1.5 percent raise for eligible faculty, staff on agenda for board meeting
USC’s administration will propose a 3.9 percent tuition increase for undergraduate students at its Columbia campus and some salary increases for faculty and staff members at a board of trustees meeting Friday.
The proposal includes a 1.5 percent salary raise for the lowest paid 75 percent of USC employees who “meet or exceed expectations” for their respective jobs. The raise must be approved by the board.
The proposal comes less than two months after a report in The Daily Gamecock revealed USC gave $2.7 million extra in “supplements” to its highest earning employees in 2010.
“We have to be prepared to defend this, but these are our troops,” USC President Harris Pastides warned the board at a budget retreat last Thursday.
The proposed raise composes $2.3 million of the budget. If approved, this will go into effect beginning Oct. 1.
For students, the university will propose a 3.9 percent increase in tuition, raising in-state tuition from $4,893 to $5,084 per semester and out-of-state from $12,681 to $13,176. Tuition was increased by 6.9 percent last year.
Pastides said though the university lost 6 percent in state appropriations during this year’s legislative session, this increase in tuition will not and is not aimed at covering that deficit.
The USC School of Pharmacy will receive a 5 percent tuition increase while the School of Medicine will receive a 6 percent increase.
Other South Carolina schools have increased tuition similar to USC. Clemson University announced that it will raise tuition by 3.8 percent, Coastal Carolina will increase by 4.58 percent and South Carolina State will increase by 4 percent.
In addition to losing 6 percent in state appropriations, the university will also not receive $32 million in stimulus money that it had previously been receiving. The money had been going toward nonrecurring expenses.
There will also be a 4 percent increase in the cost of housing and a 2.37 percent increase in the cost of meal plans, according to the proposal.
USC is also proposing $4.2 million in expenditures to hire 40 to 50 new faculty members and $2 million toward personnel for USC Connect, which is USC’s submission for the Quality Enhancement Plan.
These new hires are being brought on in an attempt to maintain quality in the services USC provides, said Ed Walton, the university’s chief financial officer.