I'm sharing with you how the Tennessee Board of Regents' approval of our 2011-2012 budget affects each of you, our students and our university as a whole.
I'm happy to say there is some good news in these challenging economic times.
University Budget Status:
• All regular full-time and part-time benefits-eligible employees on the payroll June 30 will receive a 3 percent cost of living adjustment (or a minimum $750, whichever is greater) effective July 2011. Note: The 3 percent increase includes the 1.6 percent approved by the legislature in its most recent session.
• Faculty and tenure promotions were approved for 32 faculty members.
• System wide, each institution's budget office has the potential to implement additional compensation adjustments, but any increase must be funded with institutional resources and submitted to the Board for approval in September.
• In actual dollars, TTU will continue to offer undergraduates similar fees as most other TBR universities. TTU fees remain lower than the University of Memphis, University of Tennessee-Knoxville and MTSU.
• The TBR approved a 9.8 percent tuition increase for our campus.
• An undergraduate taking 12 hours will pay an average of $216 more per semester.
As we face further state cuts described below, I regret our universities, community colleges and technical schools had to turn to increased tuition. But adequate funding is key to providing each of our students with the quality education each expects and deserves.
• Even after the increases, TTU, as well as all other TBR institutions, will continue to operate with less revenue per student than we had in 2008.
• TTU still faces an additional 2 percent cut in state funding for the fiscal year. (The reduction is on top of the nearly 30 percent cut between 2008 and 2011.)
Other legislative actions affecting campus:
• $200,000 to replace fire alarms at Hyder-Burks Agriculture Pavilion.
• $100,000 for the Millard Oakley STEM Center Mobile Lending Laboratory. (The mobile lab will travel to schools in serviced counties to provide teachers with equipment they need to teach STEM subjects.)
• Annual longevity pay continuation.
• $50 401k match continuation.
Our primary goal remains providing an excellent educational value that our students expect and deserve. Students come to TTU to learn from exceptional faculty and interact with administrators and staff who provide outstanding support services. I appreciate your continued good work for our university.