Release Date: Aug. 5, 2011
Texas Tech Regents Approve Budget, Revised Facilities Master Plan
For the second time in history, Angelo State University will enter a new fiscal year Sept. 1 with a budget surpassing $100 million after receiving approval from the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System during a regular meeting Friday (Aug. 5) in Lubbock.
The new budget of $104,987,244 reflects a drop of .06 percent from the $105,049,733 budget for the current fiscal year that will end on Aug. 31. The 2010-11 budget was the first in ASU history to surpass $100 million.
ASU’s new budget reflects a drop in state appropriated funds from $33,723,024 in the current fiscal year to $30,516,873 for the 2011-12 fiscal year, and continues a trend of declining state appropriations as a percentage of ASU’s total budget. During the current fiscal year, state appropriations accounted for 32 percent of the total budget, compared to only 29 percent for the coming fiscal year.
The new budget covers operating expenses and addresses ASU’s strategic initiatives. Those initiatives include increasing enrollment and promoting student success; strengthening academic quality and outreach; increasing and maximizing resources; and strengthening academic reputation.
In other business, regents approved an update of the current facilities master plan originally adopted in 2005. Programmatic goals of the update are to 1) accommodate 10,000 students by 2020; 2) provide adequate space for programs of distinction – agriculture, nursing and teacher education; 3) provide more support for the distance education curriculum; 4) increase space for student support; 5) assure adequate administrative space; and 6) align space needs to enrollment projections rather than by year.
The master plan’s campus goals are to 1) accommodate the building program necessary to support 10,000 students with appropriate facilities for their academic, housing, support, recreational and social needs; 2) focus the campus entrances to better delineate campus coherence; 3) create a strong, active campus with appealing outdoor spaces in the core and with vehicular traffic on the perimeters; 4) improve the pedestrian experience on campus; and 5) incorporate public art and architectural craft throughout the campus.
In presenting the master plan to the board, ASU President Joseph C. Rallo said the revised document will be made available to the public and the university will hold information sessions for citizens interested in learning more or asking questions about the plans.
Rallo also reported to the regents on revamping the ASU Honors Program, which had been considered for elimination in the spring. The changes will provide for revised courses, new Honors seminars and new components in major discipline courses developed in line with the best practices in honors education as developed by the National Collegiate Honors Council.
The changes, Rallo said, will strengthen the Honors Program, making it a stronger recruiting tool for the Admissions Office and helping broaden the university’s academic reputation. The new initiatives will be funded, in part, by a $1 per semester credit hour undergraduate research fee paid by all students. To further strengthen ASU’s academic reputation, the university will create an Honor Societies Council, including representatives from all the honor societies in all the campus disciplines, with the ultimate goal of seeking membership in Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s largest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.
Finally, the board approved a differential tuition schedule for undergraduate state residents enrolled in the university’s new programs in security studies. Since the security studies programs are primarily targeted to federal security-related personnel, the differential tuition was set to match the $250 cap per semester credit hour of various federal tuition assistance programs. Without the differential tuition change, students would pay $259.50.
Setting the security studies rate at $250 per semester credit hour ensures that state residents enrolling in the undergraduate program will not face any out-of-pocket expenses. Rates for out-of-state students and those enrolled in the graduate program will not be affected by the change.