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Trojan2003
07-29-2007, 12:31 AM
Revenue growth spurs university's largest-ever budget

link: http://www.troymessenger.com/articles/2007/07/28/news/newsssss02.txt

By Matt Clower, The Messenger

The Troy University Board of Trustees approved on Friday a more than $200 million operating budget for the upcoming academic year, the largest in school history.

Officials say the growth in worldwide enrollment through the distance learning program, as well as an increase in state appropriations are the leasing factors in the surge in university revenue.

“A combination of things has led to our financial growth, not the least of which is the real revenue growth we have seen in distance learning,” said Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr.

The university distance learning revenue increased by 20 percent this past year and state appropriations rose by about $10 million.

University officials praised the increase in state funding as steps toward more equitable appropriating compared to other state universities.

“At long last, the state is beginning to reward this university for doing a good job ... it's been a long time coming,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins said Troy University charges the lowest tuition in the state, but gets the lowest per-student appropriation of any state university. School officials have been working with state lawmakers to get their portion of state money in line with other institutions.

“What we've been able to do at Troy University is offer a quality experience at an affordable price with the least (state) support of any university in the state,” Hawkins said.

Troy University's financial growth for the upcoming year also is being bolstered by a 4-percent increase in tuition that was approved by the Board of Trustees in May.

Last year, Troy started the fall semester without a hike in tuition for the first time in at least 30 years.


Troy trustee Sen. Gerald Dial said he'd like to see the university continue to push for more equitable state funding and work towards not raising tuition and fees for the 2008-2009 academic year.

“I would like for us to go on record as saying we will work towards no increase in fees or tuition for 2008-2009,” Dial said. “I think that sends a great message that this university is a good steward of the money that we get.”

Also during the meeting, the trustees voted to ratify the issuance of $13 million in general student fee revenue bonds that will fund the construction of a new College of Education building on campus. In a move carefully kept secret, the board also voted to name the College of Education building “Jack Hawkins Jr. Hall” in honor of the chancellor. He's served in the position since 1989. A surprised Hawkins said that for once, he was speeches.

“I am surprised and very humbled by this gesture,” Hawkins said.

The board also voted to approve a resolution naming the Athletics Tower at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium for Dr. Doug Hawkins, president of the board of trustees. He's served as board president since 1996 and was re-elected on Friday. He's been a board member since 1980.

“Nobody personifies and reflects the Trojan Spirit more than Dr. Doug Hawkins,” Jack Hawkins said.