UNA’s State Appropriation Increases for FY’23
Apr. 14, 2022
Michelle R. Eubanks , UNA, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 256.765.4392
FLORENCE, AL – The University of North Alabama is set to receive more than $45 million from the state of Alabama as part of its annual appropriation. The $45,004,247 indicates a 12.76 percent increase from the fiscal year 2022 budget.
“In the Senate, Tim Melson serves as vice chair of the education funding committee, and Jamie Kiel sits on the counterpart committee in the House of Representatives,” said UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts. “Both of these legislators are alumni of UNA and have been very strong voices for equity in funding for UNA.”
In addition to the 12.76 percent increase in the state appropriation, the University will also receive a supplemental appropriation of $3.2 million for a new program in power generation engineering. This program will be the cornerstone of UNA’s workforce development initiatives and will be a one-of a-kind educational opportunity for students nationwide.
At each phase of the legislative process, UNA experienced success in increasing funding back to the Shoals. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey initially recommended a nine percent increase, with the House Ways and Means Education Committee pushing that increase to 12.76 percent. The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee maintained the recommended increase from the House and further approved the additional $3.2 million supplemental appropriation. At each stage, the increases were supported by the local legislative delegation, particularly Sen. Melson and Rep. Kiel.
The increase is also a result of the ongoing Project 208, which was conceived by Pres. Kitts and initiated five years ago. Since that time, UNA’s state appropriation has increased by 60 percent. Even so, the initial gap was so large that the institution remains at the bottom of the list of Alabama’s institutions of higher education when it comes to funding per student. A review of peer institution funding had UNA $10.2 million behind the next university in total funding when Project 208 began. That gap has narrowed and now stands at now $6 million.
“The University is grateful for the progress that has been made to narrow the gap,” said Evan Thornton, Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs and Chief Financial Officer for UNA. “However, the University has passed deficit budgets over $3.5 million for two consecutive years and must be funded equitably to remain affordable and competitive in today’s market.”
About The University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/