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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Regents respond to proposed annual fee increase

At a recent UC Regents meeting, the regents discussed the possibility of an annual fee increase plan for the UC system.

The plan would have potentially increased student tuition by eight to 16 percent annually if the state continues to be unable to provide funding for the public university system.

The plan, suggested by UC Office of the President Mark Yudof, did not go over well with the regents.

“This scenario that we’re looking at is not what we want,” said UC Regents Chair Sherry Lansing. “There’s not a person at this table who wants to increase tuition. What I wanted to talk about is what we can do to change this dynamic,” Lansing said.

While the plan has technically been tabled while regents search for other options, this plan could be a reality for current and future UC students.

Executive Vice President of Business Operations Nathan Brostrom and Vice President for Budget and Capital Resources Patrick J. Lenz created the plan. Yudof, Brostrom and Lenz hope that UC Regents will consider the plan at the regents meeting in November.

“There are other things we could do. Freeze the size of the faculty, lengthen the time to graduation or have more nonresident students. These are not healthy for UC,” Yudof said.

This idea, along with others, comes at a time when the UC system faces a $650 million dollar cut to state funding after the recent state budget was signed. In addition, the UC system could face a $1.5 billion cut in the next five years.

The planned increase in fees has the potential to warn students about when the next fee hike is coming. In the past, students have found out about fee hikes mere months before tuition was due. With this plan, students could potentially know exactly what they would be paying for their education before they started.

The plan will be further discussed in the upcoming months, and the creators are optimistic, although the regents did not respond well upon the first presentation.

The proposal also includes a push for an annual 1percent increase in the UC student body.

During the meeting, regents also gave incentive pay to Chief Investment Officer Marie Berggren, who received $744,950 for her work and Senior Vice President John Stobo, who received $130,500 for his work in reducing blood infections.

HANNAH STRUMWASSER can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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