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More budget cuts, tuition hikes: despite signs of recovery, schools bleed. (Update).

Not long after our March issue (covering the effects of a recessionary economy in higher education) hit the streets, the government reported signs that a recovery appeared to be under way, and that, perhaps, the recession wasn't as bad as was originally thought. But even as economists tried to sound an optimistic note, colleges and universities across the nation continued to report their economic woes, and have proposed some dramatic measures to address budget shortfalls.

Here's a sampling of what's been happening at IHEs in recent weeks:

* Fall tuition increases of 25 percent have been proposed for the Kansas state university system--the highest in 30 years.

* North Carolina's community college system could be hit by a 10 percent state funding cut, even as it faces record enrollments. Summer school classes will likely be the first casualty.

* University of Wyoming student fees will increase 19 percent in the coming school year. Meal rates for residents will climb 5.9 percent and apartment rental fees could increase by 9 percent.

* Virginia Tech plans to eliminate more than 200 faculty, staff, administrative, and graduate teaching positions next year to offset $25 million in cuts for 2002-2003.

* Virginia Tech and Radford University (VA) both approved 9 percent tuition/fee increases in March.

* The University of Wisconsin system will have to absorb $108 million in cuts to offset the state's $1.1 billion deficit. "The UW system is down to the bone," UW-Milwaukee Provost John Wanat told reporters. "What we've got at this campus and other campuses is people working very hard with few resources."

* Western New Mexico University's Board of Regents voted unanimously to raise tuition and fees 6.5 percent this fall for full-time in-state undergraduates. Non-residents will pay almost 9 percent more.

* Faced with $21 million in budget cuts, the University of Washington has proposed a 16 percent tuition hike, its largest increase since 1985.

* James Madison University (VA) will raise tuition and fees 4.7 percent next fall to offset the $4.7 million cut from the school's budget this year. Similar increases will be necessary next year to meet the $7.3 million in cuts proposed for the school's 2003-2004 budget.

* George Mason University (VA) has raised tuition and fees 16.5 percent for in-state students.

* Southern Utah University will raise tuition 9 percent in the fall. Six other Utah schools are increasing tuition rates by up to 15 percent.

* Ball State University (IN) will raise summer session fees by 10 percent. President Blaine Brownell said the increase would help the school meet "basic needs."

* The state of Indiana has cut more than $100 million in technology funding from Indiana state colleges and universities. Schools must now either add technology fees to student bills or increase existing fees.

* Ohio State University will raise tuition 19 percent for new in-state students and 9 percent for returning students, beginning this summer. OSU had proposed a 34 percent increase in February, but lawmakers threatened to reinstate a tuition increase cap that was lifted last year when the state refused to increase the higher education budget. The school plans to continue raising fees by 9 percent for the next two to three years.
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Author:Goral, Tim
Publication:University Business
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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