Athens, Ga. – Additional revenue that will allow the University of Georgia to add some 68 positions – some new and some replacing those lost in the recent budget downturn, a new facility for the College of Pharmacy and funding to expand public medical education in Georgia highlight the fiscal year 2008 budget signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue on May 30.
Although the University System of Georgia Regents’ funding formula was not fully funded by the legislature, $75.6 million was provided for University System institutions based on enrollment increases and related operating expenses. UGA will allocate some of the additional funding to provide instruction and research positions, including:
• 48 academic year positions to meet teaching demands brought by enrollment growth in first- and second-year classes, and for research in strategic areas;
• seven academic positions in the area of disease research, prevention and detection;
• six faculty and one staff to support the Archway project in Colquitt County and to expand the project to Washington, Glynn and Hall counties;
• three faculty, three graduate assistants and support staff to continue the start-up of the new College of Public Health; and
• four additional research positions in the agricultural experiment station.
The exact number of faculty positions created depends on the salary levels and funds available as the positions are hired.
“Meeting these critical needs for faculty positions in our core missions of teaching, research and service is a top priority, and we are pleased to be able to direct these funds toward building our faculty numbers,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams.
The budget also includes $37.2 million in bond funds for expansion of the UGA College of Pharmacy. The project is nearing final design approvals with two years of construction expected to begin this fall.
The legislature provided and the governor signed into law a $3.3 million appropriation to expand the Medical College of Georgia and the state’s medical residency programs. While the legislative language is not specific about the location of this project, the governor and regents have expressed support for a joint UGA/MCG campus in Athens on the site of the soon-to-close U.S. Navy Supply Corps School.
The budget again provides a merit salary increase pool of three percent for University System faculty and staff effective on Jan. 1, 2008. “We are grateful for the overall level of support, but our salary needs remain critical,” Adams said. “Getting our salaries back onto a competitive footing with our regional and national peers remains a priority.”
The budget also includes $2.65 million in bond funds to construct additional seating capacity at Sutton Dining Hall at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton; $500,000 for instruction programs and $1.3 million for infrastructure to accommodate growth and expansion at the UGA Griffin campus; $1 million to match private funding for the Georgia Aquarium partnership with the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine; and $200,000 for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government to conduct a study for county and city governments.
“We again are particularly grateful to the members of our local legislative delegation,” Adams said. “Without their vigilance over the needs of the university, we could not have a successful budget year as this has been.”
In the B-budget, $375,000 was provided for new agriculture experiment station faculty positions in the areas of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus, cotton entomology, vector biology, and turf grass breeding, plus a $700,000 increase in AES maintenance and operations funding.
The Cooperative Extension Service received $75,000 to upgrade facilities at the Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center and a $300,000 increase in maintenance and operations.