Budget cuts push for tuition increase

Students could see up to a 4 to 5 percent increase in tuition for the 2014-15 academic year.

At the budget forum meeting Thursday afternoon, Interim President Tim Miller discussed the potential for a raise in tuition.

He also went over the budget reduction and revenue-generating recommendations put forth by a budget task force committee.

Jeremiah Johnson, Student Government Association president and student regent, said he does not agree with raising student tuition.

“I think in this day and time, with the economy, with student funding, we’ve got to quit raising tuition,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he does not find across-the-board fees beneficial to the student body, and he believes there are other ways to bring money into the University other than raising tuition and fees.

Tuition increases will be the most upsetting factor for students, but the potential increase in parking tag fees will have an impact as well, Johnson said.

The current price of commuter parking tags is $55, but the budget committee has made a recommendation that the tags be raised to $75. Parking tags that are used at Roy Stewart Stadium are $35 and will possibly be raised to $45.

The raise in parking fees is estimated to bring the University an additional $136,950 in revenue.

Another potential cut in spending new to faculty, staff and students is at the Wellness Center. A recommendation by the budget committee could have the Wellness Center reducing the hours it is open.

That reduction in working hours could save $7,000.

Some additional recommendations of the budget committee, and the expected money saved, include:

  • Reduce academic colleges and schools by one ($183,879)
  • Reduce maintenance staff ($137,250)
  • Eliminate office assistant position in Wellness Center ($32,679)
  • Residential college programming-action agenda ($14,689)
  • Postal Services operations ($20,000)
  • Curris Center operations ($20,000)
  • Close cashier’s office windows (Sparks Hall) ($30,607)

In total, the recommendations from the budget committee equal more than $2.5 million in spending cuts. But even after those budget reductions, the deficit remains at more than $3 million.

 

Story by Kate Russell, Photography Editor