University trustees approved a 4.8 percent increase in the guaranteed, four-year tuition rate — which equates to a 1.9 percent increase per year — for incoming students in fall 2012.
The state’s guaranteed tuition law locks in rates for new students for four years, said Walter Knorr, university vice president and chief financial officer.
“We are proposing an increase in tuition that’s no more, no less than the rate of inflation,” Knorr said during the Jan. 19 meeting at UIC.
“But in the back of our minds, we have to know that we have a state situation that’s very precarious.”
The increase was in line with the Higher Education Price Index – a measure of the inflation rate – which rose to 1.9 percent this year, Knorr said.
Tuition for in-state students at the Urbana campus will rise by $266 to $5,818 per semester. Tuition for in-state UIC students will increase by $234 per semester to $5,116, and UIS in-state students will pay $4,545 each semester, an increase of $210.
University President Michael J. Hogan said tuition increases have been on the decline – from 9.5 percent two years ago to less than 5 percent for next fall’s new students.
UIC student trustee Kenneth Thomas cast his vote against the increase.
“We are citing a concern about the financial aid gap,” UIC student trustee Kenneth Thomas said.
“We know every year financial aid goes up, but we’re concerned about the gap between financial aid and tuition getting too wide.”
Knorr said he estimates that federal and state-funded financial aid programs, combined with supplemental financial aid provided by the university, will likely rise from about $183 million to $191 million.
At UIC, about 40 percent of students pay the “sticker price,” Knorr said, but 42 percent receive enough scholarships and aid that they don’t pay anything.
Concerns about financial aid and affordability were raised by administrators and trustees at the board’s public retreat Jan. 18.
An analysis presented by Avijit Ghosh, a special assistant to the president and a professor of business administration, showed that enrollment yield — the number of students admitted who actually enroll — has fallen below peer universities at Urbana and UIC.
“There is a general feeling that the financial aid packages we are offering might not be attracting a number of students we want to admit,” Ghosh said.
“This year, the chancellors and I have put a strong emphasis on trying to increase our financial aid,” Hogan said, mentioning Access Illinois, a three-year campaign to raise money for scholarships he announced in June with the UI Foundation.
“That’s the only way we’ll be able to keep pace,” he said.
Student fees will increase by $5 at Urbana to $1,441, by $3 per semester at UIC to $1,452, and $18.50 per semester at UIS to $891.50.
Housing costs, based on a standard double room and meal plan, will increase $118 per semester at Urbana, by $99 per semester at UIC, and by $100 at UIS.
In other business:
- Trustees re-elected Christopher G. Kennedy as chairman during the annual election of officers.
“Our current chair has demonstrated very clearly that he is devoted to the interests of the university,” said trustee James Montgomery. “We are privileged that he is willing to serve yet another year.”
Trustees Edward McMillan and Pamela Strobel were re-elected to serve with Kennedy on the board’s executive committee.
- The Chicago Rooms in Student Center West, the conference rooms that house board meetings when they’re held on the UIC campus, were designated the Michele M. Thompson Conference Rooms A, B and C in honor of the board secretary, who is retiring after 35 years at the university.
“Dr. Thompson will be remembered for her consummate graciousness and generosity — in patience, spirit and dedication to the well-being of the University of Illinois,” the resolution states.
- Donald Chambers, the chairman of the University Senates Conference, addressed an investigative report completed after Hogan’s former chief of staff, Lisa Troyer, was accused of sending anonymous emails to members of the senates conference about an enrollment-management initiative.
The report, conducted by Jones Day and Duff & Phelps, concluded that the emails were composed and sent from Troyer’s university laptop and that there was no evidence that anyone else knew Troyer had sent the emails.
Troyer resigned from her administrative position Jan. 4.
“Ethical conduct means more than legal conduct,” said Chambers, a UIC professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics and of physiology and biophysics.
“Leaders must accept responsibility for what happens on their watch, even if they may not have personally directed or approved it.”
- Two trustees voted against the board’s appointment of Timothy Beckman as Urbana’s new football coach, saying the university should continue its search in an effort to increase diversity.
Trustee Lawrence Oliver said the Urbana-Champaign campus has never had an African-American head football or basketball coach.
The university did interview two African-American candidates for the position during the search last month, Oliver said, offering a contract to one, who turned it down.
“We have to increase our efforts,” Oliver said. “Making an opening offer for a hot African-American coaching prospect is not enough.
“There are times when one candidate is head and shoulders above the rest, and this is not the case here. This is a missed opportunity.”
Trustee Montgomery agreed and also voted against Beckman’s appointment.
Beckman was the head football coach at the University of Toledo. His contract will expire Jan. 31, 2017.