Board of Trustees approve tuition increase, athletic budget for next year

Brooke Schwartz, Administration Reporter

The Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase of 1.4 percent, or an extra $4 per credit hour, for incoming undergraduate students.

Paul McCann, the interim vice president for business affairs, said older students who have not finished college in four years will also see a tuition increase.

“We have, in Illinois, a fixed tuition rate for the first four years of students’ enrollment at the university,” he said. “After (those first four years), then the tuition goes to the next, most recent, (change).”

The proposed increase for these older students is an extra $3 per credit hour.

Students already at Eastern who graduate in four years will not see any increase in their tuition.

For non-resident undergraduate students, a $5 per credit hour increase was approved.

McCann said Illinois students have been paying the same tuition amount for graduate and undergraduate studies, but at the meeting the Illinois resident graduate rate had a proposed increase of $7 per credit hour, or a 2.4 percent increase.

A non-resident graduate student will see a $17 per credit hour increase within the proposed plan.

McCann said the increases at the undergraduate level would generate around $200,000 per year.

He said this increase would not generate enough money for an all-around 1 percent salary increase, which would cost Eastern approximately $600,000.

Two special fee requests, one from the College of Education and Professional Studies and one from the College of Arts and Humanities, were brought before the board.

Provost Jay Gatrell said the fees would cover student teaching fees, special needs associated with clinical supervision and special equipment needed by both colleges.

All of these increases were approved, with Daniel Caulkins, member pro-tem on the board, being the only one to vote against all of them.

Caulkins said this no vote came down to his beliefs about higher education.

“I think we need to be focused on cost containment first,” Caulkins said. “I would have preferred to have a discussion on how we might be able to not do it, but I understand the other side of the coin. It’s just my personal philosophy about the cost of higher education and how we need to work to make it more affordable for people.”

Also approved by the board of trustees was the FY18 athletics budget.

The Board of Trustees has rules stating the need for approval of the athletic budget if it exceeds 1.5 percent of the total university budget. The athletic budget proposed at the board meeting is 1.65 percent of the total budget.

The total budgeted appropriated and income fund revenue is $78,567,300. The total athletic budget is $1.3 million.

Eastern President David Glassman said the reason the athletics budget is going over 1.5 percent is because of the total budget being lowered as a result of having fewer students.

“This does not represent any increase in funds for the intercollegiate athletics,” Glassman said. “In fact, when I first came here, (the athletic budget) had been about $2 million of allocations. It went down to $1.8 million, then I brought it down to $1.3 million.”

The budget was unanimously passed.
The board also elected executive positions for next year, with Timothy Burke, current vice chairperson, being voted chairperson and Barb Baurer being voted as next year’s vice chairperson. Carl Mito will keep his position as secretary.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].