The administration is proposing a $111 million budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal year, representing a 5.5 percent increase over the current fiscal year, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Katy Longley said at Monday's faculty meeting.

The budget proposal maintains need blind admissions, and projects maintaining an enrollment of 1,700 students and a first-year class of 475 students.

Longley said she hoped any increase in the comprehensive fee will total less than the 5.5 percent rise for the current fiscal year.

One notable category increase includes a 5 percent rise in the library materials budget, which has remained flat in recent years.

The capital expenses portion of the budget foresees the renovation of Adams Hall, which is expected to begin as soon as the construction on Maine Hall and Winthrop Hall is complete.

Longley said challenges in the budget include health benefits, which grew to 6 percent of the operating budget, and utility expenses, which are expected to cost $5.5 million.

The proposed budget will be presented to the Board of Trustees this weekend, and will be put to a final vote at the board's May meeting.

In her presentation to the faculty, Longley also detailed previously reported intentions to acquire more than 434 acres of land from the federal government at the Brunswick Naval Air Station site.

No major development plans currently exist for most of the land. Possible uses include playing fields, environmental classrooms, and off-campus Information Technology facilities.

In other news, Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd outlined plans for a restructuring of the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs.

The proposal includes the creation of a full-time, non-tenure-track associate dean for curriculum position.

Responsibilities for the dean would include curriculum oversight and student academic support. The dean would also act as a liaison with the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

The College hopes to have the new dean installed by July 1.

Judd said that the creation of the new position was planned before the announcement that Dean for Academic Advancement Kassie Freeman would be departing the College.

Also, the Research Oversight Committee presented an update on the College's new policies on human and animal research. Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Patsy Dickinson said the new approval procedures adhere to moral and legal concerns. The procedures apply to both faculty and students completing certain research projects that include either human or animal subjects.

Also, Associate Professor of Film Studies Tricia Welsch urged faculty to encourage students to apply for post-graduate fellowships.