CCU offering bonuses to faculty, staff if school meets retention goals

Coastal Carolina University will pay bonuses to faculty and staff if the school meets its goals for retaining students.

The university’s board of trustees voted last week to fund an incentives program that includes $300,000 for employee bonuses if the school retains 68 percent of its freshman class. The current retention rate is 67 percent.

Despite grappling with limited state funding and the possibility of a tuition increase, Coastal officials insist the bonuses are needed to keep students in classrooms — and their payments in the university’s coffers.

“It’s trying to get everybody on campus to buy in to retention,” said Eddie Dyer, the university’s chief operating officer. “Retention is important for several reasons. One is we’re judged in Columbia and other places by our retention rate and our graduation rate. And the other is it’s a financial issue. Eighty-nine cents out of every dollar comes from tuition. So the more students we keep, the more money we’ve got to spend.”