Campus News

Pay raise, medical education funds included in budget

The $21 billion state budget approved by the Georgia General Assembly as it adjourned on April 4 includes several key provisions affecting UGA. The list is headlined by a 2.5 percent pay raise pool for faculty and staff effective Jan. 1, 2009.

Lawmakers approved $7.2 million in new funding plus $2.8 million in continuation funds for a total of $10 million in the coming fiscal year for the joint medical education initiative of the Medical College of Georgia and UGA.

The money will be used to begin hiring faculty and administration, to develop curriculum and to renovate the recently purchased O’Malley’s building to house the first class of medical students. The U.S. Department of Education notified the university March 24 of its contingent approval of UGA’s application to acquire the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School property as a permanent home for the health sciences complex that will include the medical education program.

The budget adopted by the legislature fully funds the University System funding formula at $114 million. Major repair and renovation funding was set at $60 million, the same as for the current year. Legislators appropriated $1.5 million in design funds for the university’s planned Special Collections Library to be built on Hull Street.

“I want to thank the governor and our friends in the legislature for their support of the university and the system,” said President Michael F. Adams. “Despite a difficult set of funding issues, UGA projects were supported by people on all sides. This includes the House and Senate leadership, and local Sens. Cowsert and Hudgens, and Reps. Smith, Heard and McKillip.”

Adams added, “In the budget that has passed, I am most pleased with the support for the medical education initiative, full funding of the formula, the MRR package, the faculty/staff pay increase and the planning money for the new Special Collections Library, for which we expect to complete the public/private funding package by next year.”

“We are especially appreciative of the roles played by Sen. Cowsert and Rep. Smith in their respective positions of influence on the Senate and House higher education committees,” said Vice President for Government Relations Steve Wrigley. “They have been most helpful in their attention to UGA priorities.”

Among other UGA items approved by the General Assembly were:

• $4.5 million in equipment to furnish the Pharmacy South building, now under construction;
• $1 million for maintenance and operations for Cooperative Extension and the Experiment Stations; and
• $800,000 for infrastructure improvements at the UGA-Griffin campus.