No vote Because of high public interest - and high attendance - the first portion of the Nov. 13 UI Board of Trustees meeting was moved to illini Rooms A, B and C in the Illini Union. The resolution to retire Chief Illiniwek was withdrawn by trustee Frances Carroll. the issue will be addressed at the next Urbana trustees meeting in march. Pictured, Roger Huddleston addresses the board during the public comment session.
Photo by Bill Wiegand
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Current UI students who are Illinois residents will see their tuition increase by $223 per semester at Urbana, by $196 per semester at Chicago and by $138 per semester at Springfield next year, according to proposals passed by the UI Board of Trustees Nov. 13.
At their meeting in Urbana, the trustees approved general tuition increases of 8 percent for all continuing students and guaranteed rates for new undergraduates at the three campuses beginning July 1.
In presenting the tuition proposals to the board, Chester Gardner, university vice president for academic affairs, said the university needs at least $52 million in FY05 to refurbish academic programming, provide an adequate salary program for faculty and staff members and meet unavoidable costs. If state support diminishes further next year, internal reallocations may be necessary as well, Gardner said.
The 8 percent tuition increase will generate about $25 million in revenue, a portion of which will be earmarked for additional financial aid. In FY04, the university supplemented MAP grants for needy students by more than $14.9 million and plans to increase that to $19.1 million in FY05.
Approximately half of the tuition revenues will be used to restore classes and teaching positions that were eliminated in FY04 because of diminished state appropriations, including 480 course sections, approximately 80 faculty positions, 160 teaching assistants and 40 instructor/lecturer positions. About $9.4 million of the funds will go toward faculty and staff salary improvements, which Gardner said are a priority next year, and about $3.7 million for unavoidable expenses such as Medicare payments, energy costs, union wage increases and liability insurance.
The trustees also approved a guaranteed tuition rate of $3,230 for incoming freshman and transfer students under the Guaranteed Tuition Plan, a program being implemented in compliance with the state’s “truth in tuition” act. The act, which takes effect with the 2004-05 academic year, mandates that public universities charge new undergraduates the same tuition for four consecutive academic years and guarantee not to increase it to ensure cost predictability for undergraduate students and their families. New students in FY05 will pay guaranteed tuition rates of $2,841 at Chicago and $2,001 per semester at Springfield.
The law does not apply to current undergraduate students, to non-degree undergraduate programs, room and board charges, mandatory fees or graduate programs. However, the guarantee does extend to cover the normal enrollment periods for programs that require more than four years’ attendance. UI has chosen to include transfer students as well as incoming freshmen in its program. Transfer students’ four-year guarantee period will begin with their initial enrollment in a degree program at one of the three Illinois campuses.
Gardner said that under the new law the university is exposed to some risk because administrators must estimate academic program needs, inflationary cost increases and levels of state support for the next four years and make a one-time adjustment in tuition that they hope will cover those costs.
“If we aren’t accurate and set tuition too low, we will have to make adjustments in the guaranteed and the non-guaranteed tuition in the future,” Gardner said.
A trend of diminishing state appropriations between FY90 and FY04 generated $350 million less income for the university and is forcing it to rely more on tuition revenue. The 8 percent increase nears the limit of what students and their families can be expected to bear, Gardner said.
In their fifth and subsequent years students would pay the non-guaranteed tuition rate. The tuition rates also are equalized so that during the first two years students with the guarantee pay more than students who do not have a guaranteed rate and the guaranteed rate is actually less than the nonguaranteed rate during the third and fourth years, Gardner said.
Approximately 40 meetings were held at the three campuses during the fall semester to confer with students about the tuition changes, Gardner said.
Board Chair Lawrence Eppley noted that the guaranteed rates reflected smaller changes than tuition increases have been historically.
The trustees also voted to increase or implement tuition differentials for students in engineering, nursing and art and architecture at the Chicago campus and for new students in chemical/life science at Urbana next year. The trustees also approved increases in housing rates, student fees and tuition for aviation courses, the executive MBA program and other cost-recovery graduate programs.
Many spectators, reporters and protesters who flocked to the meeting anticipating a decision on the fate of Chief Illiniwek appeared to be disappointed when trustee Frances Carroll withdrew her proposal to retire the Chief.
