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Board Approves $191M FY2020 Operating Budget

board holds summer meeting in Foster auditorium
June 22, 2019

Trustees approve slate of action items

Huntsville, Ala. ---- The Alabama A&M University Board of Trustees on Friday, June 21, dealt with a slate of action items primarily presented by its subcommittees on matters related to business and academic affairs.

President Andrew Hugine, Jr., discussed the timelines that must be considered in preparation for the University’s upcoming five-year, accreditation-related report. In light of recent reports on the graduation rates of institutions of higher learning, the president used statistical data to emphasize the importance of relating those rates to the respective missions of the institutions and economic factors impacting students.

AAMU attorney Roslyn Crews, who facilitates AAMU’s state relations efforts, underscored the complexities inherent in securing state funding, as well as the importance of the University having an ongoing presence in the state capital.

Business and Finance
The Business and Finance Committee presented several action items. AAMU Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Clayton Gibson sought and received approval for an FY2020 proposed operating budget of $191.2 million. A new University Event Center fee of $140 per semester will take effect in fall 2019, and AAMU will implement in fall 2020 a Dining Dollars fee for commuter students ($200 semester). The fee is in connection with the University’s expectation of having additional retail dining options on campus beginning that semester.

The board also approved the securing of a finance package of up to $73 million to encompass new construction and renovations; the sale of 0.35 acre of land at North Memorial Parkway to the Alabama Department of Transportation to facilitate the state’s Mastin Lake overpass construction project; the conveyance of property to J.F. Drake Community and Technical College; and authorization for the sale of alcohol at specific events and designated locations across campus..

Thigpen Hall, a female residence hall, will be available for the fall, following the completion of more than $3 million in renovations. Repairs were also made to Morris Hall and the Mamie Labon Foster Complex.

Academic Affairs and Research
Provost Daniel Wims sought and received board approval to add a new concentration in general computer science to the B.S. in computer science program.

As part of her report, Dr. Jeanette Jones, president of the Faculty Senate, noted the continuance of the faculty mentoring program, which will add 10 new protege; the online availability of the Faculty Handbook; and her satisfaction with the relationship between the administration and faculty.

NEXT MEETING: The Alabama A&M University Board of Trustees will participate in a retreat scheduled in Mobile, Ala., September 27-28. The board will convene again for subcommittee meetings and the regularly scheduled meeting October 23-25, 2019, in Birmingham, Ala.

The meeting adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

- Jerome Saintjones