FLORENCE---The Francis Marion University Board of Trustees has increased room and board rates for the 2005-2006 academic year. The trustees voted to raise the fees during its winter meeting Friday (Feb. 4).
Room rates will go up about 15 percent per semester for the various housing options offered to students. Meal plans will increase about five percent. Even with the increases, FMU rates will remain among the lowest of South Carolina state colleges and universities, according to Bill Ellen of Columbia, chairman of the Financial Affairs and Responsibility Committee.
Residence hall (two-person/one-bedroom) rates will increase from $1,200 to $1,380 per semester, and with the required 19-meal plan from $2,328 to $2,565.
Apartment (four-person/four-bedroom) rates will increase from $1,250 to $1,440, while the two-person/one-bedroom rates go from $1,300 to $1,495. The new Forest Villas apartments will increase from $1,500 to $1,725 for the four person/four bedroom units and from $1,550 to $1,785 for the two-person/two bedroom units.
The 14-meal plan will increase from $1,049 to $1,100, and the 19-meal plan will go from $1,128 to $1,185.
In other action, the trustees approved a resolution to authorize the issuance of $1.2 million in state institutional bonds to build a student activity center to enhance student life for both resident and commuter students.
The trustees also approved the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program to be offered by FMU. Administration of the nursing program is being shifted from the Medical University of South Carolina to FMU, and the university is establishing its own curriculum. That shift is planned for July 1 with FMU admitting between 42 and 48 students into the nursing curriculum for the 2005 fall semester.
In other reports, the trustees learned that applications were up more than 19 percent for the fall semester and that the athletic program has begun planning for a move toward Division I status. A detailed report will be presented by Athletic Director Murray Hartzler at the trustees’ summer meeting.
FMU president Fred Carter reported that he was pleased with the progress that the university was making, and he praised the faculty and staff for their efforts. He said the faculty would begin work soon on assessing the general education requirements—the core courses that all students are required to take regardless of their degree program. He said the university’s accreditation review had begun with Professor Charlene Wages heading up that effort.
Carter also asked the provost and the faculty to look at the feasibility of adding new degree programs in music, non-profit management and a master’s in applied biology. He also reported that Professor Duane Myers and Dean Paul Dove were putting together a publication to highlight faculty research. Other initiatives include developing closer relationships with Pee Dee school districts and the university’s involvement in developing a performing arts center for Florence. He also said the university was helping organize a Francis Marion Trail from the Charleston area to the Pee Dee.
A nominating committee recommended new officers to be voted upon at the trustees’ next meeting. The slate includes: Ken Jackson of Florence, chairman; George McIntyre of Bennettsville, vice chairman; and Carolyn Shortt of Laurens, secretary.
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