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Board of Regents approves tuition increase

Students at the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses face a 3.5% tuition increase.
Image by Gabrielle Erenstein
Senior Vice President Myron Frans presenting during the University of Minnesota Board of Regents special meeting on Monday June 26, 2023.

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents unanimously approved next year’s budget at a special meeting on Monday, raising tuition and fees for students on all campuses.

Students on the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses face a 3.5% tuition increase, while students at Duluth, Crookston and Morris will have a 1% tuition increase. The increases fall below the national inflation rate of 4.9%.

The 2024 Annual Operating Budget was first presented to the regents on June 8 by Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Myron Frans and Budget Director Julie Tonneson.

“This balanced budget reflects the University of Minnesota’s commitment to our role as the state’s premier research university while prioritizing the education of students and positioning them for successful careers in Minnesota’s workforce, as well as engaging with Minnesota communities to make our state stronger,” said Board Chair Janie Mayeron in a press release.

Mayeron said the University’s $4.5 billion budget is “complex,” adding state funding makes up significantly less of the University’s total revenue than it has in the past. State funding makes up about 17% of the University’s revenue in the 2024 budget, down from about 70% almost 50 years ago, according to Mayeron.

“There is no question that at the end of the day, the legislature’s decision places a lot of responsibility to fund this budget on students,” Mayeron said. “I think we are all painfully aware is not where we want to end up, but this is where we are.”

Regent Robyn Gulley said she wants the University to continue to work with the state legislature to avoid having the burden fall on students.

“I hope that over the next year, we can continue to build the work that we’re doing with the legislature so that we can bring those costs down for students, and so this won’t be something we have to keep doing year over year over year,” Gulley said.

This is the second consecutive year the regents have approved a 3.5% tuition increase. The budget also increases room and board fees by 7.4% for students on the Twin Cities campus and increases student services fees by 5.5%.

Ethnic and gender studies concerns addressed

Some students and faculty members have raised concerns about potential cuts to the College of Liberal Arts’ (CLA) ethnic and gender studies programs throughout the summer, including at a public forum during the Board’s meeting on June 8. 

Regent Kodi Verhalen asked Frans and Tonneson to provide context on how the budget would affect these programs. Tonneson said they worked with CLA leaders and were told there would be no budget reduction in the African American Studies; American Indian Studies; Chicano and Latino Studies; and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies departments.

“There is no cut to them in terms of what they have to provide for the courses,” Tonneson said.

Ettinger shows support for budget at first meeting

Monday’s special meeting marked the first for interim-President Jeffrey Ettinger, who took over on June 10 following Joan Gabel’s departure.

Ettinger said he was briefed on the full budget after entering the discussion late in the process, and he thanked the state legislature for their support.

“I fully endorse the budget before you today,” Ettinger said. “I have the utmost confidence in the work done by Senior Vice President Frans and Vice President Tonneson.”

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  • Jake from MSP
    Jun 28, 2023 at 10:33 am

    Lame. And entirely unsurprising.

    Regents professed desire for affordability is a joke.