WKU regents to vote Friday on budget with 2% tuition hike

A+special+Board+of+Regents+meeting+to+approve+the+budget+for+the+2022+fiscal+year+will+be+on+Friday.

Jack Dobbs

A special Board of Regents meeting to approve the budget for the 2022 fiscal year will be on Friday.

Debra Murray, Digital News Editor

Tuition will go up 2% to pay for faculty and staff raises in WKU’s budget for 2021-22, which will go before the Board of Regents Friday for approval.

That operating budget, however, remains out of balance – an amount that will require units across WKU to make one-year cuts during the fiscal year. As presented to regents in the agenda for Friday’s meeting, the budget has expenses of $384.8 million but revenues of $375.7 million.

Units across the university will have to make about $5.8 million in “current year budget reductions” to help fill that gap, according to a memo included with the budget from President Timothy Caboni to regents.

The 2% hike in tuition will raise a semester’s tuition and fees to $5,496 from $5,401. That increase, according to Caboni’s memo, will help fund a 2% salary increase pool that will take effect in January 2022.

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education enacted a statewide tuition and fee-setting schedule enabling the university to increase tuition a maximum of 3 percent over the next two years, with a one-year maximum of 2 percent.

WKU made the decision to permanently eliminate its “distance learning surcharge fee” of $150 per credit hour to take a class online, which has a $4 million impact on the budget.

Mandatory student fees that students are charged each semester will remain the same for the 2022 fiscal year. Currently, students pay $218 for a student athletics fee, student centers fee of $62, DSU renovation fee of $70 and a parking structure fee for Creason bonds of $30.

Housing fees will increase this fiscal year. Suite style residence halls will increase by $109 to $3,052 per semester. Community style residence halls will increase by $126 to $2,654, with the exception of Rodes Harlin Hall because it is open for extended living. Rodes Harlin Hall will cost $2,787. Hotel style will increase by $232 to $3,185, except for Hilltopper Hall because it is open for extended living. Hilltopper Hall will cost $3,902.

The two new pod-style residence halls, Regents Hall and Normal Hall will cost $3,716.

Digital News Editor Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy