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Education TCU board approves staff raises, continues building program

TCU board approves staff raises, continues building program

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Texas Christian University’s Board of Trustees approved a $511.9 million budget that will provide raises to the staff, pay for new positions and increase scholarships and fund the school’s ongoing building program. The plan, approved at the board’s spring meeting April 12, is designed to support three strategic areas: academic profile and reputation; size and balance; and campus environment. It is also a reflection of the school’s rising enrollment. The budget provides a salary merit pool of 3 percent for faculty and staff, new faculty and staff positions and increase institutional financial aid, which includes scholarships and the addition of new Chancellor’s Scholars and new Community Scholars programs. Chancellor Victor Boschini reported that total enrollment for the spring is 9,160 this year, up 2.5 percent over last year. Undergraduate enrollment is 7,980, up 3.1 percent, while graduate enrollment is 1,180, down 1.7 percent. He also reported 96.9 percent retention of fall 2012 first-time, full-time students. The Board of Trustees also approved several construction projects for the campus, including: ·         A $5.6 million renovation of Theodore Prentis Beasley Hall, which houses the Religion Department classrooms and offices. The project will renovate all academic space, restrooms, install a new elevator, a complete fire sprinkler system and improve accessibility. Construction is scheduled to begin in May 2013 and completed over the summers of 2013 and 2014. ·         The Upper Division Residence Hall project in Worth Hills will follow the Sophomore Housing project currently under construction and will add an additional 160 beds. ·         The Board also voted to approve an additional parking lot on the east side of campus, adding approximately 150 spaces. Work on the $1.3 million project will begin in July and is estimated to be complete in October 2013.  In other actions: ·         The Board approved an earlier recommendation by the Executive Committee to confer two honorary degrees. Killed in action in Afghanistan, Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt will receive an Honorary Doctorate of the University posthumously. Additionally, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, a guest conductor in TCU’s School of Music, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Music. The honorary degrees will be awarded at a future commencement ceremony. ·         The Board also passed a resolution honoring Boschini, TCU’s chancellor and his wife for their 10 years of service to the university. ·         The Academic Affairs committee of the Board of Trustees noted that Dr. Philip S. Hartman has been appointed dean of the College of Science & Engineering. Hartman will begin his role as dean June 1, 2013. He has served as TCU’s interim dean of the College of Science & Engineering since April 2012. ·         The Board also passed a resolution to honor Robert J. Wright, a TCU Trustee from 1993-2013. ·         The Board also passed a resolution in memoriam of Ruth Carter Stevenson, a Trustee from 1974 to 1986 and Trustee Emeritus from 1986 until her death earlier this year. ·          The Board also elected two new Trustees, Elliott J. Hill and Jan Tucker Scully. The Trustees passed a resolution to move the following to emeritus status at the University: Jean Giles-Sims, Emeritus Professor of Sociology; Linda Guy, Emeritus Professor of Art; Kathryne McDorman, Emeritus Associate Professor of History; William Powers, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies; and for the first time as a Cabinet position, Larry Lauer, Emeritus Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs.

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