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  July 30, 2001

Budget Set for FY 2002
Strategic Use of Resources Required

The University's operating budget for 2001-2002 totals more than $1 billion for the first time in its history. The budget for fiscal year 2002, approved by the Board of Trustees during a meeting June 26, includes $609.4 million for the Storrs-based programs and $471.9 million for the Health Center.

The state budget approved by the General Assembly during the last week of June and signed by the governor just before the new fiscal year began July 1 appropriates a total of $193.6 million for FY 02 and $206.2 million for FY 03 for the Storrs-based programs.

Although the appropriation is below current services, the FY 02 amount represents a $16.6 million increase over the FY 01 state appropriation.

The budget was passed by the Legislature during a special session that resulted from the need to balance numerous requests for additional spending with the need to keep the budget under a mandated spending cap.

The University had requested $199.5 million, the level necessary to maintain current services and to cover regional campus program expansion.

The budget includes a legislative mandate to spend an additional $4 million on the regional campuses in FY 02 and an additional $2.7 million in FY 03.

For FY 03, the legislature appropriated $206.2 million, compared with UConn's request of $215.8 million.

When the state's contribution to fringe benefits is added to the appropriation, the state's portion of the Storrs-based budget represents about 42 percent for FY 02. Tuition and fees account for about a quarter of the budget and the rest comes from auxiliary enterprises and grants and contracts.

"Our capacity for growth and quality must increasingly rely on our non-state revenue streams," President Philip E. Austin told the Board of Trustees. He said the University will work hard to manage expenses and make strategic program decisions so it can maximize the state allocation and meet the challenges facing the University.

Goals for UConn include addressing increasing enrollment, ensuring access to all qualified students, increasing the diversity of the University community, improving research support and revenue, continuing to develop the infrastructure, and building a stable financial base to achieve these goals.

One of the most significant fiscal challenges involves appropriately managing the growth in freshman enrollment. The overall enrollment goal of 25,000 for all campuses will be reached by fall 2002, years earlier than anticipated, Austin said. It is critical that there are sufficient academic programs and student support services, he added, to fulfill the University's promise of a high quality educational experience for each UConn student.

Chancellor John D. Petersen said the growth in UConn's student body must occur with concomitant improvement in student retention and graduation rates. UConn is already ranked among the top 20 public universities on both scores: it ranks 19th in freshman retention rates at 87 percent, and 17th in six-year graduation rates at 68 percent. "We can and will improve, as we enhance academic and other student support services," he added.

Strategic investment priorities the chancellor identified for the trustees include:

  • undergraduate education, including support for training teaching assistants and increasing faculty diversity;
  • the Center for Regenerative Biology, which studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms, fertilization, early embryonic development and cell differentiation in mammals through various genetic manipulation techniques and "therapeutic cloning";
  • fuel cell research, one of the most promising energy alternatives for automotive propulsion and residential and portable power generation applications;
  • comparative human rights, a program involving the study of human rights issues around the world, anchored by the historical experiences of South Africa, and promoting national and international exchange of ideas and strategies to foster a culture of human rights;
  • e-commerce, information technology, and entrepreneurship programs;
  • Neag School initiatives, including programs in accelerated schools, special education, reading instruction, and creation of the Neag Policy Leadership Center to address public school policy and leadership issues;
  • research animal care, to continue improving and centralizing animal care efforts;
  • collaboration with the Health Center on technology transfer, the undergraduate/medical school eight-year program, and other programs.

Karen A. Grava

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