Campus News

State’s FY16 budget includes money for merit-based raises

The Georgia General Assembly, which adjourned April 2, passed a fiscal year 2016 state budget that includes an increase for higher education and merit-based salary increases for University System of Georgia employees, which includes those at UGA.

The legislature approved a 4.2 percent funding increase for higher education in the new budget-up $81 million from last year to $2.02 billion. The General Assembly also set aside $11.3 million for university system faculty and staff salary increases, employee recruitment and retention salary adjustments.

“We are most appreciative to the governor and the General Assembly, and to the chancellor and board of regents for their support of the University of Georgia’s priorities for the coming year,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “We are particularly indebted to our area legislative delegation: Sen. Bill Cowsert, Sen. Fran Ginn, Rep. Terry England, Rep. Chuck Williams, Rep. Regina Quick and Rep. Spencer Frye. Through their actions, they have helped us to better serve our students and the state.”

The budget’s bond package includes:

• $43.1 million for the construction of Phase II of the Terry Learning Community, which also is supported by $14 million in private funds. Phase I of the project is being built entirely from private funds;

• $17 million for the construction of the Center for Molecular Medicine, which also is supported by $8 million in non-state funds;

• $5 million for the renovation of the Animal and Dairy Science Center on the Tifton campus;

• $3.3 million for equipment to support the Science Learning Center; and

• $1.5 million for equipment to support the veterinary medicine diagnostic labs in Athens and Tifton.

The budget includes the following additional operating funds:

• $520,000 for three agricultural research positions;

• $360,000 for six new UGA Extension county agents;

• $300,000 for three forestry Extension positions;

• $169,569 for maintenance and operations of the Marine Institute at Sapelo Island; and

• $39,000 for the Georgia Capitol Agricultural History Museum.