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Press Release for Friday, May 19, 2017

Public Notice: UNF BOT Considers Approval of Revenue-Neutral Shift of Student Fees

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida Board of Trustees will consider for approval a revenue-neutral shift between the Student Health Fee and Athletic Fee at a meeting in June. The revenue-neutral shift to be considered would result from a 26-cent decrease in the current $10.10 Health Fee, with the difference being shifted to increase the current Athletic Fee ($19.27) by the same 26 cents for a new Athletics fee total of $19.53.

This change to the Health Fee and the Athletic Fee won’t cause any increase in the amount UNF students pay in total student fees. These changes were recommended unanimously by a University Fee Committee, of which one-half of the committee members are students.

The Board of Trustees meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 16, in the Student Union, Building 58W, Third Floor Ballroom, Room 3703. The matter will first come before the Board’s Finance and Facilities Committee and then for consideration by the full Board at its regular meeting.

Rationale for the Revenue Neutral Shift

Health Fee
The merger of Campus Recreation and Health Promotions saves a total of 54 cents of the current $10.10 Health Fee. This savings is accomplished by the more efficient use of shared staffing resources and there’s no elimination or reduction in the level of services and programming offered by either department.

Twenty-eight cents of the 54-cent savings from the Recreation/Health Promotions merger is proposed to go to the Counseling Center, which has continued to see a significantly increasing demand for services.

The number of patients has increased by 33.7 percent, and the number of individual counseling appointments is 44 percent higher. The wait times for a non-crisis appointment is three weeks. The wait time begins to build by the fourth week of the semester. Simultaneously, students who are already engaged in the counseling process at these busy times are being spaced out from the preferred once-per-week schedule to once every three weeks, depending on severity of symptoms.

The 28-cent increase will be used to add two American Psychological Association doctorate-level interns to the Counseling Center staff. These individuals will be instrumental in decreasing wait times. The UNF Student Government Senate approved a resolution in support of this increase. This leaves a net savings of 26 cents, which is proposed to go to support the UNF Athletics program.

Athletic Fee
In overall size of its total budget, UNF Athletics is currently sixth out of the eight teams in the A-Sun Conference. The grounds maintenance equipment is now over 15 years old and in need of replacement.

For the past two years, all athletic teams have been operating on a 5-percent budget reduction, with administrative units operating on a 10-percent reduction. The increase of 26 cents from the net savings in the Health Fee described above will be used to address equipment needs and fund the growing Athletics programs by addressing prior year budget reductions.

This notice is being sent to you to comply with new legislation requiring the following when a student fee is being increased, even if the increase is part of a revenue-neutral shift, which won’t increase the total amount of fees paid by the student.

Florida Statutes 1009.24 (20) state each state university shall publicly notice and notify all enrolled students of any proposal to increase tuition or fees at least 28 days before its consideration at a board of trustees meeting.

The notice must: include the date and time of the meeting at which the proposal will be considered; specifically outline the details of existing tuition and fees, the rationale for the proposed increase, and how the funds from the proposed increase will be used and be posted on the university’s website and issued in a press release.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.