Tusculum College is considering funding options for a variety of priority projects, including possible new construction, the college announced this morning in a news release.
On the table for consideration, the release stated, are a science and mathematics instructional facility, as well as the renovation of Tredway Hall, construction of new residence halls, technology improvements and added academic support for new and existing programs.
The Tusculum College Board of Trustees held discussions about funding for the high priority projects during weekend meetings.
The discussions were preliminary and served as preparation for an upcoming Board of Trustees retreat planned for this summer in which the trustees will consider the institution's top priorities for the next five to 10 years.
At the retreat, discussions will be held about capital construction projects, new academic programs, and facilities and technology improvements tied to the college's Vision 20/20 and Strategic Plan.
Additionally, the Board of Trustees approved curricula for a new criminal justice program and the addition of a men's and women's lacrosse program, and gave preliminary approval of the 2012-13 operating budget.
According to Dr. Ken Bowman, chair of the Board and a 1970 graduate of the college, the discussions were productive and focused on the growth stage that Tusculum College is experiencing and expects to continue experiencing in the next decade.
"We are excited about the growth we are experiencing with additional students and new programs," the release quoted Bowman.
"Our challenge is to control the growth and make sure our infrastructure keeps up so that we can continue to provide the quality, personal education Tusculum College represents."
Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College, agreed, and added, "In our discussions with the Board of Trustees, we are looking at capital projects to support existing and developing programs that have the potential to make a significant statement about the college and serve as a symbol to the internal and external community, to students, alumni, friends and donors that Tusculum College is forging a path."
CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRAM
In other business, the Board of Trustees approved curriculum for the new criminal justice major that will be available in fall of 2012, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The new Men's and Women's Lacrosse program would begin in fall 2013 and involve approximately 25-30 student-athletes on each team, according to Frankie DeBusk, Tusculum College athletic director.
$29 MILLION BUDGET
The Board gave preliminary approval to a $29 million budget for 2012-13, representing a 3.95 percent increase over the past academic year.
According to Moody, the proposed budget is based on 945 total students in the residential college program and 1,109 in the adult program, including approximately 45 students in the new nursing program or a pre-nursing curriculum.
The proposed budget includes a 2.5 percent wage and salary pool increase, and all requested faculty positions would be filled, including five new faculty positions.
In the past year, the college has added 16 new full-time positions, said Moody.
Of new funds in the 2012-13 budget, $280,000 has been allocated for technology in addition to the $1.2 million approved by the Board of Trustees last academic year.
The Board also approved the allocation of a projected 2012 end-of-year surplus to go toward primarily academic programs, but also to support new initiatives.
According to Moody, this will be the second year in a row the college has ended the year with a surplus, indicating financial health and the success of strict budget management measures put in place over the past few years.
MBA PROGRAM APPROVED
Dr. Melinda Dukes, vice president of academic affairs, reported that the new Master's of Business Administration degree program had received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Two cohorts are planned for 2012-13, with the first to be offered starting in August at the Knoxville Regional Center.
According to Dukes' report to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, there is a healthy applicant pool and several students already registered.
The second group is to start on the Greeneville campus in January 2013, and there is also a good applicant pool for this group, a news release stated.
Four faculty members were approved for promotion by the Board of Trustees.
Dr. DiAnn Casteel and Dr. Cynthia Solomon were promoted to full professorships.
Dr. Debra McGinn and Dr. Katherine Stone were promoted to associate professors.
HOMECOMING SEPT. 27-28
The next meeting of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees is scheduled for Sept. 27-28, in conjunction with the Homecoming 2012 festivities.
A summer retreat is being planned to provide time for the Board to focus on revisions and updates to Vision 2020 and the Strategic Plan.