The board of trustees met on June 10 to discuss the state of several departments within the university and to approve the designated funds budget and multiple ongoing projects.
Kelly Epting, the associate vice president for finance and budget, presented the designated funds budget which was approved by the board. Designated funds support the university’s scholarships for programs like chorus and band as well as some special departmental scholarships.
Epting said that while these types of scholarships will remain the same as last year, there will be a reduction in departmental budgets.
“We have some very small changes, there's a small decrease in those departmental budgets. Vending income is just an income source that it is not really as vibrant as it used to be with the change in what people purchase,” Epting said. “So we're having a little bit of a reduction here.”
While tuition rates for undergraduates will remain the same for the fourth year in a row, tuition rates will be raised for graduate students in the Darla Moore School of Business and the College of Pharmacy.
The university will also be increasing housing and meal prices to comply with contractual obligations as well as to offset inflationary costs, Epting said. Epting also clarified the use of new revenue sources from the state, which are typically given to the academic units, but are allocated by a number of committees and leadership.
“Most of those sources will stay in the academic units, except for a small amount, $2 million, going to utility,” Epting said. “What that means is that the budgets for the support units will be frozen. And then with the new leadership in place coming in July and August, additional decisions will be made that we will report back to (the board) for your feedback and approval.”
The board also heard a number of project updates from university architect Derek Gruner. According to Gruner, construction on LeConte College and Jones Physical Science Center is expected to be complete by fall of 2022 in time for classes.
Gruner said the university is on track to begin housing students in the new campus village in 2023. The project remains within budget and will now incorporate a satellite health services clinic for students.
The university is also planning to unveil a “Remarkable Three” statue in 2023 which will feature Robert G. Anderson, Henrie Monteith Treadwell and James L. Solomon Jr., who desegregated the university in 1963.Gruner hopes that the project will be complete by September of 2023, which will be 60 years after they stepped on campus.
The campus advisory committee also worked to actively search for African American artists during the planning process.
“With this particular sculpture, we redoubled our efforts to look and find other sculptors that would be appropriate with emphasis on sculptors of color and African American sculptors nationally,” Gruner said. “So, the selection is ultimately based on qualifications and vision and creativity. But, it was very important to the campus art advisory committee that we made sure that we have some diversity.”
Finally, the board approved a change within the College of Arts and Sciences, allowing African American studies and Women and Gender studies to shift from a program to an academic department.
Interim Provost Stephen J. Cutler said neither department would require additional financial rewards.