Dunn: student fee would reduce tuition increase

Meghann Anderson
Staff writer

Jesse Carruthers/The News

President Randy Dunn spoke of building a new library on campus to the Student Government Association at its weekly meeting Wednesday.

Dunn’s visit was part of an administration effort to encourage the SGA to adopt student fees associated with the new library project, expected to break ground sometime in 2013.

Adam Murray, dean of University libraries, said the projected cost of $62 million would include internal furnishings in the new building project.

Murray showed a 90-second video of an ideal interior library design.

He said the new library would include a computer lab with more than 100 work stations, a student auditorium, rooms for group study, a map room and all honors program offices.

Dunn explained the monetary side of the library construction and how the student fees would be used if voted on.

“It’s not like a car payment or a house payment,” Dunn said. “It’s a once-a-year payment.”

He said the University has obtained $2.7 million in donated gifts that could be used to pay for the land.

“Students are going to end up paying the same dollar amount whether it’s for a bond or a tuition increase,” Dunn said.

There is no word if SGA will vote in favor of the fee. A decision will made in the coming weeks.

Dunn said the fee would be about $8.20 per credit hour, up to 12 hours a semester for each student, or about $93.38 a semester.

Dunn said the Board would only seek student fees for phase one of construction.

“We have the potential for the state to pay half through state funding,” Dunn said. “But the first draw is to finish the Science Complex in 2012.”

If SGA decides to move forward with the plan of using student fees to endorse the library, then the proposal will go to the Board of Regents to be voted on at its February meeting. If the Board votes in support of the plan, the fee would then be presented in a student-body vote.

Dunn said the first year would take the hardest hit if the student fee plan is approved. If the fee for the library is not approved, tuition will be raised and in the end students will pay the University the same amount.

“You’re going to pay the same dollar amount whether it’s half for library and half for tuition or all for the tuition,” Dunn said.

If tuition was to be raised and the library was not constructed the money would go in the general fund, which is the University’s largest share of the budget.

He said if the fee was added then the tuition increase would only be about 2 percent.

Dunn said the University would manage on the reduced tuition increase without taking away from the campus, faculty and students.

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