23, No. 1, July 3, 2003
Trustees approve 5 percent tuition
By Sabryna Cornish
UIC News Bureau
(4.5 percent overall increase)
(4.3 percent overall increase)
(4.2 percent increase)
UI Board of Trustees unanimously approved a 5 percent increase in tuition
for this coming academic year, the lowest increase for an Illinois public
university and less than half the average for public universities across
"This modest tuition increase won't fill our budget hole, but it
helps mitigate the impact of state funding cuts on our students and
our core mission," said UI President James J. Stukel at a special
meeting at the Chicago campus June 27 to consider tuition and fees.
The tuition increase will mean an additional $133 for undergraduate
and $148 for graduate students at Urbana-Champaign, $117 per semester
for undergraduates and $135 for graduate students at UIC, and $82 for
undergraduates and $75 for graduate students at Springfield.
Students in some undergraduate, graduate and professional programs will
pay additional increases and new nonresident undergraduates will pay
$1,000 more per semester.
The tuition increases will net about $30 million for the UI, which faces
a shortfall of about $93 million in its FY04 operating budget due to
cuts in state funding and unavoidable expenses.
The budget will provide merit-based salary increases in a range of 2
to 3 percent for faculty and staff members, but senior administrators
will not receive raises. Salaries were frozen for faculty and staff
members and administrators last year.
"The salary program needs to include staff members and teaching
assistants who work so hard for this university," said Chester
Gardner, university vice president for academic affairs.
Even with the tuition increase, the university expects to lose 950 full-time
positions, including about 200 full-time faculty members, 375 teaching
assistants and 100 instructors/lecturers. The university also anticipates
having to eliminate about 850 course sections and increase enrollment
in at least 400 classes.
The budget process was complicated by a decrease in state financial
aid programs and a law passed by the Illinois General Assembly, effective
in 2004, that will require state universities to maintain tuition rates
for entering students during four years of study.
Funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) was cut for fifth-year
students, but the Illinois Student Assistance Commission has said it
will fund fifth-year MAP students in FY04. However, the scholarship
commission will reduce MAP awards overall by 5 percent, for a maximum
of about $250 per student.
Trustees also approved increases in housing, student fees and health
"The total cost of attending the University of Illinois –
tuition, room and board and fees – will go up by 4.4 percent on
average," Stukel said.
Urbana-Champaign student fees will increase by $20 per semester, Chicago
by $18 per semester, and Springfield by $15 per semester.
Housing costs will go up 4.5 percent per semester at Urbana-Champaign,
3 percent at Chicago, and 2.1 percent at Springfield.
Health insurance rates will remain the same at Urbana-Champaign but
will increase at Chicago from $315 to $363 per semester and from $141
to $194 at Springfield.
Stukel said he decided to withdraw a recommendation for an 8 percent
tuition increase after consulting with the trustees. However, several
board members expressed concerns that the 5 percent increase will be
Trustee Frances Carroll said she was worried that students will not
be able to get the classes they need to graduate and will end up spending
another semester in school.
Gardner said the university will work to make sure students can take
the classes they need to graduate.
Keely Stewart, Urbana-Champaign student trustee, said a survey on his
campus found that students are willing to pay a tuition increase to
maintain quality of education.
"A majority of students said they were willing to pay the 8 percent
increase if it meant classes were not lost," Stewart said.
Arthur Moore, Springfield's student representative, agreed. "Students
at UIS are willing to pay more to get the university where it needs
to be," he said. "Students knew that this was coming. I'm
worried that 8 percent at my campus is not going to be enough."
Trustee Marjorie Sodemann also said she supported an 8 percent increase.
"With the 5 percent we will manage, of course, but I'm afraid that
students will not be able to graduate in a timely manner," Sodemann
said. "If we continue on the current path of funding, we must accept
responsibility for the downward spiral and erosion of the university."
"Looking out for the university's interests also requires compromise,
and reaching our goals is an incremental process," Stukel said.
"I have said repeatedly, the name of the game here is quality –
retaining the best faculty and staff; attracting the brightest students;
providing the best education; and conducting the highest level research.
I believe today's action is a step in the right direction toward preserving
the quality of our core missions."