DeLand, FL (PRWEB) May 22, 2014
Stetson University’s Board of Trustees approved a $124 million operating budget for 2014-15, a new strategic plan that carries the university through 2019, and heard plans for two major capital investments: Sage Hall and a proposed aquatic center.
The $124 million operating budget for the next fiscal year, is a 3.5 percent increase over the current year’s budget, and includes campuses in DeLand and Gulfport, as well as the Tampa Law Center and the Center at Celebration.
“Demand for a Stetson education remains high and it is our goal to keep alive the dream of a quality education while working to find maximum efficiencies within the university,” said President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D. “Through the hard work of my leadership team and this board we have a budget that is balanced, provides for basic operating cost increases and holds tuition increases to a low level. Stetson remains on a strong footing and is well positioned to continue to thrive as one of the southeast’s top private universities.”
Approval of the budget is key as administrators work to implement a new five-year strategic plan, which has been in development this year. The plan, which covers 2014-19, is informed by five theme areas: Stetson’s distinctiveness and value as an institution of higher learning, excellence and innovation in learning, lifelong success and significance, resources to ensure success, and organizational resilience and adaptability.
“Our success and progress over the past five years have been substantial,” said Provost Beth Paul, Ph.D., who with President Libby led the strategic planning process. “That is a testament to a team of people who believed in the direction we were going and our plan to reach those goals. Now it’s time to build on that success with boldness and character.”
The first-year priorities include specifics such as enhancing Stetson’s national reputation, creating a learning environment that attracts intellectually motivated students, strengthening career readiness for students, and continuing to maximize cost effectiveness and diversify revenue streams. In addition to the five areas, the plan commits to expanding and strengthening strategic partnerships as well as being a diverse community of inclusive excellence.
Trustees also heard reports from administration regarding two capital projects, one of which is awaiting approval by Gov. Rick Scott for funding. A $3.25 million line item for Sage Hall -- which houses science, math and computer science classrooms and faculty offices -- was included in the budget bill sent to the governor by the Florida legislature.
The appropriation will provide for expansion of the building to 11,000 square feet, allowing the addition of faculty offices and classrooms. Increased enrollment at Stetson has led to the hiring of 50 new faculty members since 2009, and 50 more are needed by 2016. Stetson plans to grow enrollment within STEM disciplines by enhancing public health and environmental science programs.
The second capital project is a proposed aquatic center on Lake Beresford, which recently received approval from Volusia County for rezoning the site to a Business Planned Unit Development. Plans for the site include a training facility and storage for boats used by the Stetson crew teams, academic programs including classrooms and labs for the natural sciences, and recreational facilities for the community. Prior to county approval, Stetson and a representative for homeowners in the area met and agreed to a plan that covers parking and specific restrictions designed to limit hours of use, building height and noise.
Other Board Actions
The Board of Trustees also received reports and approved other actions.
In addition, there were several changes to the membership of the Board of Trustees, effective July 1:
o Susan Morris, ’70, principal and senior vice president, Central Florida – Colliers International in Orlando, and owner, Resource Development Investment Properties, Inc. Morris is on the Urban Trust Bank Board of Directors in 2011. She has served as chair of the Downtown Development Board and served on the boards of the UCF Foundation, the Tri-County Transit Authority and the Central Florida Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee. Morris has received numerous awards and volunteers with the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the Callahan Community School.
o Robert S. Pocica, ’75, senior vice president and chief security officer, McKesson Corporation in San Francisco, Calif. Pocica has served on the Stetson University Alumni Association Board since 2012 and participated in Leadership Stetson in 2011. Pocica is a member of the HealthCare Distribution Management Association, the International Security Management Association, the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), the ASIS Chief Security Officers Roundtable, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Conference Board, the Security Council Board and the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. Pocica serves on the Utica College Board of Advisors and on the Advocacy Committee of the Northern California Business Aviation Association.
o Troy D. Templeton, ’82, M.B.A. ’83, managing partner, Trivest Partners in Coral Gables. Templeton currently serves as chairman on several Trivest portfolio companies including Ryko Solutions and Group III International. He has served on several other Trivest boards, and is past chair of DEI Holdings and Aero Products International. Templeton sits on a number of other boards, including Twin-Star International, DirectBuy Holdings, Box-Board Products and the Allegiance Security Group. He is also affiliated with Trivest Aviation and Templewood Investments, LLC.
About Stetson University
Founded in 1883, Stetson University in Central Florida is an independent university that provides a transforming education in the liberal arts tradition. Stetson stresses academic excellence and community-engaged learning, and consistently earns high national rankings. In 1982, Stetson was awarded a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. The College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business Administration and School of Music are located at the historic campus in DeLand. The College of Law is in Gulfport/St. Petersburg. The university also has two satellite centers: the Tampa Law Center and the Stetson University Center at Celebration near Orlando. More information: University Marketing, 386-822-8920. Stay connected with Stetson on social media.