Board of Trustees approves budget for 2014-2015 academic year

Budget supports University’s strategic vision

TCU’s Board of Trustees approved a $547 million budget at their spring meeting Friday, which will further support institutional goals and continue providing students an excellent educational experience. The budget continues to support the overall university experience with the next phase of the University’s Vision in Action, Academy of Tomorrow. This phase focuses on three key strategic areas: academic profile and reputation; size and balance; and campus environment.

This budget allows the University to focus on its priorities of maintaining TCU’s competitive advantage, intensifying the University’s momentum, and strengthening the student experience. The University will continue to move forward in a manner that maintains the quality of a world-class, values-centered university experience.

The budget will also provide a salary merit pool of 3 percent for faculty and staff, new faculty and staff positions, $1 million of funding for faculty retention and creation of critical new faculty positions, $500,000 for implementation of crucial academic initiatives including Great Themes and the expanded use of student ePortfolios, and an increase in institutional financial aid, which includes a variety of scholarships.

Trustees were informed that TCU successfully completed the requirements set forth by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in the reaccreditation process. SACS reaffirmed TCU’s accreditation for 10 years with no monitoring required.

The Board of Trustees approved an exterior renovation of Mary D. and F. Howard Walsh Center for Performing Arts. As part of the Academy of Tomorrow, the proposed modifications will change the façade of the building to be more consistent with the appearance of other campus buildings, aligning with the classical character of the campus. Renovation is planned for July 2014 for construction and is scheduled for completion in December 2014. The estimated project cost is $2.5 million.

The Board also voted to approve an improvement of one of TCU’s data centers located in Sid. W. Richardson Hall. Under the Data Center Improvements (Phase II) project, the backup data center, currently located in the basement of Soloman and Etta Brachman Hall will be relocated prior to the construction of the Greek Village. Construction on this phase will begin in June 2014 with completion planned for February 2015. The estimated project cost for this phase is $8 million.

The Board passed a resolution to move J. Roger King and William E. Steele III to Emeritus Trustee status. The Trustees also passed a resolution to move the following to emeritus status at the University: Robert W. Boatler, Emeritus Associate Professor of Finance; Judith Groulx, Emeritus Associate Professor of Education, Charles B. Lockhart, Emeritus Professor of Political Science; Debra A. McLachlan, Emeritus Associate Professor of Nursing; Australia Tarver, Emeritus Associate Professor of English; David L. Vanderwerken, Emeritus Professor of English; and James Woodson, Emeritus Professor of Art.

The Chancellor reported that total enrollment for the spring is at 9,336 this year, up 1.9 percent over last year. Undergraduate enrollment is 8,132, up 1.9 percent, while graduate enrollment is 1,204, up 2 percent. He also reported 97.2 percent retention of Fall 2013 first-time, full-time students. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Kathy Cavins-Tull reported that the total number of students living in campus housing is 3,956, an increase of 198 students from spring 2013.

The next meeting of TCU’s Board of Trustees is scheduled for November 5-7, 2014.