Governor proposes nearly $60 million for Tech, shows confidence in Tech

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s 2019-2020 budget recommendation includes nearly $60 million in appropriations for Tennessee Tech.

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s 2019-2020 budget recommendation includes nearly $60 million in appropriations for Tennessee Tech. His proposal also includes more than $11 million in capital appropriations. In total, the governor’s recommendation calls for more than $16 million in additional funding for Tennessee Tech.  

The recommendation includes funds recognizing Tech’s strong outcomes under the funding formula, its status as a doctoral university, its cybersecurity efforts, as well as funds for the planning of the new engineering building and additional campus renovations. 

The 2019-2020 recommendation is a 10.4 percent increase over 2018-2019 and is more than 25 percent higher than Tech’s 2017-2018 appropriation, which is the highest change among public universities in Tennessee.

“Gov. Lee’s budget shows his confidence in Tennessee Tech,” said President Phil Oldham. “His proposed budget demonstrates how he values education and its positive impact throughout the state. We appreciate the support he is showing to Tech and our efforts to serve the entire state, from Memphis to Mountain City.”

The additional recurring state appropriation includes:

$2.65 million in outcome-based funding under the Complete College Act’s funding formula.

$900,000 in recurring funds to recognize Tech’s Carnegie classification change, fully funding the state’s recurring $2.1 million commitment.

The state appropriation also includes $500,000 for Tech’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center. This is the third year of a four-year, $2 million state funding match of an NSF grant.

In addition, the state’s proposed capital appropriation includes more than $11 million for Tech, which includes:

$3.25 million for planning work for the new engineering building.

$7.91 million for facilities maintenance, which includes additional roofing and building renovation projects.

“Clearly, this is preliminary,” Oldham said. “The General Assembly will have much to say about the budget. But with the support we have in the legislature, most notably Rep. Ryan Williams and Sen. Paul Bailey, I feel this is a great start to the legislative budgeting process. Their confidence in Tech is vital to our continued work.”

Both Williams and Bailey have already stated their support of this funding. In a post on Facebook, Williams wrote, “Sen. Bailey and I support Gov. Lee and his focus on rural education, jobs, and this funding is proof of that focus.”

Last year, Williams, working with then-Gov. Bill Haslam, was able to obtain $3 million in additional recurring funds for Tech’s College of Engineering.

According to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Gov. Lee’s 2019-2020 budget featured $86.7 million in additional recurring funds for higher education, a 5.5 percent increase, along with $44 million in non-recurring appropriations. The budget also includes more than $200 million in funds for higher education capital projects.

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