Proposed tuition hike would fund salaries

Students might face a 5 to 6 percent tuition hike to fund faculty salary increases if the Board of Regents accepts University President Mark Yudof’s recommendation.
If approved, tuition increases would go into effect this fall.
The money would cover a gap in legislative appropriations allocated specifically for faculty salary increases, Yudof told the board on Friday.
State funding, appropriated during the 1999 legislative session, shorted the University’s needs for $28 million by $8.9 million, Yudof said. Tuition funds nearly 50 percent of University instructional costs and is the best option to cover the remaining gap, he said.
Faculty salary increases, currently ranked 25th out of 30 research schools, are necessary in order for the University to attract and retain the best faculty nationwide, Yudof said.
Ultimately, Yudof said he would like a 7 to 8 percent increase.
Fred Morrison, chairman of the Faculty Consultative Committee, said competitive compensation is essential to keep the best and brightest faculty members.
“Though we would like to put the responsibility on the Legislature … it seems unlikely that the Legislature will do this,” Morrison said.
And though Morrison did not like students bearing the financial burden of faculty salaries, he also said the burden should not fall on faculty.
Heidi Frederickson, chairwoman of the board’s student representatives, said that though students want to keep their favorite professors and student services, they also want the money to come from somewhere other than their pockets.
Students will need tax rebates to lower the University’s cost if tuition increases, Frederickson said.
Regents are expected to finalize plans in May.

Kristin Gustafson covers University administration and federal government and welcomes comments at [email protected]