University of South Carolina Board of Trustee members approved a $1.2 billion operating budget last Friday. The budget will go before the full board June 30.
The Board of Trustees unanimously recommended a 3.9 percent hike in tuition for undergraduate students. A 3.9 percent increase raises tuition $191 for in-state students to $5,084 per semester and $495 for out-of-state students to $13,176 per semester. The tuition for the School of Medicine will increase by 6.25 percent, and the College of Pharmacy tuition will go up by 5 percent.
This hike is expected to add $9.75 million to the budget, and expected enrollment increases are expected to add another $8 million.
Funds garnered from tuition and fees make up 44.1 percent of the annual budget while state appropriations for FY 2011-12 make up 9.7 percent. This year the state budget cut funding by 6 percent. State funding has dropped by 50 percent in the last three years. In addition to the budget cut, the school will lose $32 million in stimulus money that it had been receiving.
The General Assembly has allocated $11 million to pay for some of USC’s deferred maintenance needs across the system of USC campuses.
A considerable amount of time was spent in the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee meeting during the morning. Kevin O’Connell, the executive associate athletics director, explained the plans and projects for the upcoming years including a new tennis complex, renovations to be completed on the softball fields and the status of the football practice fields. Officials voted unanimously to approve a $6.5 million video board, and a proposal for an indoor practice field with weight, equipment and training rooms, which would cost about $21 million, was introduced. The video board goes to the Buildings and Ground Committee for approval on June 30.
O’Connell will phase one of the indoor practice facility for approval in September.