Budget Funds Doctoral Status and Information Technology
(Nov. 8, 1998)
Well into the second quarter of the fiscal year, the state legislature, on Oct. 28, gave its final nod to a $12.6 billion spending plan that includes a substantial down payment towards ECU's new funding status as a doctoral university.
Vice Chancellor Richard Brown (Administration and Finance) said ECU will receive $1.5 million in doctoral status funding. He said the amount represents a "down payment" towards the full funding of $8.1 million included in the 1999-2001 expansion budget request, developed by the UNC General Administration.
Other parts of the 412 page Senate Bill 1366 titled "1998 State Budget/Tax Relief" had good tidings for ECU. The state has eliminated the one percent reversion requirement that takes a portion of the budget and returns it to the General Fund each year.
This change will boost ECU's spending ability by approximately $1.5 million. A stipulation requires that the money be used for information technology onfrastructure. The UNC system received $18.5 million for computing and technology improvements and $9.5 million for library resources.
ECU received $1.6 million and $790,000 respectively. An additional $1.4 million is expected to come to ECU because the General Assembly has elected to fund distance education in the same way it funds on-campus education.
ECU will gain another $900,000 because tuition rates for distance education and off-campus classes will be lowed to the same rates as charged for on-campus classes. Highlights for capital improvements include:
$3.2 million for the Science and Technology Building that can be applied towards site development. The Science and Technology Building is a $58 million project.
$2 million for the Multi-purpose Center to be constructed between Minges Coliseum and Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. ECU is also raising funds for this $10.5 million project from private sources.
$5.3 million for repairs and renovation.
Nearly $10.9 million has been appropriated for the Technology Infrastructure Multiphase Systemwide Upgrade project on at the 16 campuses.
"We now must finalize our financial plan and make wise decisions about how to deploy these resources effectively," said Brown. "This is going to be a crucial activity because we are receiving this money with only eight months left in the fiscal year, and most of it must be spent by June 30. Still, this is a great problem to have," he said. Visit the General Assembly web site for the full text of the budget bill.