For the second year in a row, the state budget that was ratified by the South Carolina General Assembly included over $17 million in new funding for Lander University.
In its FY 2022-23 budget, the state legislature appropriated $17,182,780 to Lander, which included $8 million for a new information commons on the University’s campus that will ultimately take the place of Jackson Library. An additional $6 million was allocated to Lander so that the existing library can be renovated into classroom and laboratory space upon completion of the new information commons.
Jackson Library was constructed in 1976, when enrollment at Lander University was only around 1,500 students. Last fall, Lander had an enrollment of 3,839 students, representing a 256% increase over the original design capacity of the current library building.
“The General Assembly’s decision to fund our new information commons recognizes Lander’s tremendous growth over the past seven years,” said Dr. Richard Cosentino, president of Lander University. “This new facility will reflect the needs of today’s students, focusing on new technologies to better assist our students and faculty in their research initiatives.”
Lawmakers say it was that high level of growth at Lander, and the need for more classroom and laboratory space, that led to the funding of these two projects. Cosentino thanked the legislature for their continued support of Lander, saying, “Our General Assembly knows that this investment into Lander University is an investment in the future workforce of our great state.”
The state’s FY 2022-23 budget also included a recurring $400,000 annually for Lander to fund the South Carolina Institute on the Prevention of Sexual Violence on College Campuses, first proposed in Governor Henry McMaster’s executive budget at the beginning of the year.
Lawmakers also rewarded Lander for its efforts to keep college affordable for its students, including funds to help mitigate the increase in expenses. Since 2017, Lander has kept its tuition and general fees frozen for students. “These additional tuition mitigation dollars will help cover the increasing costs of the University’s general operating expenses, allowing us to continue offering a high-quality education to students at an affordable price,” said Cosentino.