Trustees Set 1999-2000 Budget, Tuition

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

The Board of Trustees set the 1999-2000 budget, and heard a presentation on admission trends, at its Feb. 5 meeting in Burns Library.

Trustees also set the average tuition, fee, room and board rate for the next academic year at $31,046, a 4 percent increase over this year's cost. Through the current academic year, Boston College's tuition and fees continue to remain below the average of 35 institutions with which BC competes for students, according to the Office of Enrollment Management Research.

A large portion of the increase will be used to fund new and ongoing investments in academic excellence, student services and technology support that add value to students' education, said Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella.

The board approved a budget of $420.6 million for the next fiscal year, marking the University's 28th consecutive balanced budget.

As part of the budget, trustees approved raising student financial aid by $4.9 million, or 7.4 percent. They designated an additional $3.1 million to support new faculty and academic support initiatives, and additional technology positions.

The budget also reflects administrative productivity improvement savings of $2.5 million as part of Project Delta. Much of that savings results from the University's slot management program.

Trustees also heard a presentation by Undergraduate Admission Director John Mahoney Jr. and Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission Stephen Pemberton regarding the early admission program and efforts to attract more AHANA - and particularly African-American - applicants.

Mahoney said that early applications to Boston College have more than tripled since 1991 to 3,228, adding that the academic quality of the early applicant pool is generally higher than that of the regular pool.

"We feel early action is working for us," Mahoney told the trustees. "We're getting a higher yield on higher quality students."

Separately, Mahoney and Pemberton outlined the Admission Office's extensive efforts to attract African-American applicants and enroll those who are accepted. Personal contact between each accepted applicant and someone from BC - a member of the Admission staff, a student or a faculty member - weighs heavily in the typical applicant's decision, they said, and the office works hard to ensure that such contact is made.

Mahoney noted that the office's strategies are showing results. The number of African-American students applying to BC has more than doubled since 1991 to 747, and 100 or more African-American students have enrolled in each of the past four years. The office is continuing its efforts to increase the number of African-American students on campus, he added.

In other business, Development Committee Chairman Patrick Carney said the University's fundraising efforts continue on track, with particular progress being made in the corporate giving area.

Academic Affairs Committee Chairwoman Susan Gianinno noted the increasing success of the faculty in applying for, and obtaining, research grants. A success rate of more than 40 percent, and the increasing number of faculty represented on grant review panels, shows "a lot of positive momentum," she said.

Student Affairs Committee Chairman Michael Jones reported on the continuing popularity of student outreach programs. He also noted the success of efforts to combat underage drinking on campus. "Our programs are far and away the best [in the Boston area]," he said.

The Higgins Hall renovation and expansion project remains on budget and on schedule, said Buildings and Properties Committee Chairman Thomas Flatley, and groundbreaking on the new Hammond Street office building is expected in the next several weeks.

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