CUPB hears about recommended tuition increase

Cassie Buchman, Associate News Editor

The Council on University Planning and Budget heard about a proposed 1.5 percent tuition increase for incoming students and that no further adjustments in terms of layoffs, furloughs, or salary deferrals will be made until June 30.

Paul McCann, interim vice president for business affairs, said a combination of things related to the budget have been affecting the area of business affairs, such as furloughs, layoffs and salary deferrals.

“As difficult as this has been for the campus, I think that we are going to get through June 30 without further adjustments,” McCann said.

McCann said the administration does not anticipate any further layoffs, deferrals or furloughs between now and June.

“The things we have implemented are working,” McCann said.

He said it is difficult to project as people are still leaving, coming in and moving around, but the numbers are looking positive.

On June 30, if they are needed, adjustments and refinements will be made so Eastern can continue into the fall and summer uninterrupted.

“The issue right now is looking at what’s going to happen in summer until we start getting in tuition in the fall,” McCann said.

He said during this time, it looks like things will continue without interruption, but there is still work to be done.

“We have been talking about that on a regular basis: What do we have to do? What can we do?” McCann said.

Something McCann said kept coming up was people asking what happens when the university receives money from the state.

“We are working through those scenarios trying to figure out exactly how we’re going to do this,” McCann said.

The difficult part of this might be bringing people back and putting them in a slot that they are comfortable with, McCann said.

The budget for fiscal year 2017 will be discussed at the June meeting of the Board of Trustees, and members will be asked to approve the numbers going forward into 2017.

“You say how can you do ‘17 without a number for (fiscal year 2016) without any indication of where the state is going to go?” McCann said. “You’re right, that is somewhat of a problem. It’s kind of the blind leading the blind here.”

McCann said without a budget, Eastern is in a difficult situation.

“What are we going to do with enrollment? That factors into determining the budget,” McCann said. “What happens with the appropriation? All of those things will have to be taken into consideration within in the next month and a half or so, so we can bring forward a budget to operate in 2017.”

McCann said the university is required by statute to have a budget in place.

President David Glassman said the time was coming up to recommend tuition rates to the Board of Trustees.

After reviewing tuition and the needs of the university, Glassman said he would recommend an increase for next year of 1.5 percent increase or $4 more per credit hour for resident students and $5 for non-residents.

The money from this tuition increase will go into the income fund, which supports salaries, university operations in regards to academics, and the management of the university.

Glassman told the Senate Appropriations Committee at a hearing that it is not possible to make up for the deficit with tuition.

“We believe in affordability,” Glassman said. “And that’s what we’re gonna do for our students.”

He said if they had a tuition increase, it would be in the magnitude of 1 to 2 percent total.

Financial aid letters going out to prospective students that have gone out already have the increase added into them.

Governors State University is not raising tuition; Western Illinois University is reducing tuition by 3 percent; Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is raising tuition by 9 percent; and Southern Illinois University Carbondale is raising tuition by 3 percent.

Some community colleges are looking at 10 to 12 percent tuition increases.

This reduction in Western’s tuition puts the university close to where Eastern was at, McCann said.

Glassman said it now appears that Eastern will be third lowest in tuition.

Summer hours memos have now been mailed out and were released Friday.

McCann said offices that will be open are admissions, the president’s office, the library, the police station and Renewable Energy Center. Others will close Fridays at noon.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]