Auburn Board of Trustees approves 2015-2016 budget

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The Auburn University Board of Trustees at its meeting Sept. 25 approved a $1.162 billion budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, effective Oct. 1.

The budget covers allocations for Auburn University, Auburn Montgomery, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. Main campus accounts for more than 80 percent of the budget – $942 million.

Executive Vice President Don Large said there were no dramatic changes in the proposed budget. With only an additional $2.5 million in state appropriations to work with, the finance office had to be "strategic in allocations." The proposed budget is based on a 3 percent, or $37 million, increase from the 2014-2015 budget.

The approved budget, presented by Vice President of Business and Finance Marcie Smith, includes a 2.5 percent tuition increase at Auburn and a 3 percent tuition increase at AUM.

Employees can expect salaries to increase an average of 3 percent. The board also approved a budget allocation of 2 percent of total base budgeted salaries to fund a one-time merit-based supplement for employees, which will be distributed in December.

In other matters, at the suggestion of President Pro Tem Charles McCrary, the board agreed to extend the employment contract for President Jay Gogue through 2020.

The board also approved the following:

  • Seeking an architect and construction manager for a project to improve the traffic flow on Mell Street, West Samford Avenue and Thach Avenue, as well as parking near Samford Hall

The proposed project would improve Mell and West Samford intersection, realign parking adjacent to Ross Square, increase parking near Mary Martin and increase traffic control on Thach.

  • Seeking an architect to construct a Risk Management and Safety facility

Offices are currently in the Leach Science Center.

  • Hiring Perkins+Will of Atlanta as architect and Brasfield & Gorrie of Birmingham as construction manager for project to add on to the Leach Science Center

Both firms have already been hired to demolish Parker and Allison Halls and construct the new Academic Classroom and Laboratory Complex. The addition to Leach includes prepping for the new building and relocating the physics department.

  • Seeking an architect for construction of an Auxiliary Services maintenance building at the facilities complex on West Samford
  • Hiring LBYD Inc. of Birmingham as project engineer for infrastructure of the Health Sciences Sector

The project will provide water, power, chilled/hot water, sewer and information/communication technologies for the new nursing and pharmaceutical research buildings. LBYD is the engineering firm hired for both building projects.

  • Plan for an Offsite Library Archiving Facility

A new 16,000-square foot warehouse on Skyway Drive will allow some low utilization library materials displaced by the Mell Classroom Building project to be relocated. Cost is $1.95 million.

  • Hiring SmithGroupJJR of Washington, D.C., as architect and Brasfield & Gorrie of Birmingham as construction management for building of the new Engineering Achievement Center
  • Project to build a Food Animal Research Facility for the College of Veterinary Medicine

The proposed building on Simms Road will be approximately 8,000-square feet at an anticipated cost of $3.4 million. It will allow for research related to large food animals, particularly cattle and sheep.

  • Additional renovations to Cater Hall

While the summer project was mostly exterior improvement, the next phase will improve space utilization, replace interior architectural finishes and repair the HVAC system for a proposed budget of $1.95 million.

  • Proposed graduate certificate in business analytics

Offered through the Department of Aviation and Supply Chain Management, the 12-hour certificate is for professionals interested in advancing their knowledge of and application of analytics in the business environment.

  • Awarding a posthumous Doctor of Philosophy degree in history to Michael Elliott Kern, who died in June

For AUM, the board approved:

  • Proposal for an undergraduate certificate program in museum studies in the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Proposal for an option in art history in Bachelor of Arts in visual arts degree
  • Acquisition of a land parcel near campus to relocate Early Childhood Development Center

The property, owned by Dr. and Mrs. Cecil Herman Prescott, includes a 3,259-square-foot home, pool and about six acres. Cost is $400,000.

  • Seeking an architect to build an Admissions and Alumni Center at AUM

The new building will serve as a welcome center for prospective students, alumni and visitors, and house offices for admissions and enrollment management, advancement and alumni affairs, outreach and campus police.

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.