FLORENCE – The Francis Marion University Board of Trustees adopted a $46.4 million operating budget for the university’s 2007-2008 fiscal year during its quarterly meeting Friday (June 1).
The trustees also increased tuition 7.5 percent per semester. The increase means that full-time South Carolina resident undergraduates will pay $3,519 per semester, an increase in tuition of $238 from last year. Tuition for the FMU nursing program was set at $5,446 per semester, an increase of $372 from last year.
Full-time out-of-state undergraduate students will now pay $6,920.50 per semester, and out-of-state nursing students will pay $10,774.50 per semester. Full-time South Carolina graduate students will pay $3,619 per semester, while out-of-state graduate students will pay $7,120.50 per semester.
Also previously approved by the board, and included in the above totals, is a $25 hike in the student activity fee to support growth in student related programs.
FMU’s $46.4 million projected budget includes a base state appropriation of $16.9 million, $25.4 million in student fees and $1.7 million in other revenue. The biggest part of the budget goes for personnel costs set at $34 million and $10.4 million for operating expenses. The university may receive up to $1.95 million dollars in state appropriations earmarked for specific new programs.
The $16.9 million that FMU is receiving in state appropriations is just above the $16.8 million in state funds appropriated in the 2001-2002 year and then drastically reduced in following years during a downturn in state revenues.
The tuition increase will yield $1.5 million in new revenues. Those dollars will allow the university to fund its share of a state mandated three percent salary increase and to fund an additional three percent pay increase for faculty and staff; to hire new faculty to support program and enrollment growth; to fund faculty promotions, salary compression; and to renovate McNair Auditorium, the indoor swimming pool; Founder’s Hall and Cauthen Media Center.
In other business, the trustees were presented a resolution by FMU President Fred Carter for consideration at their next meeting naming the McNair Auditorium in honor of FMU Provost Richard N. Chapman. A slate of new officers for next year was also approved. They are George McIntyre of Bennettsville as chairman; William W. Coleman Jr. of Florence as vice chairman; and Carolyn Shortt of Laurens as secretary. Attendees also observed a moment of silence in honor of former board member Robert Williams who died on May 12.
In committee reports, the trustees learned that the capital campaign has now raised $34.73 million in gifts and pledges. Also, the Student Affairs and Facilities Committee reported plans to evaluate campus security measures in light of the Virginia Tech incident.
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