Board of Regents raises tution 5 percent
by Victoria Elleby
The UA Board of Regents met in Anchorage on Feb. 19-20 to vote in a five percent tuition increase in light of recent state funding shortages. Along with the act of voting, the board discussed a comprehensive budget that includes prioritizing programs and allocating funds between the UA campuses. The board vote resulted in an 8-2 majority in favor of raising the tuition next school year at UAF.
The tuition increase adds up to $11 a credit hour for undergraduates and $22 an hour for graduate students, according to the Board of Regents. The increase of five percent will produce up to five million dollars for the UA system. The UAF Office of Management and Budget reported the state of Alaska general fund makes up 40 percent of the total UAF budget, and the legislature is looking to cut five to eight percent or $14 to $17 million assuming there are no additional reductions.
To begin the two-day meeting, the board accepted testimony from students, teachers and the general public advocating for programs and presenting concerns to the board. Representing UAF students was regent Courtney Enright. As the student regent, Enright participated in discussion and weighed in on potential student needs associated with the raise in tuition. As one of the board members, she contributed a vote to raise tuition.
Prior to the meeting, Enright collaborated with 11 of the 15 UA campuses to gain student feedback and encouraged students to send e-mails to the board voicing their opinions. “The raise is a financial necessity for the university. We want to mitigate and reduce the number of program cuts happening on UA campuses,” Enright said.
The budget cuts are inevitable, but five million dollars to mitigate the 12 million projected in cuts is ideal, according to Enright.