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Board of Trustees approves numerous academic initiatives, advance key facility projects

The South Carolina Board of Trustees met Tuesday (Dec. 19) and approved several new academic initiatives and advanced key campus facilities projects that will help the University of South Carolina improve student success and ensure a world-class academic experience.

Facility projects approved

The board approved the design for the School of Medicine Columbia building on the new Health Sciences Campus slated to begin construction in 2025. The state-of-the-art campus planned for the BullStreet District will continue to be a trailblazing space for the university to train and prepare future physicians in the state as well as conduct interdisciplinary health research.

The board approved the first phase of additional renovations to the Booker T. Washington High School (1400 Wheat St.). The approval allocates $90,000 in federal grant money that will help replace the roof and add new lighting, a sprinkler system and fire alarms, replace the HVAC system and add a study lounge and exhibit space.

The board approved the $2.2 million purchase of the Rutledge Building (1429 Senate St.) adjacent to the Joseph F. Rice School of Law.

The board also approved the $2.2 million purchase of the building across the street at 1430 Senate St. Most of the 39,500 square feet of office space is currently leased to USC and will serve the long-term need for office space with existing office space near the Horseshoe being converted to student residential space.

The board also established the First Generation Center, which will be housed at Maxcy College. It will address the needs of a growing population of first generation students on the Columbia Campus like academic advising, mentoring, technology resources and social networking opportunities.

Academic initiatives approved 

The board also approved several new departments and degree programs, including a new Department of Biomedical Engineering and a new Industrial Engineering degree program, both in the in the College of Engineering and Computing. The creation of a sports media degree program in the College of Information and Communications was also approved.

The board approved curriculum changes for mass communications (BA), biomedical engineering (BA), retailing (maseter's) and nursing science (Ph.D.).

The board also approved four new tenure unit designations, three of which are in the College of Education: Department of Teacher Education, Department of Leadership, Design and Inquiry, and Department of Educational Development Science. The other was the Department of Translation and Clinical Science in the School of Medicine Columbia.

The board approved a new unit — the Graduate Legal Studies Program — in the Joseph F. Rice School of Law and a new tenure-granting unit in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

The board approved a new Educator Leadership program at USC Aiken. It also approved tuition rates for International Partner University students as well as online graduate program rates.

Other approvals

The Board approved a number of contracts and revisions to the Oath of Office, Code of Conduct and Statement of Commitment.