The University of North Alabama (UNA) will receive more than $45 million from its annual state appropriation, according to the institution.
The appropriation, which was set forth in the fiscal year 2023 budget, marks a 12.76% increase from the previous year’s allocation.
UNA president Dr. Ken Kitts praised State Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence) and State Rep. Jamie Kiel (R-Russellville) for their work in securing the funding.
“In the Senate, Tim Melson serves as vice chair of the education funding committee, and Jamie Kiel sits on the counterpart committee in the House of Representatives,” said Kitts. “Both of these legislators are alumni of UNA and have been very strong voices for equity in funding for UNA.”
UNA will also receive a supplemental appropriation of $3.2 million for a new program in power generation engineering, which will fund the university’s one-of-a-kind workforce development program that will be available to students across the nation.
The executive branch’s recommendation of a 9% funding increase was expanded in the legislature during debate in the House Ways and Means Education Committee with the support of the local legislative delegation, according to UNA.
Evan Thornton, UNA vice president for business and financial affairs and chief financial officer, spoke to the university’s funding gap and called for UNA to receive an equitable amount of funding per student compared to that of other state institutions.
“The University is grateful for the progress that has been made to narrow the gap,” said Thornton. “However, the University has passed deficit budgets over $3.5 million for two consecutive years and must be funded equitably to remain affordable and competitive in today’s market.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL