The Executive Committee of the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees approved a $996 million operating budget Friday (June 8) for all of the university’s eight campuses.
The 2007-08 budget, which is expected to be approved by the board of trustees at its June 28 meeting, funds academic initiatives, including the university’s ongoing program to hire some of the nation’s top teaching and research faculty, and supports the university's commitment to ensuring that students have one of the nation’s best living and learning environments.
The budget, which is contingent on final approval of the state appropriations bill by the General Assembly, includes single-digit tuition increases for all campuses to address each campus’s student needs and strategic priorities and to support campus operations.
USC Columbia's operating budget, including the School of Medicine, is $819 million.
University President Andrew Sorensen said the funding support will make the university even more attractive to top faculty and students and expand research initiatives that will have a significant economic impact on the state.
"As a result of prior state funding, our initiative to bring top teaching and research faculty is yielding results," Sorensen said. "Our new teaching faculty bring an enthusiasm and energy to the classroom that engage and inspire our students, and our research faculty are collaborating with their peers on some of society’s most pressing problems. This overall budget will enable us to maintain that momentum and hire additional teaching faculty to enhance students’ learning experiences and recruit researchers who will increase our competitiveness in crucial areas such as alternative fuels, the environment, biomedicine and nanotechnology. Even though a final budget is pending, we at the University of South Carolina are appreciative of the legislature’s commitment to supporting our goals of becoming one of the nation’s top public universities."
Additional state funding is expected to provide support for the following:
* A six-year faculty-hiring program, entering its fourth year, to enhance the quality of instruction and allow the university to recruit additional faculty for disciplines and programs that support the university's strategic priorities;
* Continued development and implementation of OneCarolina, a program approved in 2004 to expand and improve student and administrative technology resources;
* A portion of the 3-percent state pay package for employees and additional costs for health insurance increases and retirement increases;
* Planning for the South Carolina LightRail, a developing high-speed network among the University of South Carolina, Clemson, MUSC and other health systems to enhance research, distance learning and educational programs and improve the health of individuals and communities across the state.
USC Columbia's tuition and fees for all undergraduates will rise by 6.9 percent and are expected to generate approximately $12,075,000 in new university revenue, which will be used for the following:
* Campus safety enhancements, including installation of video cameras, card access systems for buildings and additional call boxes;
* Expansion of an academic success center to improve student retention and help students retain their lottery-funded scholarships;
* Support for student affairs initiatives, including improving access for students with disabilities, enhancements for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and establishment of the Office of Academic Integrity.
The tuition increase for undergraduates at USC Columbia will raise tuition and required fees to $4,173 per semester for in-state students and $10,816 per semester for out-of-state students.
Tuition for graduate students will rise by 6.9 percent, with in-state graduate tuition increasing by $300 for a semester total of $4,644. Out-of-state graduate student tuition will increase by $632 for a semester total of $9,790.
Students in the School of Law and School of Medicine will have different tuition increases. In-state students at the School of Medicine will pay $11,272 per semester; out-of-state students will pay $29,930 per semester.
In-state law student tuition will increase by $390 for a semester total of $8,182; out-of-state law student tuition will increase by $787 for a semester total of $16,525.
Tuition and required fee increases for in-state students at the university’s senior campuses are:
* USC Aiken -- $168 (5 percent) for a semester total of $3,503;
* USC Beaufort -- $263 (9.2 percent) for a semester total of $3,125;
* USC Upstate -- $271 (7.5 percent) for a semester total of $3,880.
Tuition for the regional campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, Union) will increase by $108, or 4.6 percent, for a semester total of $2,434 for in-state students with fewer than 75 credit hours. Tuition for in-state students with 75 or more credit hours will be $3,533 per semester.
The University of South Carolina is the state's oldest and largest public university with an enrollment of about 39,000 students at eight campuses across the state. Approximately 80 percent of undergraduates on all of the university's eight campuses are from South Carolina.