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CCU board of trustees announces a new public relations degree program

May 4, 2023

During its meeting today, the Coastal Carolina University board of trustees approved a new degree program: the Bachelor of Arts in public relations and strategic communication. The new degree will offer students a variety of curricular and extracurricular experiences. It must be approved by the South Carolina Higher Education Commission and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools before being officially added to the University curriculum.

“The new B.A. will provide students with direct experiences in public relations and strategic communication on campus through our Teal Nation Communications student-run public relations firm,” said Claudia Bornholdt, dean of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. “The program will prepare students for in-demand careers in news, advertising, sales, branding, and social media.”

The trustees discussed their ongoing membership with the Association of Governing Boards for Colleges and Universities (AGB), which works to strengthen higher education governing boards. Trustees and President Michael T. Benson recently attended AGB’s National Conference on Trusteeship. While there, they learned about the significant role of serving as a trustee by attending various sessions, including one titled, “Higher Education as a Strategic Partner in our Nation.”

The board presented resolutions to two departing members of the president’s cabinet. Daniel J. Ennis, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, was recognized for his nearly 25 years of service to the University. He was recently named the president of Delta State University in Mississippi. David A. Frost, senior vice president of finance and CFO, has worked with CCU and the Coastal Educational Foundation for more than 10 years. He plans to retire in the coming months.

The board announced that tuition for in-state students will not increase for the 2023-2024 academic year. This marks the fifth consecutive year that tuition for in-state students has not increased. Tuition for out-of-state students will increase by 4%. On average, room rates and meal plan rates will increase by 5.2% and 5.3%, respectively, depending on the type of plans selected.

“Once again, the state of South Carolina has asked colleges and universities to hold in-state tuition flat for next academic year,” said Frost. “The state has provided tuition mitigation funds to colleges and universities to support in-state students. Housing and meal plan rates will increase to offset inflation on these items.”

During the board meeting, it was announced that the University will block access to TikTok on CCU’s wired and Wi-Fi networks campuswide. The move is designed to keep the University’s network safe and secure and takes into consideration the safety and privacy of CCU’s students, faculty, and staff. It also complies with Gov. Henry McMaster’s directive to all state agencies to block access to this social media platform.

In other action, the board approved:

• A $350,000 discretionary fund for the President’s Office for the 2023-2024 academic year, allowing President Benson to pursue opportunities to support various activities and raise funds for the University.

• Ten, one-year leases.

The board’s next scheduled meetings are Aug. 10-11, 2023.