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University sees restoration of state funds

The state legislature has finalized its 2013-2014 budget, and the prospects look good for the University’s financial situation.
Of most impact, the Florida State Legislature reinstated a $300 million reduction taken during the last legislative session that brings a $11.9 million restoration in funding for UWF.
What’s more, the legislature granted new program funding to UWF, including $4 million for the Complete Florida Degree program, $1 million for the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program coordinated by the University of South Florida, $1 million for a Doctorate of Nursing Practice coordinated with the University of Florida and $4 million for the Florida Small Business Development Center Network.
Moreover, UWF employees will receive enhancements included in this year’s budget. Employees earning $40,000 or less will receive an increase of $1,400, while those with a salary of more than $40,000 will receive an increase of $1,000.
Additional funding included a second year of an IT Performance Grant, of which UWF will receive $3.75 million, and $8.4 million toward the continuing renovation of the College of Business.
Also, if qualified, UWF may receive a slice of $20 million in “performance funding” and $44 million in facility maintenance and repair.
At a recent budget town hall meeting, UWF President Bense credited state legislators for their support of higher education.
“During my tenure as president at UWF, we have been in a constant state budget reduction mode. This year’s budget is a welcome change and we are truly pleased with the hard work and investment of the Legislature and Governor in higher education,” Bense said.
“Particularly, UWF has had one of the best budget years on record, and we look forward to putting these dollars to work for our region and the state.”
It wasn’t all good news for the University, however. Gov. Rick Scott did veto the $1 million Economic Security Report to have been conducted by UWF’s Haas Center, as well as a $15 million Cloud Virtualization grant.

-Will Isern

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