Board of Trustees to discuss tuition increase, WEIU PBS membership, shuttle bus purchase

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

The Board of Trustees will discuss a proposed tuition increase and the purchase of several items at their meeting at1 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

The proposed 1.5 percent increase in tuition for next fall only applies to incoming freshmen and transfer students, which amounts to $4 per credit hour.

Paul McCann, the interim director of business affairs, said the tuition increase evolved after administrators felt the need to do something.

“It had been two years since we done anything and certainly our costs have gone up and the situation within the state has changed and we felt like we needed to adjust,” McCann said.

McCann said in the environment that the university is in, having gone ten months without a state appropriation; they are trying to be aware of the rise in costs and make sure there is a reasonable way to cover those costs.

“We’re trying to be aware that costs keep going up so we’re trying to keep those to a minimum,” McCann said.

However, for the proposed fee increase, which was introduced at an April Student Senate meeting, McCann said the Board will not discuss or take a vote on the two increases.

“We have not gotten to the point were we have made a decision on exactly what we are going to do,” McCann said. “I know that it was proposed to the students but we haven’t decided exactly what we’re going to do at this point yet.”

The fee increase would apply to the MLK Union Bond Revenue and Student Health Service would experience an adjustment in the cap taking them from nine credit hours up to twelve.

That adjustment would increase the cost of attendance for a student by $30.30 and the Union fee increase would knock up the cost by $43.70.

Together, they represent a $74 increase a student has to pay a year.

Though it will not be discussed at the meeting, McCann said it does not necessarily mean students will or will not see the increase take effect next semester because the administration has not gotten to that point yet.

“We got to make sure we remain competitive with other schools so its one of those things that is a hard decision to make,” McCann said. “Some of the other schools are not increasing or they’re not increasing the things that we are and you don’t what to look like you’re the outlier.”

McCann said they ultimately have to make sure they are covering their costs especially when considering the question with the state budget.

“There’s absolutely no way we can increase price enough to cover anything that they would do necessarily in Springfield if they decide not to give us an appropriation,” McCann said. “However, we think that there is every indication in Springfield that they’re planning on giving us an appropriation.”

Along with the tuition increase, the board will also discuss a few purchase items including two-year leases on two new shuttle buses and the PBS membership for WEIU.

The buses would be similar to the current ones the university has now, which seat 20 passengers and are wheelchair accessible.

McCann said the buses are replaced every two years as a way to keep the cost of maintenance down.

Shuttle bus fees will pay for the lease for the new buses.

Approval is also requested for the purchase of membership to PBS for WEIU.

According to the board reports, the purchase is for fiscal year 2017 and will offer the university benefits by allowing them access to educational programs and documentaries.\

“The programming included with this membership is crucial to support the needs of WEIU Television and the academic disciplines involved,” according to the board report.

McCann said they are not allowed to discuss what will happen with the membership however he said whatever they decide to do; they (WEIU) have the PBS license to continue to operate.


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]