FLORENCE – The Francis Marion University Board of Trustees adopted a $47.5 million operating budget for the university’s 2010-2011 fiscal year during its quarterly meeting Friday (June 18) that included a tuition increase of 6.5 percent per semester.
The tuition increase will yield $1.7 million in new revenues.
State appropriations were reduced by $4.2 million in 2008-2009 and nearly $1.3 million in 2009-2010. They are scheduled to be reduced by an additional $2.8 million for 2010-2011, resulting in a 44 percent decline ($8.3 million) overall.
“Families across this state continue to struggle with the negative effects of a stagnant economy. Accordingly, we have trimmed the university’s operating budgets and kept our tuition rate as low as possible,” said FMU President Luther F. Carter. “We have also worked diligently to increase the level of scholarship support and financial assistance available for our students for this upcoming academic year. And of course, we are doing all of this without compromising the integrity or quality of our academic programs.”
FMU’s approximately $47.5 million projected budget includes a base state appropriation of $10.6 million, $31.9 million in student fees, $2.2 million in other revenue, and $2.8 million in non-recurring stimulus revenue. The largest part of the budget goes for personnel costs of $34.8million and $9.9 million for operating expenses. Planned stimulus projects are estimated at $2.8 million.
In other business, the trustees approved a resolution for the conveyance of FMU Education Foundation property and one changing the FMU mission statement.
Trustees also welcomed its newest board members R. Tracy Freeman of North Augusta and Eddie Gunn of Columbia.
Freeman represents the 3rd Congressional District - Seat 5, and is the owner of Freeman Builders in North Augusta. He has served as the Central Savannah River (CSR) area alumni chapter chairman and is a past member of the FMU Alumni Advisory Board. Freeman has served as an unofficial “alumni ambassador,” volunteering to host campus tours for prospective students during Open House programs and throughout the year. He is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association and a supporter of the Swamp Fox Club. Freeman was presented the Alumni Association’s Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award for 2002-2003.
Gunn, represents the 2nd Congressional District - Seat 3, and is chief of staff of the S.C. Budget and Control Board. He was appointed to this position in February 2007, and it is one he had held on an interim basis since November 2006. Gunn is a 20-year veteran of state government having served as Gov. Carroll Campbell’s Executive Assistant for Finance and Administration. He was previously director of the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services and the Department of Public Safety. Gunn has a bachelor’s degree from Newberry College.
Six incumbents were re-elected: H. Randall Dozier (1st Congressional District, Seat 1), L. Franklin Elmore (4th Congressional District, Seat 7), W.C. Stanton (5th Congressional District, Seat 9), Jim Brown (6th Congressional District, Seat 11), Robert E. Lee (At-Large Position, Seat 13) and Kenneth W. Jackson (At-Large Position, Seat #15).
A tour of the FMU Performing Arts Center was provided following the meeting.