Trustees approve 2006-07 budget

Elon's trustees approved the 2006-07 fiscal year budget at a special meeting March 1. Read this note for a memo from President Leo M. Lambert regarding highlights of the budget...

To: Members of the Elon Community
From: President Leo M. Lambert

The Elon University Board of Trustees met March 1 to approve the 2005-06 budget and approve the many important initiatives that will be funded during the next fiscal year. This memo summarizes highlights of the budget.

The board set tuition and fees for 2006-07 at $20,441, with room and board at $6,850. This represents a 7.6 percent total increase, about the same as last year’s increase. Trustees carefully considered this decision, weighing the demand for continued improvements in quality against the financial pressures faced by families. Elon’s total cost for next year will still be more than 6 percent below the current national average for all private four-year colleges and about $3,250 lower than the average for other top-10 private colleges in the South. Students will enjoy immediate and substantial benefits from the cost increase. Improvements in the quality of programs and facilities include the following initiatives:

Additional faculty. Elon continues to invest in new faculty positions to keep class sizes small. This year’s student-faculty ratio of 14.5-to-1 is the lowest in our history, and next year we will add 15 new full-time faculty and academic staff positions, giving professors more time to create and teach new courses, conduct research with students, and remain at the forefront of their fields.

New facilities. The 2006-07 year will see the opening of many new and remodeled spaces.

  • The $10 million Ernest A. Koury Sr. Business Center, giving students in all disciplines access to 16 new classrooms, 19 study rooms, 3 computer labs, a digital theatre, and a high-tech finance center
  • The Oaks, a 500-bed residence complex featuring single-bedroom apartments that will replace Jordan Center
  • Elon West, a new home for the art department with painting, pottery, and digital art studios
  • Expanded Stewart Fitness Center
  • Remodeled Center for the Arts, providing new dance studios and performing arts space
  • Long Building, a new home for the psychology department
  • The Elon University School of Law in downtown Greensboro

Construction will begin this year on the fourth and fifth pavilions in the Academic Village. The fourth pavilion, named for William Henry Belk, will house the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. The fifth pavilion will be the new home of the department of philosophy and the department of religion. In addition, a new dining hall and two new residence halls will be built adjacent to Koury Business Center. Those facilities will be completed for fall 2007 occupancy.

New learning resources. Elon will fund the fourth year of the long-range technology plan and the sixth consecutive year of increases in the library acquisitions budget. These investments en-sure that students have access to the latest equipment and up-to-date information in all fields of study.

Increased financial aid. Next year’s budget will fund a 9.16 percent expansion of the financial aid program, including need-based scholarships and gender-equity funding for athletics programs.

Plant operations and support staff. Next year’s budget will be adjusted to account for rapidly rising energy costs as well as increased maintenance costs for our growing campus facilities. In addition, a special salary initiative will be implemented to benefit Elon’s lowest-paid employees.

Enrollment. Students and parents consistently tell us that Elon’s size is a key asset, and that moderate tuition increases are preferable to major growth in enrollment. Therefore, the target goal for the 2006 freshman class remains the same as it has been for the last three years: 1,250 students.

I would like to extend my thanks to the faculty and staff who participated in the budget forums and to the members of the budget committee for their hard work. Budget committee members were Gerry Francis, Gerald Whittington, Ken Mullen, Steven House and Tom Green.