In 2001 the Legislature established an Engineering and Computer Technology Initiative within the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) to increase the number of students graduating from engineering, computer science, and related technology programs. During the past 14 years, the initiative has increased awards in these areas by nearly 27,000 degrees within USHE, making a significant difference for Utah’s economy. According to the most recent data available the following degree completions show growth at key points in time.
When the initiative was first established, the legislation defined how the funds should be used:
- Triple the number of graduates from USHE institutions in engineering, computer science, and related technology.
- Increase capacity, purchase necessary equipment and establish new degree programs that improve the quality of instructional programs in engineering, computer science, and related technologies.
- Provide student scholarships to encourage enrollment in engineering, computer science, and related technology programs.
- Hire and retain qualified faculty to teach in initiative programs.
The Technology Initiative Advisory Board (TIAB), comprised of advanced industry leaders in Utah appointed by the Governor, receives proposals from USHE institutions and recommends to the Board of Regents how new appropriations should allocated. During the 2015 legislative session, $3,500,000 of on-going funds and $1,000,000 of one-time funds were appropriated to the initiative for distribution to USHE institutions commencing with the 2015- 2016 fiscal year (FY16). The initiative has received gradual increases in funds in the years since its establishment in 2001. Last year’s appropriation was the largest single increase in ongoing funds approved by the Legislature.
The Board of Regents approved the recommendations of the TIAB at its most recent meeting in Cedar City, Utah at Southern Utah University. The allocations are as follows: