The Daily Gamecock

Board of trustees approves new budget, coach contract extensions this summer

FILE — The entrance of the Pastides Alumni Center located at 900 Senate St. The venue is commonly used to hold Board of Trustees meetings and retreats to discuss matters.
FILE — The entrance of the Pastides Alumni Center located at 900 Senate St. The venue is commonly used to hold Board of Trustees meetings and retreats to discuss matters.

The university's board of trustees approved this year's budget as well as raises and contract extensions for athletic coaches over the summer. 

The board of trustees, the University of South Carolina's governing body, furthers USC's long-term goals and assures the institution is meeting stakeholders' needs. 

The board acts in accordance with state law as well as a set of bylaws and other standardized procedures. It is ultimately accountable to the South Carolina General Assembly and the public. 

The duties of the board include defining the role and scope of the university system, establishing general policies for the university, approving the institution's budget each fiscal year and laying out the university's education program.

Kelly Epting, USC's associate vice president for finance and budget, said the university is very well positioned going into the next fiscal year. However, high economic inflation will pose a challenge. 

"(This is the) fourth year in a row that we have the same tuition rates ... and we are still anticipating the really record-breaking amount of freshmen to come in," Epting said.

Undergraduate tuition for in-state residents and non-state residents remains the same on the Columbia campus. In-state residents will pay $6,344 and non-state residents will pay $16,964.

On-campus students will see a fee increase for housing and meals. Students will pay 5% more for a total of $3,680 in housing fees per semester. They'll pay 8.5% more for meal plan fees for a total of $2,210. 

The increases reflect "inflationary costs for self-supporting units on campus," the university said. 

"(For housing and meals) we do have some slight increases here," Epting said. "This year especially we've seen some increases, but overall, if you look at these per term amounts, they still seem to be relatively reasonable."

The university system's $1.8 billion budget, which is $50 million more than the previous fiscal year, allows for "investment in core academic areas and infrastructure," according to the university.

University Architect Derek 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.

Curtis Frye, head men's and women's track and field coach, received a one-year extension through June 30, 2023. Eleven of Fry's athletes competed in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in June.

Lisa Boyer, associate head women's basketball coach, and assistant coaches Fred Chmiel and Jolette Law also received one-year extensions through March 31, 2023. 

There are multiple non-voting members on the board, such as the student body President Reedy Newton and the chair of the university's faculty senate, Audrey Korsgaard.

"We're called on to provide input from the perspective of our constituents," Korsgaard said. "When they're deliberating or hearing reports or things like that on issues that would be pertinent to the student experience, or to the academic operations or research operations of the university, they would call on us to discuss that." 

Newton said it has been enlightening and educational to sit on the board of trustees as a non-voting member. Newton said she has been able to provide insight on student issues like assuring the incoming freshman class will have an adequate number of beds.

"When I'm able to provide insight on topics, it is always heartwarming to know that members of the board seek out student feedback," Newton said.

The board is scheduled to meet again on Aug. 19 and Sept. 16.

Editor's note: Sydney Dunlap, Kate Robins and Jack Veltri contributed to the reporting in this article.  


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