For the first time in more than two decades, in-state U. of I. freshmen will see no tuition increase next fall, after university trustees approved tuition and housing rates Jan. 15 at their meeting on the UIC campus.
Tuition for in-state freshmen next fall will remain $12,036 per year at the Urbana campus, $10,584 at UIC and $9,405 at UIS.
"We want to remain competitive with peer institutions, and our top priority is to ensure access," said Christophe Pierre, the university vice president for academic affairs.
Tuition rates for nonresident freshmen and graduate and professional students will increase about 2 percent, "modest, inflation-related increases," Pierre said.
"It's a tremendous move on behalf of students and their parents," trustee Ricardo Estrada said. "It signifies a commitment to being even more judicious and efficient in the way we use our resources."
Under the state's guaranteed tuition law, passed in 2004, tuition rates are fixed for four years (the time required to complete most undergraduate degree programs).
"That's very unique and a huge piece of the puzzle," trustee Timothy Koritz said. "It's state law, and it's a wonderful idea because it helps families plan a budget to send their kids to school."
Student fees and housing rates will increase slightly next fall. At Urbana, student fees will increase $34 (1.1 percent) per year to $3,018 per year, with fees rising $30 (1 percent) at UIC and $46 (2.3 percent) at UIS. Student fees fund campus recreational facilities, student centers, career services, athletics, counseling centers and libraries. They also help pay for facility maintenance, renovations and utilities.
Undergraduate housing costs, based on the standard two-student room and 14-meal plan, at Urbana will rise $152 (1.5 percent) per year to $10,332. UIC's housing rates will increase $210 (2 percent) to $10,728 each year, while rates at UIS will rise $50 (0.5 percent) to $10,700 per year.
- Trustees elected trustee Edward McMillan as chair during the annual election of officers. He succeeds Christopher Kennedy, whose term ended Jan. 19. Gov. Bruce Rauner will appoint trustees to replace Kennedy and Pamela Strobel, whose term also expired last month.
McMillan, a U. of I. alumnus and national leader in agribusiness, has served on the board since 2009.
“I’ve seen first-hand how the university’s academic programs transform the lives of students and how its research discovery leads the way to progress and economic growth,” he said. “Our board is committed to building on its rich legacy of excellence and extending its service to society for generations to come.”
Trustees James Montgomery and Karen Hasara were elected to serve with McMillan on the board’s executive committee.
- The board re-elected Thomas Bearrows, university legal counsel; Susan Kies, secretary; Walter Knorr, comptroller; and Lester McKeever Jr., treasurer.
The board approved the Urbana campus’s nominations for honorary degrees.
Degrees of doctor of science will be bestowed upon Risa J. Lavizzo-Mourey, the president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Ralph J. Cicerone, the president of the National Academy of Sciences and the chairman of the National Research Council. Timothy Nugent, the director emeritus of the Urbana campus’s Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services, will be awarded an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.
Lavizzo-Mourey also has agreed to serve as commencement speaker this spring.
- The board made a final statement on the Steven Salaita matter, referencing the trustees’ 8-1 vote in September to not approve the appointment of Salaita in the Urbana campus’s American Indian Studies Program.
The board issued its most recent and apparently final statement on the issue after “recent media accounts … may have given the mistaken impression that the decision regarding Dr. Salaita might be reconsidered.
“It will not.”
Salaita’s lawyers filed a federal lawsuit Jan. 29 regarding the matter.
Mike Helenthal, assistant editor for Inside Illinois, contributed to this article.