John Barnes, Luther Coggin, Hugh Greene, Ann Hicks, Joannie Newton, Wanyonyi Kendrick, Joy Korman, Katherine Robinson, Bruce Taylor
Edythe Abdullah, Toni Crawford, Wilfredo Gonzalez, Kevin Twomey
Chair Taylor called the meeting to order.
Chair Taylor stated that Legislature recently passed an 8 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students. Plus, the Legislature granted all universities authority to charge undergraduate students up to 7 percent differential tuition. He asked President Delaney to elaborate.
President Delaney clarified that the universities had authority to increase in-state graduate tuition and out-of-state fees for undergraduate and graduate students by up to 15 percent. He also clarified that universities had authority to add a 5 percent technology fee.
President Delaney made clear that the Legislature approved the 8 percent tuition increase, which would be added to the base tuition for in-state undergraduate students. He clarified that the universities could ask the Board of Governors (BOG) to approve an additional increase up to 7 percent.
President Delaney talked about the economy, noting that additional downturns were possible but would likely to be less than the cutbacks we have seen to date. He spoke about the Legislature’s efforts to adjust, noting that the Federal stimulus plan would help over the next two years but other sources would have to be identified to replace these dollars before the third year. President Delaney stated that for this reason, the administration was recommending approval of the full 7 percent differential tuition but not, at this time, recommending approval for the 5 percent technology fee.
President Delaney stated that the administration was sensitive to the burden the tuition increase would place on students, especially in tough economic times. He clarified that 30 percent of tuition dollars would go to need-based financial aid.
Trustees discussed the implications on enrollment. The administration responded that there was no evidence to suggest enrollment would be affected by the tuition increase.
Trustees asked for clarification that 30 percent of tuition would go to need-based assistance. The administration stated that that amount was correct.
Trustees asked for clarification that the tuition differential would not apply to student who enrolled prior to July 1, 2007 and students with Florida Prepaid Tuition plans. The administration stated that this was correct.
The administration stated that they were recommending an increase in in-state undergraduate and graduate tuition by 15 percent and an increase in out-of-state fees by the same 15 percent.
Trustee Barnes asked that the record reflect the students’ support of President Delaney. Trustee Barnes also asked that the record reflect that Student Government was requesting that the administration prepare a financial report providing clear and detailed answers regarding tuition.
Trustee Barnes spoke about a survey conducted on 2,000 students which revealed that 67 percent would rather see program closures and layoffs than a tuition increase. He mentioned that many students did not qualify for financial aid and an increase of this magnitude would negatively impact these students. Trustee Barnes asked that consideration be given to raising tuition by an amount less than 7 percent differential. He noted that any amount less would be significant to students.
President Delaney stated that the administration was aware of the impact on students but wanted to reiterate that the administration was foregoing the 5 percent technology fee, which was an effort to lessen the impact on students.
Trustees discussed the tuition increase, including the cumulative budget reduction over the past three years, noting that other universities were increasing tuition and fees by up to 20 percent when they added in the technology fee. Additional justifications included the state’s ranking which was near the bottom for tuition and the need to hire and retain quality faculty. Trustees asked the administration to communicate to students why the tuition increase was important.
Chair Taylor expressed confidence in the administration’s efforts in identifying the needs of the university. He stated that the Board was confident that the administration was keeping the university’s values in place and that the students would benefit.
Chair Taylor asked for a MOTION for approval to increase in-state undergraduate and graduate tuition by 15 percent and increase out-of-state fees by the same 15 percent. The MOTION was offered by Trustee Kendrick and seconded by Trustee Coggin. The MOTION was opposed by Trustee Barnes. The MOTION was carried with one dissenting vote.
Chair Taylor adjourned the meeting.
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