Duke trustees approve budget, stadium improvements

May. 10, 2014 @ 03:59 PM

The Duke University Board of Trustees on Saturday approved the 2014-15 budget and improvements to Duke’s football stadium.

The trustees adopted a $2.2 billion operating budget for FY 2014-15 that provides for strategic investments in select programs and initiatives. The budget includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing, but excludes Duke Hospital and other clinical components of the Duke University Health System.

The operating budget, which covers the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014, reflects 1.5 percent growth from FY 2013-14. The operating budget, excluding externally sponsored research funds, calls for a drawdown of $56 million from available fund balances and reserves to address the anticipated difference between annual revenues and expenses.

The trustees also approved the FY 2014-15 capital budget, which includes planned expenditures of $322 million for major projects such as the new Student Health and Wellness Center and renovations to the West Union and the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

The budget includes an anticipated 4.5 percent increase in institutional financial aid for undergraduates, to $136 million, which is above the previously announced 3.9 percent increase in the total cost of attendance (undergraduate tuition, room and board) for the 2014-15 academic year.

In addition, the university budget anticipates external support of $11 million from federal, state and other institutions for scholarships and need-based aid. About half of undergraduates receive financial support to attend Duke, the vast majority of which is need-based aid. The average aid awarded to need-based aid recipients in the current academic year was nearly $41,000.

Duke is among a handful of schools that maintains a need-blind admissions policy, under which the university accepts U.S. undergraduates based on their academic accomplishments and potential without regard to their ability to pay, and then meets all of their demonstrated financial need.

In other business, the trustees:

-- Approved improvements to Wallace Wade Stadium. In the initial phase, the playing field will be lowered and new field-level seating will be added.  The cost of this phase, which will be undertaken after the 2014 season, is estimated to be $15 million and will be funded by private contributions.

At a later date, the trustees will consider a plan to remove and replace the Finch-Yeager Building with a stadium press tower and to add structures to the east side of Wallace Wade, among other upgrades.

-- Received strategic updates on the Sanford School of Public Policy from Dean Kelly Brownell and on ways the student body is changing from Dean of Undergraduate Education Steve Nowicki.

-- Approved the awarding of degrees to undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Commencement, including an address by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday in Wallace Wade Stadium and is open to the public.