State appropriation for 2022-2023 contains nearly $100 million for Tech

Students work in a lab in Tennessee Tech University’s Brown Hall.

COOKEVILLE – The annual appropriation for Tennessee Tech in the 2022-2023 State of Tennessee budget includes nearly $100 million for the university and its programs. 

This is in addition to the more than $100 million in capital construction and maintenance projects. All told, Tech received $201.3 million in the state’s appropriation and capital budgets for the new fiscal year.

“To say this year’s budget was historic is an understatement,” said Tech President Phil Oldham. “Gov. Lee and the general assembly recognize how much the university and its students contribute to the future of the state.”

Tech’s annual appropriation for 2022-2023 is $76.1 million, a 17.3% increase over the previous year. University’s officials say a large part of this increase is due to Tech’s high results in the state’s outcomes funding formula, resulting in $4.4 million of the increase. 

“By graduating students on time, through our principle of serving students first, Tech consistently scores high marks on the funding formula,” Oldham said. “Last year, our graduation rate hit an all-time high, which is a large factor in the formula.”

The outcomes-based funding formula uses metrics such as progress-towards-degree, degrees awarded, graduation rates and externally funded research to award colleges that are successfully producing the desired outcomes that reflect student success.

The annual appropriation also includes $2.2 million to fund the state’s portion of a 4% salary increase pool. The state funds 60% of the increase, with the remaining amount coming from the university. Also included is funding for three university programs:

  • Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) received $1.2 million, a 140% increase over the funds received last year.
  • Rural Reimagined received $1 million, marking the first time the university has received state funding for this program.
  • The Appalachian Center for Craft, located in Smithville, received $2.8 million for facility improvements.

In addition to the annual appropriation, the state will provide $3.5 million in recurring funds for a new wind tunnel and supercomputer facility in Crossville, Tennessee. This dual-use facility will provide space for both the new wind tunnel research facility previously announced and a supercomputer. 

Oldham said that these investments will help Tech to continue to serve both students and the state at a high level. Traditionally, Tech’s economic impact on the state is more than $1 billion, producing a high rate of return on the state’s investment.

The university will also receive $20 million earmarked for the replacement of the university’s enterprise resource planning system. This is Tech’s portion of a $170 million fund for state universities.

Thanks to this exceptional level of funding, Tech was able to have no increase in tuition and mandatory fees for the upcoming year. 

“A zero tuition increase helps students and families,” said Trudy Harper, chair of the Tennessee Tech Board of Trustees, at a recent board meeting. “At the same time, the state understood the funding required to maintain and improve Tech’s ability to serve students, and it provided generous support for our efforts.”

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