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RU Board Approves Largest Ever Operating Budget of $163.1 Million

RADFORD -- Radford University’s Board of Visitors has approved a $163.1 million annual budget which is the institution’s largest operating budget ever and includes funding to support new graduate programs, additional student financial aid, a 25 percent increase in faculty travel stipends, dining facilities upgrades, safety and security enhancements and additional resources for upgrading the administrative computing system. The board approved the budget for fiscal year 2009, which begins July 1, at its June 25th meeting at the Hotel Roanoke.  In other action at the meeting, the Board approved a resolution for RU to pursue greater autonomy from state oversight in the functional areas of information technology and procurement and approved a policy regarding release of student information to parents. The Board was also presented with a report on the Campus Master Plan by the firm of Hanbury, Evans, Wright, Vlattas and Company of Norfolk, Virginia.

The FY2009 budget is $7.65 million above the current budget, a 4.9 percent increase. The growth is funded with additional state support and additional revenue from the tuition and fee increases approved by the board in April 2008. (See complete tuition and fees table.) By limiting the tuition part of the increase to 4 percent, RU qualifies for up to $1.1 million in state incentive funding from the Tuition Incentive Moderation Fund established by the 2008 General Assembly. Student financial assistance will increase by 10 percent over the 2007-08 budget.

Slightly more than one-third of the total budget will be supported through state funding.  The remaining two-thirds of the budget will be funded through student tuition and fees, federal funds, and sales and services.

The majority of new funding will be directed to support the initiation of the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Occupational Therapy programs, graduate student stipends for the Doctor of Psychology program, costs for the second year of the three-year project to upgrade the university administrative computing system, an increase in faculty professional travel stipends, a 2 percent faculty and staff salary increase (effective Nov. 25, 2008 as authorized in the state Appropriation Act), operating costs for the new Covington Fine Arts Center and various division-specific requests.

Student financial assistance will increase by 10 percent over the FY 2008 budget. The appropriation from the state general fund for scholarships and fellowships to RU undergraduate and graduate students will total $6.8 million for FY2009. This represents an increase of $500,000 or 7.5 percent in state funding for student aid.  The university will also commit an additional $265,434 to this program, bringing the total amount to $1,365,434, which will  be funded with the revenue from one-fourth of the increase of in-state, undergraduate tuition this year, as required for participation in the Tuition Moderation Fund.  Previously, $1,100,000 was allocated from tuition revenue.  This additional commitment by the university represents a 24.1 percent increase in institution-funded support for need-based aid.

The RU Board of Visitors passed a resolution that allows the university to pursue Level II status, as defined by the 2005 Higher Education Restructuring Act, and begin negotiating a memorandum of understanding with the Governor’s staff for additional autonomy in the functional areas of information technology and procurement.

The Board also approved a new policy to release certain educational records to parents of dependent students.   By July 1, 2008, the General Assembly requires all state institutions of higher education to have policies and procedures in place to release student educational records to the student’s parents if the parents claim the student as a dependent on IRS tax forms. This new policy means the University is in compliance with the state mandate.

June 25, 2008
Contact: John Hachtel (jhachtel@radford.edu; 540-831-5182)

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