By Jackie Stone

Killeen Daily Herald

The Texas A&M University System regents last week approved $22.7 million in budget expenses for 2011 at its Central Texas branch in Killeen, giving TAMU-CT a budget for the coming year that is comparable to its first as an A&M campus this year.

The bulk of the budget, 62 percent, is devoted to salaries and benefits for faculty and employees. The next largest portion of the budget, 31 percent, is earmarked for operations and maintenance at the buildings TAMU-CT currently leases from Central Texas College and Killeen Independent School District for classroom and office space.

The $22.7 million does not include construction beginning next month on the first building at a new campus for TAMU-CT - formerly Tarleton State Univeristy-Central Texas.

The budget approved by the regents Friday estimates revenues of $22.6 million, slightly less than expected expenditures.

The university's interim vice president of finance and administration, Gaylene Nunn, said the available funds in the budget approved by the regents Friday for the coming year is slightly less than in the current budget because the school used more of its two-year allotment from the state last year.

Despite the change, Nunn said the university plans to maintain services and programs and make up the difference with increased enrollment and a tuition increase.

"The growth in our student population will offset that reduction," she said. "We intend to keep all our programs and services at the same level or higher."

TAMU-CT spokesman Randy McCauley said the student population is currently around 2,600 students, up 30 percent this summer. Enrollment for the fall is still ongoing, but McCauley said officials are expecting to see numbers continue to increase.

The tuition and fees increase that is the other part of the puzzle amounts to an additional $5.83 per credit hour, or $17.49 for a standard three credit hour course.

The university expects the revenues from tuition and fees to increase approximately $960,000 to $9.66 million in 2011, according to budget documents.

Nunn said, however, the university will not see all of those funds because a portion of tuition and fees must be set aside for student loans and financial assistance.

The Central Texas campus had three positions it was unable to fill in the coming year's budget, but Nunn said the unfunded positions were from a lack of space rather than a major budget issue.

The total budget approved by the A&M System regents for its university campuses, health science center and agencies was $3.3 billion.

According to the larger budget document, construction of TAMU-CT's new building with classrooms and offices is funded partially by a $22.8 million tuition revenue bond.

The new TAMU-CT campus in Killeen will be on 672 acres at the intersection of State Highways 195 and 201 that the A&M System obtained from Fort Hood.

McCauley said TAMU-CT expects to break ground on the building in late August.

Contact Jackie Stone at or (254) 501-7548. Follow her on Twitter at KDHcityeditor.

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