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ASU students benefit from state budget investment

July 06, 2007

ASU students will greatly benefit as a result of a 2008 state budget investment that is primarily student centered to help improve the quality of the educational experience, as well as retention.

The 2008 state budget, approved by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Janet Napolitano, includes a state operating fund investment for ASU of approximately $481,000,000. The fiscal year 2008 budget is a 14 percent increase compared to last year's state investment of approximately $423,000,000. When one includes the first $14.5 million of debt service for research infrastructure approved by the legislature in 2003 and enacted with the 2008 budget, the percentage increase is closer to 17 percent.

The state investment will allow ASU, with its growing student population, to provide additional faculty and staff to maintain academic quality. The investment will also allow ASU to improve freshman course quality, enhance advising, improve the number and quality of technology driven courses, and expand and improve major courses and offerings.

“These increased investments would not have been possible without Governor Napolitano’s and the Arizona Legislature’s commitment to advancing Arizona’s higher education system. We are very grateful and appreciate their hard work and dedicated public service,” ASU President Michael Crow says. “The recently approved state budget continues the state’s commitment of investing in higher education. The legislature continues to fully fund enrollment growth at the level requested by the Arizona Board of Regents. This investment is crucial to enhancing ASU’s accessibility and the quality of the undergraduate academic experience.”

The fiscal year 2008 state budget includes the following ASU investments:

• $16.1 million to support recent enrollment growth. These funds will allow ASU to add faculty and staff positions to meet the demands resulting from student enrollment increases and to maintain academic quality.

•$15.1 million investment to continue qualitative improvements in undergraduate learning. Investments in teaching, advising and technology support to improve retention and graduation rates are the primary focus for this funding.

•$2 million to augment the state’s initial investment in ASU’s Department of Biomedical Informatics. BMI is a critical element in the design of the curriculum of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix in Partnership with Arizona State University, which begins teaching this year.

•$1 million to enable the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice to respond to the many challenges faced by the criminal justice system in your border state with rapid growth and changing population.

• $5.25 million for the Phoenix Biomedical Campus to cover the costs of programming, conceptual and schematic design for buildings. ASU is working closely with the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University in planning for this campus.

• $14.5M for debt service payments on the State’s investment in research facilities at ASU. The facilities include the second Biodesign building and three interdisciplinary science and technology buildings. All are open and successfully contributing to ASU ‘s growing research portfolio.

The budget also provides an increase for an ASU employee compensation plan (effective July 1, 2007) to be developed by the president and approved by the Arizona Board of Regents. It includes an increase for employee health insurance and retirement contribution expenses. Details of the plan will be communicated to faculty and staff in the near future.