To accommodate the unusually large audience, the trustees met in the Illini Rooms at the Illini Union instead of the Pine Lounge for the public comment portion of the meeting. After hearing from speakers who opposed and others who supported the resolution, Carroll announced that she was withdrawing the resolution when Eppley called upon her to present it for discussion.
“At this time, in reviewing the agenda and in sensitivity to my esteemed colleagues and their concern for the short notice provided them and the public, I have chosen to protect my motion by withdrawing the resolution and agenda item and to refile it at the July meeting,” Carroll said.
Later in the day, after conferring with students, Carroll asked that the resolution be addressed at the March meeting instead when more students would be on campus.
The resolution called for the honorable retirement of the Chief. While the resolution supported retaining the Fighting Illini name for the athletic teams at Urbana, it indicated that the university would discontinue using the Chief’s graphic image and would discourage others’ use of it as well.
Eppley said he would not force a vote on the matter because board members concurred with Carroll’s decision.
“It’s unfortunate that we could not vote today,” Eppley said. “There’s one resolution that is in existence of this board, (and) that’s in support of the Chief. Until that’s overturned, that is the position of the board. I think that Trustee Carroll, in her earnest attempt to put the issue to the board, found that there’s such a great divide that it makes it extremely difficult to deal with this issue in any manner of due process. Given her request to withdraw the motion, given the shortness of time with which it was put on the agenda, I’ll accept her request to withdraw.”
Eppley said that opinions on the issue are polarized and that it might be helpful to educate people on others’ perspectives.
In a written statement, Chancellor Nancy Cantor said that she found the delay “troubling” and that she was “concerned about our ability to move forward with programs that depend upon an inclusive atmosphere within the university. The future of initiatives on integration and inter-group dialogue and the recruiting of diverse faculty, students and staff hang in the balance.” Cantor also urged the campus community to strive for unity and cooperation despite personal beliefs on the issue.
In other business
The trustees reviewed and approved schematic designs for the New Student Recreation Facility that is slated for construction on the east campus at Chicago. Construction of the $23 million facility is expected to begin in October 2004 with completion by December 2005.
The trustees awarded a contract to Accenture LLP to conduct a detailed review of the university’s commodities purchases and develop strategies for cost reductions. Pursuant to the trustees’ March 13 directive to identify areas for cost containment and service improvements, staff found approximately $140 million in commodities where the university might take advantage of volume discounts, Vice President Stephen Rugg said. Accenture will be directed to confirm those estimated savings and devise strategies that will recoup a minimum of 10 percent or $14 million.
The board approved a proposal to increase the budget for the central chilled water system at Chicago from $12 million to $14 million so the project can be expanded to furnish air conditioning to the west side residence halls, the student union, the recreation facility and other buildings.
The board approved establishing the Liautaud Graduate School of Business within the College of Business Administration at Chicago in recognition of a $5 million gift by the Liautaud family.
President James Stukel read a statement memorializing Sen. Stanley Weaver, who died Nov. 11. The board also observed a moment of silence in honor of Weaver, whom Stukel characterized as a great friend and protector of the university.
The board approved revisions to the Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan. The optional 403b retirement funds portfolio will be streamlined to increase cost-effectiveness and responsiveness while ensuring availability of a diverse, competitive array of funds for investors. Fidelity and TIAA-CREF will be retained as vendors while American Century, INB and MetLife will be discontinued effective April 1, 2004.
Vice President David Chicoine reported on the university’s technology commercialization activities during the first quarter of FY04, which brought the university royalties and income of $530,000 at Chicago and $427,557 at Urbana. At Urbana, six new licenses with start-up companies were completed in the first quarter.
Before the board approved the purchases, trustee Naranjan Shah amended the request for a four-year contract with GE Medical Systems at $5.7 million to a one-year contract at $1.1 million. Shah also asked that staff provide more background information and detail with proposals to help board members make informed decisions.
The trustees passed resolutions honoring Urbana campus professors Carl Woese, recipient of the Crafoord Prize in Biosciences, and Nobel Prize winners Anthony Leggett and Paul Lauterbur. The board also approved awarding honorary doctoral degrees to eight people at the May 16 commencement in Urbana.
The Expanded Child Development Laboratory at Urbana was redesignated the Early Child Development Laboratory to more accurately reflect the facility’s purpose and clientele.