The University of South Carolina’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023-24 seeks to keep tuition affordable for students across its eight-campus system. The budget proposal also prioritizes construction of classrooms and innovative learning spaces, invests in research infrastructure and clinical outreach, and emphasizes initiatives to support needs of students across the University of South Carolina system. The proposal, approved on Friday (Sept. 23) by the university’s Board of Trustees, will be submitted for consideration by state officials as part of the annual budget process.
Highlights of the FY 2023-24 budget request include:
- For the Columbia campus, $29.5 million in tuition mitigation funds to offset inflationary costs and allow the university to hold tuition prices steady for the fifth consecutive year. An additional $4.7 million would provide for tuition price freezes across the system of campuses.
- To support an enhanced student learning environment, $53 million is requested for the renovation and construction of classrooms and innovative learning spaces in and around the Science and Technology building on the Columbia campus. Another $41 million would provide for renovations to significantly upgrade outdated lab spaces used by students and faculty in the Coker Life Sciences building and the Jones Research Center.
- To help address gaps in quality treatment for rural residents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and dementia, the university will establish a statewide Rural Brain Health Network and a Brain Health Institute. A requested $10 million in recurring state funds will establish and support a unique model of experts from partnering health care delivery institutions specializing in clinical dementia care to serve patients in rural areas.
- An additional $30 million will bring a new Brain Institute to the BullStreet health sciences campus, home to the upcoming new School of Medicine facility. The state-of-the art Institute will serve as headquarters for the Rural Health Network and allow doctors to serve patients from across the state with complex brain health problems.
- To enhance programs and provide tuition relief to in-state School of Law students, the university is requesting $5.7 million. The funds will assist in building innovative law programs in areas such as cybersecurity while also attracting and retaining talented South Carolina law students.
- Multiple initiatives at the USC system institutions — which include Aiken, Beaufort, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, Union and Upstate — to address regional needs. These include expanding the number of nursing graduates and enhancing student instructional support.
“This request reflects our priorities: serving our students and enhancing the university’s ability to make a real difference in the lives of South Carolinians. By working together with the General Assembly, we can increase the number of degree-holders in South Carolina and create innovate research and patient care models that improve the lives of all our residents,” said President Michael Amiridis.
Board of Trustees Chairman Thad Westbrook agrees. “Because we are a system, the University of South Carolina is in a unique position to address the needs of the entire state,” Westbrook said. “We have a tremendous opportunity to partner with the Governor and General Assembly to ensure we can accomplish that mission together, while keeping tuition prices affordable for South Carolina families.”