Trustees recommend tuition hike
(Jan. 31, 2002)
The East Carolina University Board of Trustees, spurred by the slumping national and state economies, today (Jan. 31) recommended a $400 tuition increase for all students for the 2002-03 academic year. The proposal now goes to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors for its consideration.
"It is unlikely that that there will be any increases in state appropriations for the university for next year," said Chancellor William V. Muse. "The only money we would have for critical needs of the university would come from a tuition increase." Recent estimates have projected a shortfall in the state budget of at least $800 million for the current fiscal year.
The increase approved by the trustees would bring tuition for an undergraduate North Carolina resident to $1,853 for the next academic year, up from $1,453 this year.
The increase would generate about $6.66 million in revenue for the university. The university would set aside 35 percent of that total for increased financial aid to assure that no student with financial needs has to pay more in tuition.
"We intend to hold harmless students who are on financial aid," Muse said.
The board action, taken in a telephone conference call meeting and in faxed ballots, follows a similar move by the UNC-Chapel Hill board. Several other universities in the UNC System are considering tuition increases.
Sadie Cox, president of the ECU Student Government Association and a member of the ECU board, voted against the increase. "None of us wants an increase, but with the economy the way it is, it seems to be the only way to keep our university going forward," Cox said. "We’re going to disagree, but we’re not going to fight the increase."
In addition to campus-based increases, the UNC Board of Governors is considering a system-wide 4.8 percent tuition increase, which would amount to a $70 increase for an ECU undergraduate. The Board of Governors will discuss tuition increases at a Feb. 8 workshop and at the full board meeting in March. Tuition increases approved by the Board of Governors would go to the General Assembly for final approval.
In addition to the financial aid commitment, money raised from the tuition increase would be used to:
o Hire additional faculty members to staff high-demand courses.
o Improve faculty and staff salaries to enable the university to hire and retain top-quality employees.
o Improve student advising by hiring professional advisers and creating a center to house them.
o Supplement the library budget for acquisition of additional journals and other printed materials.