The gates on the south side of the historic Horseshoe

Board of Trustees committees meet

Several University of South Carolina Board of Trustees committees met on Friday (June 11). Here's a look at the actions that they took, which will be presented for approval to the full Board of Trustees on June 25. Three committees met, but took no action: the Health and Medical Affairs committee; the Advancement, Engagement and Communications committee; and the University System committee.

Finance and Infrastructure Committee

During the meeting of the Finance and Infrastructure committee, the university reported that the budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 shows that the institution is in a strong financial position coming out of 2020. As a result, tuition will continue to be frozen at every system institution for the upcoming academic year, and only incremental increases for room and board. 

Gamecock Athletics also presented an overview of the department's budget. Athletics will conclude the 2020-21 academic year with a budget deficit of approximately $27 million, due to the impacts of the pandemic. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Carolina Athletics Department under Athletics Director Ray Tanner had never finished a budget year with a deficit. Shortfalls will be covered by the university until the athletics department is able to return to its self-supporting status in 2022-23.  Payments back to the University would begin during the 2024-25 fiscal year.

The Finance and Infrastructure committee also approved several gift-naming opportunities, as well as the skeleton of the Comprehensive Permanent Improvement Plan, which will all come before the full board for final approval.

Academic Excellence and Student Experience Committee

The Academic Excellence and Student Experience committee gave preliminary approval to a variety of new programs, new program delivery methods and program modifications across the system.

At the Columbia campus, changes include:

  • A new Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience;
  • A new Master of Science in Coaching Education, delivered completely online;
  • A new Master of Science in Data and Communications, delivered completely online;
  • A new graduate certificate in Accounting and Audit Analytics, delivered completely online;
  • A new graduate certificate in Data and Communications;
  • The addition of secondary education in the Bachelor of Arts in English;
  • The shift to completely online delivery of the masters degree in hospitality and tourism management and the masters degree in sports management;
  • The consolidation of Psychology programs;
  • The consolidation of several degrees into Language, Literature and Culture B.A. and M.A. programs;
  • And a name change for the Institute of African-American Studies and Research.

At the Palmetto College campuses, program changes include the termination of the A.S. in Technical Nursing at USC Lancaster, and the addition of a completely online delivery of the A.A. and the A.S. in General Liberal Arts and Sciences at UofSC Columbia, USC Salkehatchie, USC Sumter and USC Union. 

At USC Aiken, the B.A. in Communications and Digital Arts will become the B.A. in Digital Media, and the Department of Communication will become the Department of Communication and Emerging Media. The B.A. and B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies will be changed to a B.A. in Liberal Studies, and also include a completely online delivery.

At USC Upstate, there will be a new B.S. in Health Information Management, which will be delivered completely online.

The committee approved updates to faculty manuals at USC Aiken, UofSC Columbia, Palmetto College and USC Upstate, as well as the creation of a new faculty award at the Columbia campus, which is intended to help retain outstanding faculty members. The committee also endorsed the extension of the test-optional admissions pilot program for an additional year, through Fall 2022.

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