TIGERVILLE, S.C. (courtesy ngu.edu) — Receiving a strong report on the institution’s financial health and approving two new academic programs highlighted the fall meeting of North Greenville University’s Board of Trustees on Thursday, October 27. Meeting on NGU’s Tigerville campus, the board also approved tuition and fees for the 2023-24 academic year and heard reports from all administrative areas of the university.
In his report to the trustees, NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., noted that the university had a strong freshman class, and current indicators showed that trend should continue in 2023. He also noted several capital projects were completed on the campus during the summer months, and that demolition work for the Donnan/COBE Project will begin in November. The capital project will result in a totally remodeled administration building which will be home to NGU’s College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
The board received a “financial health summary” from Dan Campbell, a partner with Capin Crouse, the university’s audit firm. He said there were no findings in the audit of the 2021-22 fiscal year.
“In the face of the many challenges of 2021-2022, COVID, inflation and volatile financial markets, NGU remained financially strong,” said Mike Stowell, NGU senior vice president for finance and chief financial officer. “Once again our composite financial ratio shows that the university is well positioned for the transformation needed to compete in the future.
Trustees approved the university’s proposed tuition and fees for the 2023-24 academic year, which total $17,985 per semester for a full-time student including room and board. The amount represents a 3.99 percent overall increase from the current year’s semester amount of $17,295.
“We want to be competitive and sensitive to the increase for the student, but we all know that costs are going up,” said David Charpia, the board’s finance committee chair, noting the increase is to address NGU operating budget expenses.
“We expect inflation to be a major challenge for the University and its students in the coming year,” said Stowell, NGU’s CFO. “When setting pricing for next year we considered this as well as data from benchmarking peer institutions. Ultimately, and even while accounting for the inflationary environment, we worked to make NGU affordable, raising costs to our traditional, residential students less than four percent.”
Board members approved the Master of Arts in Biomedical Science degree program, designed to offer students who have completed bachelor’s degrees a path to take required prerequisites for professional schools at a graduate level. It is a 33-credit-hour program spanning 13 months, with courses offered in an online format.
“NGU is deeply committed to equipping students to be transformational health care professionals for the sake of human flourishing,” said Dr. Nathan A. Finn, NGU’s provost and dean of the university faculty. “The MA in Biomedical Sciences will open new pathways for students to pursue careers in allied health professions. I’m excited to see the impact this program will have long-term in helping serve the health care needs of our region, where so many of our communities remain medically under-served.”
Trustees also approved a new post-graduate Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in K-12 Administration or Higher Education Administration degree. The Ed.S. degree is designed for educators who wish to gain additional expertise beyond the master’s degree but cannot commit to doctoral study.
The meeting was presided over by Mandie Boyd, the board’s chair for 2022. A 2005 NGU graduate, she thanked President Fant for his service to the institution over the first five years of his tenure. The board extended Dr. Fant’s contract through 2026 during the business session.
Trustees unanimously approved a slate of new officers for the 2023 calendar year. Dr. Brian Spearman, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Marietta, SC, will serve as chair; Bill Tyler, from Taylors, will serve as vice chair; and Shana Sands, from Greenville, will serve as secretary-treasurer.
At a recognition luncheon following the meeting, NGU recognized five board members whose five-year terms of service will end on December 31. Those include Mandie Boyd, from Taylors; Mitsy Ballentine, from Taylors; Bo Davies, from Greenville; Richard McLawhorn, from Columbia; and Dr. Mike Whitson, from Indian Trail, NC.
Also at the luncheon, Boyd, a Greenville area realtor, was presented the Betty Jo Craft Service Award, given annually by the trustees to a board member who demonstrated exceptional service to the university during the calendar year.
The next scheduled meeting for the 25-member board of trustees is March 2, 2023.