Trustees discuss funding

By Chris Mumford , Staff Writer

With campus quiet and mostly empty of students and faculty, the U Board of Trustees kept its Tuesday meeting short and to the point.

The most significant item to come up for discussion in terms of funding was a plan to assess the costs of consolidating and moving the U’s data servers to a renovated building downtown. The project, initially estimated to cost about $7 million, has swelled to nearly $21 million.

Those backing the move sought and won the board’s approval to hire a professional design firm to assess the options available and potentially push the rising costs down. Final approval for the project will wait until the design firm returns its estimate.

Trustees Chairman Randy Dryer characterized the vote in support of the initiative as “lukewarm,” a nod to those board members who were concerned about the cost of the project at a time when the college is already strapped for funds.

The board also briefly discussed a review of the departments of music and civil engineering. The former is in need of more regular faculty, according to the review, but the civil and environmental engineering department has seen improvement in facilities and funding.

Other items discussed at the meeting included an update on a range of construction projects that cost more than $300,000 combined, and an update on the success of efforts to post construction alerts on the U’s website8212;there were some 50,000 hits on the first day of class.

Associated Students of the University of Utah President Tayler Clough said he would be proposing two changes to the student government’s constitution. The first would make the proposed high school mentoring program permanent and would change the constitution to create funds for that program beyond his administration’s term.

The second change would lower the cap on campaign expenditures for student elections from $9,800 to $6,700. Clough said the cap is too high and hampers candidates who cannot raise as much money as others.

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