Trustees approve tuition increase

Members said 10 percent increase in summer tuition will begin 2002.

Ball State University's Board of Trustees approved a 10 percent increase in summer tuition Friday, but did not specify if an increase will be necessary for the Fall Semester. The increase is partially in response to drastic state budget cuts.

Thomas Kinghorn, university vice president of Business Affairs and treasurer said the cuts will affect Ball State in a number of areas.

"We can expect a $10.3 million delay in payment delays before the end of the fiscal year," Kinghorn said.

Kinghorn said there will also be $6.1 million technological cut.

The board decided some tuition increase must take place because the university could no longer rely on the state to replace lost revenue.

The university also faces the dilemma of hiring new faculty. Competition for first-choice professors at the existing salary levels limits new hires. The concern also spans to providing competitive student and graduate assistant wages.

"We want to recruit faculty on a national basis," said Warren Vander Hill, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. "Schools in Michigan and Ohio raised their salaries and we are falling behind. Many of our first-choice nursing, elementary education, technology and architecture professors are unattainable because we have a difficulty paying the price."

Associate Provost Beverley Pitts addressed graduate assistant wages.

"We are $4,000 to $6,000 below the competitive rate," Pitts said. "We pay $7,000 and other universities are in the range of $12,000."

Pitts said the university wants to give graduates the ability to research and develop to build the national reputation for which the university is aiming.

Vice president of Information Technology H. O'Neal Smitherman said the most basic pieces of equipment are in serious trouble.

"This is not a one-year loss," Smitherman said. "This should be a top priority. Losing a little ground today has a dramatic effect farther down the road."

The university is also facing issues of unmet instructional equipment replacement needs, including telecommunications equipment, visual equipment and basic technological needs.

The board discussed the concerns and how to apply them to the 2002-'07 Strategic Plan.

"We are in unchartered turbulent waters with the state financial situation," President Blaine Brownell said. "Last year we implemented a successful plan that will bring forward the very best interest of the university."

Brownell said the university will be helping the state because two-thirds of Ball State graduates are employed in Indiana.

The plan, according to Brownell, is to determine where Ball State is going, where it should go, and to aim the university in directions it can go.

"We consider the challenges and how we got there to reaffirm what it is we want to do," Brownell said.


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