The TCU Board of Trustees finished its fall meetings Friday after deciding to opt out of Campus Carry legislation and raise tuition by 4.8 percent.
The decision to keep TCU a gun-free zone comes after much debate on campus around SB 11 and recommendations from student, faculty and staff groups. Chancellor Victor Boschini said the administration will now handle the rules and regulations for opting out of the Texas law before the Aug. 1 deadline.
The Board of Trustees also voted to raise the tuition for the 2016-2017 school year by 4.8 percent, which comes out to $42,580. The majority of this tuition increase will go to faculty and staff employment and new and existing programs, according to Chancellor Boschini.
Financial Aid was also recommended to be raised by 12 percent in order to offset the increase in tuition.
TCU financial aid favors need-based and not merit-based scholarship, which Boschini said is a strategic decision by the Board and the administration. So, merit-based scholarships will not increase, but the money is available for need-based scholarships.
“The 4.8 percent that went up, this shouldn’t stop anybody from going to TCU,” Boschini said. “We will do the FAFSA again and if you can’t we have plenty of money to help you.”
Boschini added that if any student feels like the tuition increase will cause them to leave TCU, they should “immediately go in and talk to someone in financial aid even though it’s a year in advance.”
He said that in the past years, with the help of financial aid, TCU has been able to “save 99 percent of the students, that I’m aware of.”
Building Development and Expansion
The Board of Trustees re-committed to its policy of creating on-campus housing for as many students as desire it, Boschini said.
The next site for a new residence hall will be behind the newly-constructed Hays Hall, which Boschini says will complete a quadrangle once the greek houses are torn down and rebuilt in the coming years.
The Board of Trustees approved $10 million in spending on infrastructure for the new Greek Village in Worth Hills, including planning and construction of new gas and water pipes and electrical wiring.
In the spring meeting, the Board of Trustees will vote to approve or disapprove the new Greek Village. The infrastructure development will be done by the spring, according to Boschini.
TCU is also looking to build an extension to the Moudy building to create space for the College of Fine Arts. Boschini said the plan is to build another building behind the part of Moudy that sits on West Cantey Street.
As for the business school renovation, Boschini said TCU is still fundraising and the goal is to break ground on the project once TCU receives the majority of funding for the $100 million project. This may come later than the projected start date of May 2016.
Another campus construction progress in the beginning stages is the renovation of the older half of the library. Boschini said the new updates to the library made it more apparent how the front half needs an upgrade.
“Once we [renovated the library] it really only made it look worse, so we have to finish that and we will,” Boschini said.
Diversity at TCU
The events at the University of Missouri and Yale University in the past weeks contributed to an extensive discussion about diversity and inclusion on campus.
“We want to really make sure we’re saying, as a board, that every kid on this campus…has a place here,” Boschini said.
Boschini said the Board of Trustees is very aware of what is going on at universities across the country.
He added that the size of TCU helps generate a campus-wide conversation and it’s harder for students they say they don’t have a voice at TCU.
“At 10,000 [students] it’s hard to hate me, it’s hard to hate the man,” Boschini said. “I’m always around, Kathy Cavins-Tull is around, you can make your voice heard.”
Cavins-Tull is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
The Board of Trustees also talked about the future of Frog Camp, one of the first-year experience programs, at its fall meetings.
There was discussion about making Texas camps free to all incoming students, but that decision will not be made until the spring meetings, according to Tracy Syler-Jones, vice chancellor for marketing and communication.