- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Clemson University is seeking an additional $7 million from the state in recurring revenue and $40 million in one-time money.

University officials’ budget request for 2015-16, presented Tuesday, includes $2.5 million for efforts to improve students’ retention and graduation rates. Plans for that money include hiring more advisers and tutors and offering more summer school options. About half of the university’s freshmen graduate in four years, while 82 percent do so within a six-year range, according to budget documents provided to the Ways and Means subcommittee.

The university is seeking $3 million for its human genetics research center in Greenwood - where construction is expected to start this spring - and $1.5 million for its vehicle prototype program for engineering graduate students at Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research in Greenville.

Clemson is seeking one-time allocations of $25 million for a new building to house business and behavioral sciences and $15 million to continue upgrading its half-century-old, campus-owned electrical system.

Asked why the university is in the electricity business, Clemson’s vice president for finances, Brett Dalton, said the responsibility dates to the university’s 1889 founding, when there was no town of Clemson, so the school had to supply all campus utilities, including water, electrical and firefighting services.

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