At its quarterly meeting today, Coastal Carolina University's board of trustees rescinded its decision directing the University administration to identify $1 million in savings from the University's 2013-2014 budget. The decision by the board gives CCU President David A. DeCenzo and the University administration the opportunity to preserve programs identified to be eliminated or restructured, including academic centers and programs as well as the men's cross country and track and field program, which had been scheduled to be discontinued after the 2013-2014 season.
The board cited favorable retention forecasts for the upcoming fall semester as the major reason for the decision. More than 65 percent of CCU's present freshman class has reenrolled for the fall 2013 semester. At its February meeting, the board had directed the administration to identify $1 million in savings from the institution's budget as an economic savings measure.
The board also voted to move forward with a significant expansion of the Lib Jackson Student Center. The $12 million project calls for a 39,000-square-foot addition that will include a dividable 500-seat ballroom space, a senate chamber for the Student Government Association, meeting rooms and food service space. Construction costs will be funded by the Horry County one-cent sales tax.
The board approved the establishment of a Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies. The program will offer broad-based, advanced instruction in the humanities and social sciences focusing on developing graduates with the critical thinking, communication and research skills that are the hallmarks of a liberal arts education.
The board approved a request to develop and implement a convenience fee for all bills paid to the University by credit card. This move is expected to save the University an estimated $635,000 annually in merchant fees. The board approved lab fees for seven new courses, ranging from $25 to $45 per course. A plan was approved to charge out-of-state students the same rate as in-state students for distance learning classes held during Maymester and summer sessions.
The board voted to move forward to secure a new location to house the University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in the South Strand area.
Authorization was given for the design and construction of one additional intramural field for athletic and intramural play.
The board approved a $232,000 discretionary fund for CCU President DeCenzo for fiscal year 2013-2014. The fund, renewed annually, allows the president to pursue opportunities to promote the University and to raise funds for the institution.
The board approved the promotion of three faculty members from associate professor to professor: Barbara Ritter, Carol Megehee and Gregory Martel. The board also approved the hire of Janet Buckenmeyer as associate dean of the Spadoni College of Education.