Each year, the Utah Legislature considers numerous changes to Higher Education for state colleges and universities. These changes could have impacts on Snow College Students for years to come.
Dr. Steve Hood, Vice President for Academic Affairs, at Snow College outlined two major changes that will apply at Snow College and other Utah schools:
“The legislature is worried about salaries for people who work at colleges—both staff and faculty. They approved some funding to increase salaries and benefits. So they approved a compensation increase of 2% for faculty and staff. We are appreciative of the legislature taking into consideration the great people who work at Snow College and their financial wellbeing.
The legislature also voted for a tuition increase for all public colleges and universities in the state. Snow College currently has the lowest tuition and fees in the state. It is projected that this will continue. The Snow College Board of Trustees will be determining how much to increase tuition and fees, but it is expected to be a very modest increase. They are determined to keep Snow College as the most affordable institution in the state.”
In order to help pass legislation, Snow College works with state representative Darren Owens, who is the vice chair of the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee in the state legislature. They also have a government relations liaison, Rosie Connor, who Hood says “works individually with members of the state legislature and she works with the other government relations liaisons from the other colleges and universities.”
Legislation often leads to the Utah State Board of Regents to make recommendations for changes in policies, which means that administration has to make changes. The process relies on internal policies, Hood said. “For internal policy, Snow College has two very important governing bodies. The College Council considers policies and how they will impact the College. Based on their recommendations, they determine whether a new policy or a policy change is in order. Once they determine a new policy or a change is appropriate, they send out policies for 30 day review to faculty and staff to consider. Once approved, they send the proposed changes to our Board of Trustees. If the Trustees believe a policy change or a new policy is sound, they will enact the policy and it becomes binding.”
Ultimately, pieces of legislation could directly impact Utah students in higher education for years to come. Dr. Hood says that Snow College administration has done much to help pass legislation beneficial to Snow College, as well as helping implement the legislation once it has been passed.
Aubree Williams, a Snow College sophomore who will attend Southern Utah University in the fall, said that “I think it is important for us as students to be aware of changes because it is an influence on our future.”
The Snowdrift staff encourages students to learn, understand, and do something to help make sure that changes that are made are most beneficial to them by participating in the legislative process and contacting administration with any concerns.