Salary increases, one-time supplement included in 2017 projected budget at Auburn University

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The Auburn University Board of Trustees got a glimpse of the 2017 fiscal budget at its regular meeting on Friday.

Marcie Smith, vice president for business and finance and CFO, reported revenue is projected to increase less than 2 percent for the coming year. The board will review and approve the completed budget at its September meeting.

Priorities addressed in the budget include current estimates of $20 million for merit increases averaging about 3 percent; $6 million for a one-time salary supplement of 2 percent; $7 million for informational technology security, compliance and safety; and $2 million for building maintenance and operations.

At its April meeting, the board approved tuition increases for in-state and out-of-state students at both Auburn and Auburn Montgomery for the 2016-2017 academic year.

For the 2017 budget, Smith said priorities at Auburn Montgomery are new positions, faculty and staff promotions, facilities costs and software and licensing. Budget priorities for Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, as well as the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, are merit salary increases and faculty and staff promotions.

The board took action on a number of building projects on campus:

  • Renovate Gavin Engineering Research Laboratory, the former Textile Building, to remodel the textile mill-like space to accommodate a number of research labs. Estimated cost is $16.75 million. Stevens & Wilkinson of Atlanta was previously approved as project architect. Construction will start in the fall.
  • Renovate Broun Hall to include a two-story main entrance addition, revised lighting, finishes, information technology, mechanical and electrical systems and landscape improvements adjacent to the concourse. Estimated cost is $5 million. Chambliss King Architects of Montgomery was previously approved as project architect. Construction will start in December.
  • Add 50,000 square feet to Leach Science Center for instructional and research labs, study spaces, departmental offices and support facilities for the College of Sciences and Mathematics. Estimated cost is $19 million. Architect is Perkins+Will of Atlanta. Construction will start in the fall.
  • Select B.L. Harbert International Inc. of Birmingham as construction manager for the Performing Arts Center project. In April, the board named tvsdesign of Atlanta and Wilson Butler of Boston as project architects.
  • Renovate part of Haley Center in order to accommodate the Department of Mathematics and Statistics from Parker Hall and Allison Labs, while the buildings are demolished for the new Academic Classroom and Laboratory Complex to be built.
  • Add about 13,000 square feet to the existing basement of the Recreation and Wellness Center to create dedicated areas for personal training, small group training and powerlifting/Olympic-style weightlifting programs.
  • Initiate the project for Poultry Infectious Disease Biocontainment Research Facility and Fish Biodiversity Laboratory. The planned location along Woodfield Drive is in the proposed footprint of new Performing Arts Center, so it needs to be relocated to keep the Performing Arts Center project on schedule. Foil Wyatt Architects and Planners of Jackson, Mississippi is project architect.
  • Renovate and expand the Dixon Conference Center at The Hotel at Auburn University to better utilize available space within the hotel, expand the size of ballroom A and provide more flexible use of conference center space. The board approved Birchfield Penuel & Associates of Birmingham as project architect.

In other matters, the board approved:

  • Implementing a five-year forest management plan for the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center and approved an annual schedule for the harvesting and sale of timber on the land.
  • A ground lease extension for the Kappa Sigma fraternity with new requirements to demolish the property at 104 Hemlock Drive and construct a new house by May 31, 2022.
  • Establishing a Bachelor of Science in agricultural science in the College of Agriculture and a Bachelor of Science in geospatial and environmental informatics in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.
  • Establishing a professional fee for the interior design program in the College of Human Sciences. Starting fall 2017, the fee would be $1,000 per student, per semester and increase to $2,000 per student, per semester in fall 2018. The fee would help sustain and enhance existing instructional and research demands in the program.
  • Increasing the professional fees in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Effective fall 2017, the fees would increase by $542 per student, per semester. The additional monies would enable the college to maintain assessment standards required by accreditation bodies.
  • Awarding a Bachelor of Science degree posthumously to John Eric Jaegge, who died in March before completing his degree in biomedical sciences from the College of Sciences and Mathematics.
  • The election of Charles McCrary to serve as president pro tem of the board and Mike DeMaioribus as vice president pro tem.
  • A resolution commending retiring Auburn Montgomery Chancellor John Veres on 35 years of service to the campus

For Auburn Montgomery, the board agreed to:

  • Create a Department of Communication Disorders within the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The area was previously under the College of Arts and Sciences, but with the reorganization that transformed the School of Nursing to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences with a School of Nursing, Department of Medical and Clinical Sciences, Speech and Hearing Clinic and Student Health Services, the change would place all health-related units within the same college.
  • Establish an undergraduate certificate in substance abuse prevention studies and a graduate certificate in nursing education

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.