By Craig Chamberlain Tuition surcharges such as those approved a couple years ago for undergraduate programs in three colleges eventually should be phased out, according to a report approved Monday by the Urbana- Champaign Senate. New surcharges should not be implemented, the report said, except in very limited circumstances and as a measure of almost-last resort. In 1992 and 1993, the UI Board of Trustees approved tuition surcharge proposals from the colleges of Engineering, Fine and Applied Arts, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. The surcharges, applied to students in specific programs or in the college as a whole, were justified on the basis of exceptional need and evidence that the quality of the programs in question was seriously threatened. In the spring of 1994, the Senate Council formed a committee to develop recommendations for the use and future of tuition surcharges. Its report, issued in May, was reviewed by various senate committees, revised, and then approved by the Senate Council for a vote by the full senate Monday. Except for comments from Roland Liebert, who chaired a coordinating group that presented the final proposal, there was no discussion in Monday's meeting. The measure passed by a unanimous voice vote. While never questioning the need for additional money that justified the tuition surcharges, the report notes that "there are a number of troubling philosophical and operational issues that accompany currently authorized surcharges. The university has, with good reason, traditionally held to the principle of supporting instructional facilities and operations mainly out of the general university budget." The report acknowledges "the reality of urgent but unmet instructional needs" that "may compel movement away from the concept of shared educational resources." Even when that is the case, however, the report suggests the use instead of other special funding mechanisms on a limited basis. One suggested possibility: course-specific lab fees, if and when it becomes possible to assess them. The report also includes policy on the use of currently authorized surcharge funds, most of it related to making sure those funds are used for the intended purpose. "Currently authorized surcharge funds should be used almost exclusively for the benefit of students paying the surcharge."