Provost Amiridis also says faculty hires will soon be announced
USC expects “a very modest increase in tuition” next semester, Provost Michael Amiridis said at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting.
That expectation is based on the South Carolina House’s current budget proposal, which includes a 6 percent cut in the base budget of the Columbia campus. That cut, combined with cuts in the regional campuses’ budgets and the evaporation of federal stimulus funds, means that USC is set to lose a total of 15 percent of its funding next year. If the budget proposal changes substantially before it passes, Amiridis said it may be “a different story.”
Amiridis said he doesn’t know the exact percentage for the tuition increase, but he tried to quanitfy by describing Coastal Carolina’s recent tuition increase of 4.4 percent as “high.”
“That gives you an idea,” Amiridis said.
For those who don’t have calculators on hand, a 4.4 percent increase in USC’s annual in-state tuition of $9,786 would mean students would pay an additional $430.58 toward tuition. Out-of-state students, who currently pay $25,362 annually, would pay an extra $1,115.93.
“I wish we could keep it zero,” Amiridis said. “What concerns me right now is what I need to keep the programs running.”
According to the provost, certain members of the General Assembly have put forth a variety of proposals that would limit USC’s autonomy, including a proviso to force professors to teach at least nine credit hours worth of classes each semester.
“I have seen the usual dosage of eccentric proposals from legislators who think they can run the university better than we,” Amiridis said.
While Amiridis described the recent higher education cut as “serious,” he said USC had prepared for it with increased tuition and a larger freshman class.
Amiridis also said that new faculty hires will be announced in the next seven to 10 days and that USC had received over 170 hiring requests from departments for the 30 positions it made available as part of its Faculty Hiring Initiative.
“We can’t stop hiring,” Amiridis said, citing a lack of senior faculty campuswide.