Eliana Mijangos
President Frederick Slabach plans to fight the budget cuts at Wesleyan this past year with expansive plans to entice students and raise enrollment.
John Veilleux, vice president of marketing and communications, said Texas Wesleyan students saw a rise in tuition for the 2012 fiscal year by 5 percent.
Slabach, however, said along with the rising tuition cost has come an increase in student aid and scholarships.
Patti Alexander, vice president of student enrollment and services, confirmed Slabach’s statement in an earlier interview.
Alexander said academic scholarships have risen significantly.
Some students have complained about where the money from their rising tuition rates is going.
“I think the school administration should focus on other internal factors such as curriculum, campus activities and tuition reduction in order to achieve a higher enrollment rate,” Christopher Sotelo, senior business major, said.
Slabach said Wesleyan is no different than any other school and is affected just like other companies by a rise in health care costs and benefit plans.
“Just like any other school, around 56 percent of the budget is going to personnel costs,” Slabach said.
Slabach said this next fiscal year, a lump sum of the budget will go toward a marketing campaign that will be headed by Veilleux.
He said other costs come from improving on classrooms and the overall learning environment with smart classrooms, and increased wireless technology also calls for a lump sum of the budget.
“Education has always been and will remain our number one concern here at Wesleyan,” Slabach said.
As far as departmental cuts that will have to be made, Slabach said administration will refrain from tampering with the overall student experience. Instead, school deans are in charge of deciding where their departments can best cut faculty travel, conferences or utilities. From here, these implementations are cleared by the Provost Allen Henderson, President Slabach and on to the Executive Board. No mention of faculty or staff cuts has been made, but Slabach confirmed a cut in faculty and staff salary and vacation pays.
“We may see the campus taking on some more green efforts,” Slabach said.
Green efforts are not the only future plans for Wesleyan.
Both Veilleux and Slabach said $32 million of public funding will go towards street-scape and redeveloping Rosedale from Highway 287 to Stalcup Road.
“We are aware that the environment surrounding the campus can also be a part of final decision making for incoming freshmen and transfer students,” Slabach said.
This revamp of Rosedale will take place over the next five to six years starting next spring. To go along with this plan, however, Slabach said Wesleyan received a $1.8 million grant through the North Central Texas Council of Governments to landscape the campus as well.
Freese and Nichols was selected by the City of Fort Worth to determine what design work would be necessary for the campus as well as a bidding process. This company in conjunction with an advisory committee of which Wesleyan has four representatives, will decide on necessary amenities for the campus as well as Rosedale.
Representatives for Texas Wesleyan include Slabach, John Murphy, board of trustee member; Steve Roberts, associate vice president of administrative services and human resources; and Debbie Roark, director of grants and research and Title III.
This plan will include a new front door for the school and create a more aesthetically pleasing campus entrance between the McFadden Science Building and the Armstrong Maybe Business Center, Slabach said.
It will also fund a new student center, which will house all student organizations and campus help centers Slabach, said.
Slabach said this initiative will be funded through fundraisers.