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Texas A&M University System Board of Regents to discuss tuition for universities at meeting

Texas A & M University

By ALLEN REED

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents will meet to consider guaranteed tuition for its universities.

The board is set to approve the budget for the system, its universities and its agencies with the exception of Texas A&M, which had its budget set at the previous meeting. The fiscal year 2015 system budget includes state-mandated fixed rate tuition and fees, which are budgeted to increase cumulatively by $68.3 million, or 6 percent, over the previous year.

The A&M system’s total revenue is projected to decrease by $8.6 million to $3.8 billion and expenditures are projected to increase by $30.3 million, also to $3.8 billion.

The regents will also consider amending the system capital plan to include $19 million in infrastructure improvements for the Texas A&M University West Campus Housing project.

The system announced in September that a public-private partnership in which Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions, a developer specializing in projects for colleges and universities, will finance the $200-plus million project and Balfour Beatty Construction will build it.

The project, which has been scaled down from about 4,000 to 2,400 beds, will be located at the corner of Raymond Stozer Parkway and Discovery Drive. The multimillion-dollar infrastructure project will include installation of utility systems, a storm drainage system, a boulevard roadway and a basic core of lighted walkways, bikeways and fire lines.

Notably absent from public discussion are the findings of a massive, system-wide administrative audit completed this month by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The review, called for by System Chancellor John Sharp, will evaluate the worth of the 17,000 Texans employed by the system’s 11 universities and nine state agencies that span all but four of the state’s 254 counties.

The regents are scheduled to discuss legal issues relating to the implementation of recommendations from the review in a closed door executive session. A system spokesman said there is not a set date to release the findings.

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