Regents approve spring tuition increase

Mai Hoang

An unusual mid-year tuition increase is now a reality students will have to face this spring.

The Board of Regents unanimously approved Friday a $200 tuition increase starting next semester.

President Gary Ransdell proposed the increase last month as a way for the university to deal with growing enrollment and a lack of state funding. The $5.8 million generated from the increase will be used to fund 30 new faculty positions, provide more student academic support services and renovate classrooms.

Student Regent John Bradley said he voted for the plan, although he had previously agreed not to support a tuition hike after meeting with other student government presidents of Kentucky universities.

Bradley asked the regents to examine education costs more closely.

“I support it completely if the university looks at cost/savings continually,” he said.

Faculty Regent Robert Dietle said there was wide support for the increase among faculty.

“I think this will have an impact on the morale of the university,” he said.

Dietle also asked Ransdell to follow up next semester to make sure the money generated from the tuition increase would go where it was promised.

Staff Regent Pat Jordan said that she supported the proposal, but wanted to make sure that staff were properly informed about it.

“I want Dr. Ransdell to address the staff so when questions are asked (to them) the staff are able to answer them properly,” she said.

Regents Cornelius Martin and Earl Fisher asked Ransdell about creating a long-term plan for future tuition increases. Both said that while Ransdell’s proposal was an important move for the university, more action will be needed.

Ransdell said he wanted to figure out the short-term plan before dealing with with long-term needs. He said the university’s future will look better if the General Assembly fulfills the budget request of the Council on Post-Secondary Education.

“I want to be patient and see how things unfold this spring,” Ransdell said.

Provost Barbara Burch said work is already underway to execute several of the proposed changes.

“We’re going forward to implement many of those things early in the (spring) semester,” Burch said. “We’re working hard to put some things in place not just for incoming students in the fall, but current students.”

Under the plan, fall tuition would not increase more than 10 percent.

Ransdell would not say how much he expects the fall increase to be.

“I have no way to predict that,” he said.

Reach Mai Hoang at [email protected]