USHE budget priorities include crucial statewide initiatives, such as IT security & Regents’ Scholarship funding

The Utah System of Higher Education’s budget priorities for the 2016 Legislative session include two crucial statewide programs: enhanced cyber security at Utah’s public higher education institutions and funding for the merit-based Regents’ Scholarship.

Enhanced Cyber Security: $2,500,000

The Chief Information officers (CIOs) of institutions within the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) are requesting funds to better equip USHE institutions to protect against attacks on institutional networks. Higher education maintains a variety of sensitive information and has a strong track record of utilizing the best technologies and practices to ensure properly secured data.

However, as recent headlines have proven, the growth of well-equipped attackers has created a heightened need to address vulnerabilities that could possibly be exploited, including identity theft, harvesting personal information or stealing valuable research of clinical data.

In order to provide the best protection possible against these kinds of crimes, the CIOs are requesting $2,500,000 to better enhance their security systems to protect this sensitive data.

Regents’ Scholarship: $8,800,000

The Utah Legislature first appropriated funding for the Regents’ Scholarship in 2008, a program that encourages high school students to take a rigorous course of study to better prepare for college. Funds are needed to replace one-time funding as well as accommodate continued growth (which has averaged 50% annually). For more information on scholarship requirements, visit regentsscholarship.org.

Number Regents’ Scholarship recipients, 2008 – 2015*

*2015 recipients as of Nov. 1, 2015