Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Lobo The Independent Voice of UNM since 1895
Latest Issue
Read our print edition on Issuu

Tuition quietly raised 4.3 percent

One year after student protests, regents enjoy tranquil rate meeting

A year after heated clashes between 50 student protesters and regents over tuition increases, the Board of Regents approved a 4.3 percent tuition and fees increase Tuesday during a relatively quiet meeting.

Officers from the Albuquerque Police Department mounted division were in place to settle any confrontations, but the only action they saw were curious glances from students going to classes.

Regent Sandra Begay-Campbell praised administrators' and student government leaders' efforts to inform students about the changes, avoiding another uncomfortable tuition standoff.

"I think a lot of people worked hard to make sure that a complicated process was much presented very clearly and that students felt like they had a voice," she said.

The regents approved University administrators' recommended increases, which include a 4.3 percent increase for resident undergraduate and graduate students, a 10 percent increase for resident law students and a 5 percent increase for all medical students. Medical students are the only nonresidents facing a tuition increase.

The increase was the seventh in as many years, raising rates by 48 percent to $3,157 for undergraduate residents.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox

The tuition plan is contingent on the University receiving one of two anticipated appropriations from the Legislature. Administrators are hoping that the Legislature's proposed budget that was vetoed by Gov. Gary Johnson is used because it adds funding for students that were not accounted for last year. The tuition increases also are set if the governor's plan to run on last year's allocations is implemented.

"We are in sort of a unique position because we don't know what our appropriation will be, but we thought it was important to bring action before the board because by the time an appropriation is made, students and faculty would have left for the summer," said Julie Weaks, vice president for Business and Finance. "We wanted them to be involved and aware of the process."

The downside of the relatively low tuition increase for faculty and staff is that the only salary and compensation increases for next year are marked for those making $25,000 or less. UNM also would increase its minimum full-time staff salary to $7 per hour. The changes would affect about 3,200 employees.

Faculty Senate President John Geissman was the lone voice of dissent during the meeting

"At a time when it is perfectly clear that faculty's take-home pay will be decreased, the faculty are totally perplexed - and that's the nicest term I could use to describe our sentiments - by the action the University has used with the process of identifying UNM's next big fish," he said.

Geissman was referring to the $500,000 salary that was recently offered to the new men's basketball coach Ritchie McKay. His concerns about soaring health insurance costs were echoed by Staff Council President James Herrera. The regents never responded to their concerns.

Under the new tuition plan, undergraduate tuition raises to $3,157, which is a $131 increase. Out-of-state undergraduates would continue paying $11,424 to prevent losing more nonresident students who might opt to attend other regional schools with comparable tuition rates. Graduate student residents will pay $3,485, which is a $144 increase, while their nonresident peers continue paying $11,777.

Resident law students face a 10 percent increase, which means they will pay $6,098 - a $554 increase. Nonresident law students will continue paying $18,559. Law tuition increases are higher than others because of an agreement between the law dean and provost during the past four years that would allow the rates to climb so that the revenue can be used to fund law school projects, including renovation.

Resident medical students will pay $9,466, or $451 more, while out-of-state students will dole out $27,135, a $1,292 increase.

"Diversity coming from foreign and out-of-state students is important to us," Weaks said. "Increases over the years have gotten us to the point where we're not competitive with our peers anymore, so we will hold rates for those students as described."

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Lobo