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Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News
UVSC employee Karl Worthington, left, speaks with UVSC President William Sederburg over sandwiches before the president's speech.

OREM — Utah Valley State College President William A. Sederburg painted a positive future for the school during his annual "Sandwiches with Sederburg" activity on Tuesday.

Sederburg presented details on the school's financial status and plans during the traditional event, at which students and employees receive a free sandwich and listen to a financial forecast of the college.

Sederburg projects a $127.3 million budget for the 2008-09 school year. The total budget for 2007-08 was $116.4 million. This is compared with $76.7 million in 2002-03, which is the school year before Sederburg came to the college.

UVSC administration has responded to nearly 70 percent of its internal budget requests and funded 40 new faculty positions and 66 new staff positions for the upcoming school year, Sederburg said.

UVSC is expecting about 500 more students this fall, or a 3 percent enrollment increase. In fall 2007, enrollment was up by 472 students or a 3 percent increase, according to Linda Makin, UVSC director of budgets. She spoke with the Deseret Morning News after the event Tuesday.

UVSC administration wants to beef up its student advising program. The college plans to spend $377,928 to add six advisers and one support staff member. This will create a ratio of 408 students to one adviser.

College officials would like to get the ratio down to 375 students per adviser. The goal is to provide higher-quality, more accessible academic advising, Sederburg said.

The school has $420,640 available for scholarships, including ongoing funds to encourage academic preparation, as well as residential scholarships for honors students, and five new music scholarships.

The scholarship fund includes a grid on a Web page where potential students can plug in their grade point average and ACT score and figure out what scholarship they are eligible for from the school. Go to www.uvsc.edu/finaid/scholarships.

"The number of 'highly qualified' students wanting to come to UVSC is way up," Sederburg said. "It's a wonderful problem to have. Two years ago we couldn't give away enough of these scholarships."

In 2007-08 applications at UVSC, there were 245 new students who applied with a GPA of 3.5 and/or an ACT score of 26 and above, and so were eligible for UVSC's highest academic scholarships, including a four-year full-ride tuition and fee scholarship.

The college recently received its first applicant who had a 36 — a perfect score — on the ACT, Sederburg said.

Part of UVSC's student retention plan includes making newspapers available free on campus: The Deseret Morning News, USA Today and the New York Times.

The college plans to have three master's degree programs soon. An education master's degree program has been approved and will launch this fall; a master's degree in nursing is projected for fall 2009; and a master's degree in business is slated for fall 2010. These programs will have faculty phased in. UVSC is bringing in five salaried faculty and one salaried support staff member, with a budget of $571,721. This includes two salaried faculty in education, two in nursing and one in business.

Transitioning to university status means increasing instruction by salaried faculty and aligning the teacher load, including hiring 30 salaried faculty, six instructional staff and four administrative assistants for $2.9 million.

Compensation plans for salaried employees include average increases of 4.7 percent for faculty, 5 percent for staff and 4.5 percent for executives.

Other employee increases include a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for hourly staff, and a 15-cent-per-hour increase for students/trainees.

UVSC has brought its adjunct faculty down to 46 percent, costing the college $3 million, along with aligning the teaching load. Adjunct faculty are slated to receive a 5.95 percent increase, in order to become more comparable with other higher education institutions.

To prepare for its transition to UVU, the college will be changing 60,000 Web pages, 1,500 e-mail addresses and 1,200 signs.

In conjunction with its transition, UVSC is emphasizing "engaged learning" in which students connect with the community as they learn.

"It's just one way we can make our education practical, relevant and help meet the needs of the community," Sederburg said.

For example, UVSC business students visited Independence High School in Provo School District and taught the students accounting principles by using the game of Monopoly.

UVSC's goal is to pursue a Carnegie "engaged university" classification. The college aims to spend $277,000 base funding and $230,000 one-time funding.

Budget for the new library is $1.5 million ongoing funds and $214,000 one-time funds. This includes hiring 14 staff members for operation and maintenance; adding six library staff; increasing collections; adding wireless Internet services; offering a student media center where people can have copying services; and having an open student computer lab.

The new library will be open July 1, amid much festivity. A concert, planned for June 30 as part of the two-day celebration, will feature country stars Collin Raye, Josh Gracin and Joe Nichols.

So far 9,000 concert tickets have been sold. Capacity is 17,000. Sederburg says he believes it will sell out. The concert tickets will cost $5 for UVSC employees, faculty, students and alumni. For the general public, it's $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Tickets can be purchased at the McKay Events Center, 801-863-SHOW (7469) or 1-888-844-7469, www.mckayeventscenter.com and at all Smith's Tix outlets.


E-mail: astewart@desnews.com