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ISU To Get $3.6M From State

After four years of enduring cutbacks, Idaho’s public universities can finally breathe a little easier.

“It feels a lot better than the past four years,” said Idaho State University Vice President of Finance and Administration James Fletcher.

Fletcher broke down the numbers to show exactly what the university has been allocated.

ISU is getting $1,924,000 in workload adjustment for increases in enrollment, another $630,700 in occupancy that will go towards maintenance projects and another $1,042,000 that will go straight to salary increases.

“So that’s a total of $3,569,900,” Fletcher said.

The money set aside for salary increases will account for a 2 percent increase for all employees who meet the minimum requirements for their jobs. That’s something that will be happening statewide. But the university is also kicking in some extra dough to help beef up salaries, Fletcher said.

“That’s most important because the most important assets at a university all walk around on two feet. They are your people,” he said.

If all goes according to plan, Fletcher hopes to raise the job median from 67.5 percent to 73 percent. That would raise the average employee’s salary by five percent.

But, Fletcher said, with $20 million in cuts over four years,programs lost in the recession may never come back.

“Now some of that has been made off by cost-cutting and doing things more efficiently, but not all of it can be made up. And certainly $3.5 million can not make up that amount of cut,” he said.

Still, it looks like the Bengals are getting back on solid ground.

As Pocatello’s largest employer, Fletcher said these new state funds will help to kick out even more money into the local economy, as well.

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