Clemson trustees approve proposed budget, re-elect Wilkins chairman

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CHARLESTON — Clemson University trustees approved the school’s proposed fiscal year 2013-14 operating budget, which projects an increase in operating resources of approximately 5.5 percent or $47 million at its quarterly meeting Friday in Charleston.

Clemson’s strategic plan continues to be funded through strategic divestments and reallocations, new revenue generation, increased tuition and fee revenues, as well as $7.5 million in increased state appropriations.

New resources will be directed to the four primary focus areas of the university’s 2020 plan: enhancing student quality and performance; providing engagement opportunities for all students; attracting, retaining and rewarding top people; and competitive facilities, infrastructure and technology.

“CU’s instruction budget is at a historically high level,” said Vice President for Finance and Operations Brett Dalton. “We are investing more in instruction and core mission activities than any point in our history. Instruction and academic support make up the largest single expense category at 28 percent, while institutional support costs are approximately 34 percent lower than FY 08-09.”

In other business, the board approved:

Spaulding Paolozzi Center, the university’s architecture center in Charleston, with project costs of $23.7 million funded through institution bonds and private gifts;

an upgrade to the Campbell Graduate Center advanced powertrain laboratory;

an addition to Freeman Hall on campus;

a bond resolution for Watt Family Innovation Center;

a new graduate-level Technical Certificate for Digital Artists;

the new Statistical and Mathematical Consulting Center; and

a Wood Utilization and Design Institute.

Trustee David H. Wilkins of Greenville was re-elected to serve a third two-year term as chairman of the board of trustees. The Clemson alumnus became a successor trustee in 2007. He is a partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Greenville.

Wilkins was the United States Ambassador to Canada from 2005 to 2009. He also served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for 25 years as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, speaker pro tem and speaker of the House.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford recognized President James F. Barker at a luncheon with the trustees Thursday. Swofford presented Barker with the ACC Commissioner’s Cup for his contributions to the conference during his tenure as Clemson’s president.

“I have been commissioner for 16 years, and Jim has been Clemson’s president for most of that time period,” Swofford said. “All of the major changes that have happened in the ACC during my career have had his fingerprint."

Barker served as chairman of the ACC Council of Presidents from 2002 to 2004.

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