Professors’ children might enjoy free University tuition

Liz Bogut

Some prospective students might have an extra incentive to attend the University.
Free tuition.
Professors’ kids might have all or part of their tuition paid if faculty members get their way.
A resolution on tuition benefits for children of University employees was presented Thursday in a full University Senate meeting. The resolution has already been presented and approved by both the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs and the Faculty Consultative Committee.
A final vote on the resolution will be taken during a future University Senate meeting.
“This would provide the University with an edge in hiring and would also play a role in retention and employee morale,” said Richard Goldstein, faculty affairs committee chairman.
Goldstein said offering free or reduced tuition would actually save the University more money through faculty retention.
After a faculty member has been employed by the University for five years, their child would be eligible for a 50 percent tuition reduction. The reduction would grow by 10 percent each year for five more years, at which point tuition would be free, according to the meeting agenda.
In spring 1999, an employee benefits subcommittee requested the new benefit and conducted an informal survey of other universities.
A majority of those surveyed offered tuition benefits to their employees.
In the Big Ten, half the schools offered tuition benefits, with Northwestern University offering 85 percent, Penn State offering 75 percent and all others offering 50 percent.
The University of Iowa, University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin do not offer tuition benefits, in addition to the University of Minnesota.
One conflict that might arise with tuition benefits is equal compensation for employees without children. By offering dependents benefits, the University could be discriminating against employees without dependents.

Liz Bogut covers faculty and welcomes comments. She can be reached at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3217.