At its quarterly meeting today, the Board of Trustees of Coastal Carolina University approved a $102 million operational budget for the 2011-2012 academic year. The budget, revised from an earlier draft presented at the previous board meeting in February, reflects a $1 million reallocation that was requested by the board. The University administration eliminated positions that have come open through attrition and transferred selected positions and programs to revenue-generating accounts. At the board's direction, the reallocation will be applied to a proposed merit-based awards program for outstanding faculty and staff.
The board approved the establishment of a "Green Fund" that will provide resources for undergraduate research projects and activities relating to environmental sustainability. The plan, which originated with the University's Student Government Association, calls for a voluntary "opt-in" student fee of $5 per semester. CCU students will be invited to submit proposals, which will be evaluated by a committee of students, faculty and administrators. Students whose proposals are chosen will receive stipends from the Green Fund to develop their projects. The program is scheduled to begin in Spring 2012.
The board reviewed a report released last week by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education showing that Coastal Carolina University is the most highly utilized public college campus in the state. Based on three factors - average square footage per student, average weekly hours of classroom instruction, and classroom seat utilization - the CCU campus uses the smallest amount of classroom space per student of any public college in South Carolina. The report indicates that CCU stands in the greatest need of additional classroom space of all state institutions of higher education, including research universities, teaching institutions, two-year branches and technical colleges.
Former trustees Joseph L. Carter and Samuel H. Frink were presented with resolutions commending their service to the University. Carter and Frink, area businessmen and civic leaders, both joined the board of trustees in 2003. The board also passed a resolution honoring the University's basketball team. The team ended the season with 28 wins, setting Big South Conference records and advancing to postseason play.
The board also approved 10 property leases from the Coastal Educational Foundation, the Horry County Higher Education Commission and the Student Housing Foundation, CCU-affiliated organizations that own the majority of campus property.