Board of Regents to discuss CPE’s 3 percent cap on tuition increases

Taylor Harrison

The Board of Regents newest member will attend his first meeting on Friday, where the board will discuss the Council on Postsecondary Education’s recent decision to cap a tuition increase at 3 percent for non-online, Kentucky resident and undergraduate students.

Phillip Bale, who was appointed to the board on Feb. 26, said he’s excited to get started in his duties as a board member, including dealing with budget concerns.

“I’m looking forward to it and obviously as a new member, I plan on doing a lot of listening initially,” he said. “And certainly I’m aware of some of the problems facing the university, all universities, which surround the economics and trying to balance budgets, which is something I know that Western is going to have to deal with.”

President Ransdell said he will brief the board on what happened with the CPE and what the university is doing about it.

He also said he is looking forward to having the newest member of the board present at the meeting.

“We finally get back to where we’re a full board of 11 members, which is good,” Ransdell said.

Faculty Regent Patti Minter said while the board will not vote on anything regarding the CPE’s recent decision at this meeting, it is still the big item of discussion.

“It’s a very unfortunate reality and again, the president, the board, the faculty, staff and students have spoken through their leadership in favor of the 5 percent tuition increase, so it’s very difficult to figure out what we have to do now that we don’t have the tuition that we very much need,” she said. “There’s some really major concerns going forward.”

There won’t be an agenda item on this until the board meeting in June.

All of the action items approved at last month’s committee meeting must go to the full board on Friday, and Ransdell said he’s not sure which items will prompt discussion.

“It’s hard to anticipate what will and what won’t,” he said. “I don’t see anything controversial on there. I’ll put it that way.”

Action items on the agenda for Academic Affairs include: approval of an advanced worksite health promotion graduate certificate, approval of emeritus appointment, name change to Institute for Rural Health and a name change to Communication Sciences and Disorders Department.

There is also an information item about faculty-undergraduate student engagement.

There are multiple finance and budget action items, as well as information items, like a tuition and budget status report, from Ann Mead, vice president for Finance and Administration, and a quarterly internal audit report.

Executive committee actions include an acceptance of the university’s 2014-2020 capital plan.

Bryan Russell, director of Planning, Design and Construction, and John Osborne, vice president of Campus Services and Facilities, will present the summer 2013 construction/deferred maintenance schedule.