Cameron University's governing board approved an annual budget of just over $46 million for FY2010 during its regularly scheduled meeting today in Ardmore. The Board of Regents for The University of Oklahoma, Cameron University and Rogers State University approved an operating budget of $46,166,432 for CU, which has just completed its Centennial Celebration. Tuition and fee rates for the 2009-2010 academic year will remain at 2008-2009 levels.
"Cameron is prepared to enter its second century with fresh energy and enthusiasm," says CU President Cindy Ross. "Students have been the heart of Cameron's mission from the very beginning, and students continue to guide future planning."
Reflecting this student-centered focus, Cameron launched its five-year strategic plan last year, Plan 2013: Choices for the Second Century, and announced four ambitious goals: to become the University of Choice, offer the College Experience of Choice, be the Location of Choice and the Partner of Choice.
"The momentum generated by the Centennial Celebration combined with Plan 2013 propels Cameron forward into its second century and is the foundation for the FY2010 budget," says Ross. "Building a budget that continues the Centennial momentum, moves forward on the Plan 2013 goals, and maintains Cameron's commitment to provide students a quality education at a reasonable cost is challenging."
Cameron's funding for FY2010 suffered yet another reduction in state funding totaling just under $1 million. However, with one-time funds provided through the Federal Stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act plus internal budget cuts and reallocations of funds, CU officials were able to craft a budget that includes many exciting and significant new initiatives. Two components of the budget - one that focuses on a comprehensive financial assistance package and one that focuses on easing active duty military enrollment - will be announced later.
"4 + 3: More Time for You at CU" Schedule
Cameron's new course schedule helps a college education fit busy students' lives. Beginning with the summer 2009 semester, Cameron implemented a new course schedule where primary course offerings fall on Monday through Thursday. This allows Cameron to increase the number of opportunities available for online courses as well as Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekend courses and workshops. The new schedule offers students more flexible options for classes, campus activities and organizations as well as their own personal or work commitments outside of school. All university services remain available Monday through Friday, which also provides more options for students to receive one-on-one assistance from faculty and staff.
Student Wellness Center
In partnership with Southwest Oklahoma Family Medicine Residency, Cameron will offer on-campus health care services beginning during the spring semester. The former Student Activities Building will be renovated to include a wellness center, providing easy access to basic medical services for students. The center is expected to open in Spring 2010. Renovation and the center's half-year operating costs are estimated to be $80,500, which includes a nurse practitioner, secretary, consulting physician and director.
Freshman Orientation Course: Introduction to University Life (UNIV 1001)
To better assist students with the transition to higher education and provide an introduction to CU, a pilot freshman orientation course will be introduced in fall 2009. The course will cover all aspects of university life and will be team taught by faculty, staff and peer mentors. Some sections will be designated for specific interest groups based on majors, undecided majors and adult students. The cost for the pilot program will be just under $52,000.
"A Healthier CU in Century II"
Cameron University is committed to the health of the university's physical landscape as well as the health of each individual in the Cameron family. Several new initiatives will be launched this year to promote a healthier focus including:
- Community Garden - Cameron has opened a community garden on campus for students, current and retired employees, alumni and donors. The garden will be implemented and maintained according to organic practices.
- Healthier Eating - A healthy eating station will be offered each day in the cafeteria to positively impact the lives of students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus.
- Freedom from Smoking - To address the public health concern of smoking, CU will offer a community-based smoking cessation program that provides a supportive environment in which individuals can quit smoking.
- "CU In Shape" - With hundreds of new trees planted and new buildings opening, Cameron is promoting a walking path around campus. This one-mile path is a great place to take advantage of Cameron's beautiful landscape and the new initiatives to help the CU family and community get in shape.
- "Black & Gold Go Green!" - Cameron will continue to prioritize green initiatives including expanding recycling practices, reducing paper use and reducing energy usage and increasing energy efficiency.
These initiatives are just some of the ways Cameron is changing lives through education. Each initiative reflects the university's mission to impact every student by maximizing the budget to increase the quality and number of opportunities offered at Cameron University.
"I want to thank local legislators, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and specifically State Regent Bill Burgess for their efforts to maximize Cameron's state allocation and use of the federal stimulus dollars," says Ross.
June 22, 2009