $1 million feasibility study for the replacement of WSU’s aging core computer systems for administration and direct student support is requested in accordance with state Information Service Board (ISB) guidelines. The feasibility study lays the groundwork for a successful project plan with the goal of modern, reliable, sustainable, vendor-supported business systems and processes that will support faculty and students for years to come. Current WSU information technology systems were designed with 1970s technology and are no longer able to provide the level of service required. For example, there is a lack of integration and functionality in student and administrative core systems. The systems are at risk of prolonged periods of shutdown in the event of a disaster.  Research faculty members do not have the database support they need. Research grants are difficult to track. New core systems, for example, will provide students access to a range of improved services and information including improved application for admission, course registration, financial aid, billing services, library, and other learning resources, health and safety, and employment. The proposed study will also address the related need to upgrade fiber and building electronics to support higher network speeds, and the impact on peripheral electronic systems that interface to the core systems, end user reporting, and virtually all university business that requires central electronic data collection and processing. (Viji Murali)

4. Campus Safety Initiatives     $3 million
Funding is requested for additional campus safety initiatives as a result of the lessons learned from the 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech. Requested funding would be used to begin the process of obtaining accreditation for our police department, provide additional police officers and up-to-date police equipment and training, provide two full-time emergency management staff and a full-time threat assessment coordinator, and provide additional mental health support. Requested funding would be used to acquire sirens/public address systems for all of our campuses and research stations, emergency notification capability through campus television cable, the first phase of installation of internal PA systems within buildings, installation of remote electronic locking systems for major academic and research buildings, etc. $1.8 million is a one-time expense, $1.2 million permanent. Possible Council of Presidents Request. (Greg Royer, Rich Heath, Chris Tapfer)

5. Graduate Student Subsidy Restoration     $1.6 million
Funding was cut from WSU’s budget this biennium to eliminate the subsidy for graduate students who are from other states. There were no versions of the budget, except the final version, that contained the cut and there were no legislative hearings or work sessions on the subject. Resident and non resident students enroll in the same classes.  A reduction aimed at graduate programs would damage program quality for all students. The state benefits from attracting top graduate students to Washington’s research universities regardless of their origins.  Many non-resident students remain in the state where they graduate. A reduction in funding for graduate programs is counter to the principals of Washington Learns and to the legislative goal of increasing per student funding. (Howard Grimes, Karl Boehmke)

6. Salary Issues

• Equity Salary for Administrative Professionals   $2.1 million   
Salaries for higher education employees in Washington have fallen behind the marketplace.  The 2007 Legislature addressed these issues for bargaining unit and civil service employees by funding special salary increases averaging 4.4% to address inequities. But administrative professional employees did not receive these increases. WSU salaries for many A/P positions lag salaries paid for similar positions that are part of the civil service system and are often less than the salaries of civil service positions they supervise. WSU now requests 4.4% funding for a salary pool to address pay inequities for administrative professional employees.  WSU request could be part of a broader effort on salary compression across institutions and agencies. (Greg Royer, Karl Boehmke.)

• Recruitment and Retention for Faculty          $3.9 million
WSU faculty salaries lag those paid by universities in other states by 15.3%  (HECB peer group).  Shortfalls in a number of disciplines exceed 20%. With the 2% salary increase scheduled for September 2008 the gap will grow.  WSU is in danger of losing top professors to other states. Funding is requested to fund a faculty salary recruitment and retention pool that would allow increases averaging an additional 3% effective September 1, 2008. WSU request could be part of a larger effort on faculty salaries. (Karl Boehmke).

Capital Budget

Veterinary Medical Research Building       $7.4 million design
Poor quality space and lack of space has become a critical issue hampering the progress of WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  Most of this proposed 128,000 gross -foot Pullman laboratory facility will provide state-of-the art research space to support the interdisciplinary research and graduate education programs currently located in outmoded 50+ year-old buildings in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  Existing scientists are currently housed in Wegner, McCoy, and Bustad halls. Also included are vivarium and core laboratories to be shared across multiple WSU research programs.  This facility is required to strategically advance WSU’s pre-eminent research strengths in the Brain, Behavior, and Performance emphasis in the neurosciences. The building may include have research programs relevant to Global Infectious Disease emphasis encompassing food safety, and animal health. Design funding is requested toward construction of an $83.5 million building in 2009-2011. Design funding could also be provided as one-time money in the supplemental operating budget. (Warwick Bayly, Bryan Slinker, Greg Royer, Jerry Schlatter)

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