Balancing the budget for the 30th consecutive year, the board voted to increase financial aid by $4.1 million, or 5.6 percent, to a total of $78.7 million. They also approved $3.9 million to support new faculty and academic support initiatives as well as technology and support staff positions, and $1.8 million to fully fund the University's international program.
Boston College employees were granted a salary increase of up to 3.50 percent, plus 0.5 percent for market and equity adjustments, at the meeting.
Combined University tuition, room and board charges for next year will rise by 4.9 percent. In setting the tuition rate, trustees cited the higher than anticipated cost of utilities and heating fuel that has plagued the Northeast this winter, coupled with the need to provide a cost of living salary increase to help retain the University's faculty and staff.
The additional revenue, trustees noted, will also be needed to help fund BC's present and future construction efforts, which include a new administrative office building behind O'Neill Library and a new athletics facility behind Alumni Stadium, as well as renovations to Robsham Theater. The University is also in the final year of its extensive renovation of Higgins Hall.
BC's "Ever to Excel" capital campaign has reached a total of $265.9 million towards its goal of $400 million, the board announced. Campaign Co-Chairman John Connors said the campaign was progressing on schedule and expressed confidence that the goal would eventually be exceeded. He cited this past year's annual giving total of $50 million as a "significant milestone" in the University's fund-raising history.
Board members heard a presentation from Ken Felter, BC's attorney for the Middle Campus Project, and University Counsel Joseph Herlihy, who briefed the trustees on Judge Karyn Scheier's favorable ruling on the Middle Campus issue. The attorneys described Scheier's decision as a "clear-cut and decisive ruling on behalf of the University" that would withstand any appeal to a higher court.
The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for Friday, June 1.
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