Clemson trustees approve new budget, tuition increase

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CLEMSON — Clemson University trustees approved an operating budget of $989 million for the 2015-16 academic year, including tuition, room and board fees at the board’s summer meeting in Greenville.

Trustees approved a 3.24 percent tuition increase for in-state students, or $218 per semester, and a 4.25 percent increase for out-of-state students, or $669 per semester.

Graduate tuition will increase by 3.25 percent, with dollar amounts varying among academic programs.

Revenues from the fee increases will help cover the unfunded portion of state-mandated bonus, retirement and health insurance costs, inflation, enhanced maintenance and stewardship of facilities, increased funding for safety and security, and planned investments in Road Map priorities.

An average increase of 3 percent approved for housing and dining plans will add an average of $45 per semester for dining and $87 per semester for housing. Actual costs will depend on the residence hall and meal plan selected. New meal plans are being introduced to provide more flexibility for students.

Revenues from the increases will cover inflation, increased dining hours, ongoing maintenance and stewardship, replacement of outdated equipment, utilities and infrastructure.

Trustees gave phase one approval to a proposed childcare facility on the university’s main campus. Pending additional board and state approvals, the 12,700 square-foot center, when built, will serve the university’s faculty, staff and students and will accept preschool-aged children, ages six weeks to five years.

The board also approved the start of construction on the Barnes Student Activities Center, a renovation of an existing 7,000-square-foot agriculture facility — formerly known as the sheep barn — to create multi-purpose space for student gatherings, meetings, entertainment and academic programming.

Care will be taken to preserve the character of the facility and maintain its status on the National Register of Historic Places.

The family of Frank S. Barnes Jr. of Rock Hill donated $1 million to help fund the renovation.

The trustees also approved a plan to seek leased property in Charleston to accommodate Clemson’s Charleston-based programs in architecture, historic preservation and landscape architecture.

The temporary, leased facility will be large enough to meet the needs of students in the longstanding programs and accommodate growth in Clemson’s allied design programs, in particular expanded offerings in architecture and health and a proposed new master’s in resilient urban design.

“A single facility housing all of Clemson’s design programs in Charleston has been our goal for several years,” said Richard E. Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. “This facility will move us toward that goal by bringing all of our allied design programs in Charleston under one roof. We will continue to investigate our options for a long-term facility solution in Charleston.”

E. Smyth McKissick III of Greenville, a 1979 Clemson graduate and chief executive officer of Alice Manufacturing, was unanimously elected chairman of the Clemson University Board of Trustees. He has served as a successor trustee since 1998.

McKissick currently chairs “The Will to Lead” capital campaign, served as a director of the Clemson University Foundation, and chaired the presidential search committee that recruited President James Clements to the university. He is a member of IPTAY and is a major donor to both athletics and academics.

He is the recipient of the Clemson Medallion, the university’s highest public honor, and the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award. Both awards honor long and sustained service to the university as well as commitments to professional and public service.

The trustees unanimously resolved to establish a task force of board members to work closely with the president and administration to engage with a number of Clemson stakeholders for input and to create a comprehensive plan to include any recommendations on curating Clemson’s historic buildings and memorials, developing better ways to acknowledge and teach the history of Clemson University and exploring appropriate recognition of historical figures. The task force is charged for a period of six months.

Trustees also approved:

A series of bond resolutions to fund planned capital improvement projects, including upgrades and replacements to the university’s outdated electrical system and construction of new student housing and dining facilities;
Four online stackable certificates in risk engineering and systems analytics to provide professional development and advancement opportunities for working engineers;
An administrative restructuring to create a School of Accountancy and a Department of Finance in the College of Business and Behavioral Science;
Termination of a number of inactive research centers and institutes;
Construction approval of an east campus water tower.

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