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Executive Committee gives preliminary OK to budget

The Executive Committee of the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees gave preliminary approval to a 2010-11 operating budget Friday (June 18) that balances several critical needs of the university with efforts to keep tuition as low as possible without compromising students’ educational experience.

The full board is expected to take up the budget when it meets June 25.

The $1.1 billion, eight-campus budget, which will take effect July 1, includes the $576 million operating budget composed of tuition and state appropriations, as well as the estimated restricted grants and contracts and auxiliary enterprises. The new operating budget incorporates federal stimulus funds to be applied only to non-recurring expenses.

Undergraduate tuition and required fees on the Columbia campus will go up by 6.9 percent. For students who are South Carolina residents, that is an increase of $315 per semester. The additional tuition revenue is expected to add $15.525 million to the budget. Part of that revenue, $8 million, will be used to restore a portion of academic unit budget reductions resulting from cuts in state appropriations; the balance of the new tuition dollars will cover inflationary items and minimal strategic initiatives, including a commitment to experiential education, an initiative that will expand internships and job preparation through the Career Center.

University President Harris Pastides said that he is heartened by the record number of freshmen who plan to attend the University of South Carolina in the fall and is committed to providing them the best educational experience possible.

“The state’s bleak budget picture continues to impact us, and once again we have made some gut-wrenching choices,” Pastides said. “However, it is imperative that we maintain the quality that we are known for and continue to provide an outstanding educational experience for our students. The record number of freshmen from South Carolina who plan to attend the university this fall is a ringing endorsement of the university and its mission, and the confidence that they have put in Carolina is a reminder that we cannot falter in our commitment to educating the people of our state.”

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