25, No. 19, April 20, 2006
UI Board of Trustees approves
tuition and fee increases
Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
The UI needs $60.5
million to fund its highest priority goals during fiscal year ‘07, and during its April 11 meeting in Urbana, the
UI Board of Trustees approved tuition and fee increases – and
a special fee – to help the university attain those goals.
Next year, per-semester tuition for new students who are Illinois residents
will increase by $333 to $3,854 at Urbana, by $293 to $3,390 at Chicago,
and by $503 to $2,790 at Springfield, under the guaranteed tuition
plan. Non-guaranteed tuition for in-state undergraduates also will
increase each semester, to $3,551 at Urbana, $3,123 at Chicago and
$2,479 at Springfield. Mandatory fees will increase by about 4 percent
each semester at all three campuses.
The tuition increases are expected to yield about $36 million that
will help the university hire faculty members to reduce class sizes
and provide a competitive salary increase program to retain faculty
and staff members, increase financial aid, pay for fuel and electricity
increases and operate and maintain new facilities.
An Academic Facilities Maintenance Fund Assessment also will be implemented
to help the university address its $617 million backlog in deferred
maintenance needs. The AFMA – $250 per semester at Chicago and
Urbana and $8.33 per credit hour at Springfield for full-time students – will
be phased in over four years, with all new full-time students paying
the fee this fall. In FY08, students who have been enrolled more than
four years will begin paying the fee, and all students will be paying
“I think the News-Gazette over the weekend said it well: This is
a terrible idea,” said President B. Joseph White. “But it’s
better than the idea of allowing continued deterioration of the massive investment
that the people of Illinois give the University of Illinois. And in order to
put the entire funding plan together, this is an action that we must take. … I
think as responsible stewards we must get on top of a problem that could go
beyond the point of no return, and I think we have to do it within a decade.”
Even with the AFMA, the university will need to borrow $100 million
over the next 10 years to repair and renovate facilities.
At the suggestion of board chair Lawrence Eppley, the trustees agreed
to form a task force to investigate energy consumption and conservation
measures for its buildings in consultation with UIC’s Energy
Also in FY07, students at Urbana will begin paying a $15 per semester
fee to establish an endowed Legacy of Service and Learning Scholarship,
a new and permanent source of need/merit-based assistance. The fund,
which was approved by the students in a referendum March 7-8, will
create a perpetual source of almost $40,000 in scholarship money annually.
By the 20th year, the endowment will approach $15 million and could
award more than $1 million in scholarships annually.
White and Richard Herman, Sylvia Manning and Richard Ringeisen, the
chancellors of the Urbana, Chicago and Springfield campuses, respectively,
presented overviews of the strategic plans for the university and the
Herman asked for the board’s guidance but said that increasing
enrollment and class sizes could jeopardize graduation rates and quality. “The
truth is we’ve always turned away people. To be pre-eminent carries
with it the cost of selectivity,” Herman said.
Eppley and Trustee Robert Sperling supported Herman’s view, and
Trustee David Dorris said: “The voices that want to restrict
to in-state students fail to realize that genius and greatness comes
from all corners of the state and all over the earth. We should restrict
students only by talent, excellence and desire to learn.”
The trustees unanimously approved a design proposal from Ratio Architects,
Champaign, for a 38,000-square-foot conference center to be built south
of Assembly Hall. Herman said the city of Champaign will give $3 million
toward the $11 million project. The trustees also awarded a $556,100
contract to renovate a laboratory complex at Roger Adams Laboratory
for two new faculty members who will begin work this fall, a $761,500
contract to upgrade fire alarms and high-rise sprinklers at Trelease
Hall by August, and contracts totaling more than $42 million for constructing
the College of Business Instructional Building, for which work will
begin in May 2006 with completion by May 2008.
Gene Robinson, professor of entomology, and Tim Kerestes, director
of operations and facilities for the Institute of Genomic Biology,
updated the board on the construction of the IGB, a 186,000-square-foot
facility that should be substantially completed by the end of July.
The facility has attracted $11.11 million in new funding and $3 million
in private foundation support.
The board approved resolutions honoring former President James J. Stukel
and awarding him the university’s Distinguished Service Medallion;
the late Thomas A. Murphy, former member of the UI Foundation Board
of Directors; and the Orange Krush student organization at Urbana,
which has raised $1 million for charity during the past seven years.
Eppley acknowledged Trustee Niranjan Shah, a 2006 Ellis Island Medal
of Honor recipient, an award honoring outstanding Americans who have
distinguished themselves as U.S. citizens; and Herman, who was named
to the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.