Sets Fall Tuition; Jacobetti
uncertainty about state funding, the NMU Board
of Trustees set tuition rates
at a special teleconference meeting this morning to give students
and parents an opportunity to plan ahead for the fall semester.
a 5-3 vote, trustees approved a recommendation to increase tuition
and fees by 9.8 percent for full-time undergraduate students, and
about 10 percent for full-time graduate students. Annual rates are
as follows: resident undergraduates, $5,858; nonresident undergraduates,
$9,602; resident graduate students, $4,754; and nonresident graduate
students, $6,994. The one-time student athletic fee for new students,
which allows admission to NMU sporting events, will increase from
$100 to $150.
the best of our knowledge, as of today, Northern will remain the
second most affordable institution in Michigan,"
said NMU President Les Wong .
"Our commitment to providing a high-quality, high-touch education
on a high-tech campus remains our number one goal. With proposals
that would reduce Northern's state funding by anywhere from 2 to
10 percent, it's been extremely difficult to formulate a budget
plan when we don't have solid numbers yet. We are taking a multi-pronged
approach that considers enrollment growth, budget reductions and
reallocations, and new streams of revenue generation. We will continue
to monitor the legislative process and continue to discuss options
university's financial aid would be increased by $625,000 to offset
some of the student need related to the tuition increase. Any new
initiatives will be covered through budget reallocations. The administration
will present a detailed FY2006 budget for approval at the board's
next regularly scheduled meeting, Aug. 4-5.
can't emphasize enough the need to preserve the quality of Northern's
programs," said trustee Jon G. LaSalle, in voting to approve
the recommendation. "NMU undisputedly has placed itself in
a comparative advantage in the state in terms of tuition. People
look at us with that in mind, but if you listen to students, a driving
force in their decision-making process is the value of the education
– how much academic quality they're getting for their investment.
They get a high return at Northern, and I want to see that continue.
It would be hard for the university to cut even more from its budget
without adversely impacting the academic experience."
chair Karl Weber was among the three who voted against the recommendation.
one overriding concern is for the students and their families,"
he said. "I want an NMU education to remain
as affordable and accessible as possible. I just think there are
ways the university could tighten its belt even further by reducing
costs, as painful as that may be."
other Michigan universities have set tuition recently, with increases
ranging from 7.5 percent at Saginaw Valley to 18.5 percent at Wayne
State – the other school besides NMU targeted for a steeper decline
in state funding in Republican-sponsored House and Senate proposals.
developing their recommendation, NMU administrators assumed a 2006
state appropriation reduction of almost $900,000, which is what
Gov. Jennifer Granholm proposed in her executive budget. They also
anticipated a net increase in general fund expenditures of $3.1
million. This covers rising costs associated with contracted compensation
adjustments, mandated support for the Michigan Public School Employees
Retirement System (MPSERS), utilities and support for software maintenance
and library acquisitions.
also factors in base budget reductions of nearly $1.2 million. This
includes a loss of 18 full-time equivalent positions. Department
heads have been asked to communicate their respective budget adjustments
to their employees. A university forum will be held early in the
fall semester to give an overview of the plan.
the decline in state support for this year exceeds the scenario
used for planning purposes, NMU administrators have discussed an
option for absorbing the loss on a quick turnaround for the current
fiscal year. Carry-forward dollars will be moved into designated
fund by departments and encumbered until further notice. Special
exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis for requests brought
to deans or department heads and then to their respective division
have also explored ways to reduce facility operation and maintenance
costs. Mike Roy (Finance and Administration) said
it's not an efficiency issue, but an effort to bring Northern more
in line with the square-footage-per-student ratio of other universities.
He and others met this week with union leaders and Jacobetti Center
faculty and staff about the possibility of moving some community
college programs to other existing buildings or to relevant off-campus
locations. Examples of the latter would be aviation maintenance
relocating to Sawyer, or hospitality management and culinary arts
sharing facilities with dining services and university center operations.
logical scenario would be to vacate one wing of the building and
rent out the space to recoup the operating costs and make Jacobetti
a self-supporting facility," Roy
said. "It's not likely
that we would go the extreme route and move everything out and sell
or rent the entire building. We are at the beginning of the discussion
stage. We're also looking at alternatives for other buildings, including
the Superior Dome. The bottom line is that we're not reducing programs
– we're trying to better utilize the space that we have so we can
reduce our overall operation and maintenance costs."
residence halls and University
are not included in square-footage-per-FYES
ratios because they are auxiliary operations and self supporting.
said there is a difference of 800,000 square feet between NMU and
the next university down the list – nearly two times the space of
the Jacobetti Center
and Superior Dome combined.