The final session of the 2013 legislature finished March 4 and the results are in with USU Eastern scoring $500,000 towards further planning for the Central Instructional Building, which will house theatre, criminal justice, music, art and journalism/communications.
Chancellor Joe Peterson says this is a sign that the legislators see a need for a new building at USU Eastern and will continue to think about it, but send the money where enrollment is high on other campuses.
The legislature only passed funding for two buildings in higher education this year; one to Utah Valley University for $5.2 million for a classroom building and the other to Weber State University for $61 million for a science building.
Last year, USU Eastern was given $75,000 towards initial planning. The new funding is to be used towards a “comprehensive architectural plan.”
Peterson is remaining positive. “The legislature will not spend this amount of funding on a project they do not believe is needed and a high priority.”
Another change made in the legislature, as the official name of the college is “Utah State University Eastern” or USU Eastern. It will longer be Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah or USU-CEU.
They also passed a policy that lifts limits to how many out-of-state tuition waivers a school can offer. However, according to Greg Dart, director of enrollment service, “this will have very little if any impact on USU Eastern.” In the past Eastern hasn’t used the allotted tuition waivers.