The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved an FY15 budget request to forward to Gov. Sean Parnell for consideration as well as the second-lowest tuition increase in 10 years, continuing a trend started in 2007 to moderate financial impacts to the UA System’s 33,000 students statewide.
The governing board for UA’s 16 campuses met on the UAA campus Wednesday.
By an 8-2 vote the board approved a $6 per credit increase for resident undergraduate (100-400 level) courses beginning in fall 2014. Resident graduate courses (500-600 level) will increase $12 per credit hour. The non-resident rate for both graduate and undergraduate courses will increase $12 per credit hour. Even with the increase, UAA tuition is among the lowest of public institutions in the 15 Western states.
Jarmyn Kramlich, a junior at the University of Alaska Southeast and president of the UAS student government, thanked the administration for keeping tuition as low as possible. “We recognize that tuition has to go up; it can’t be zero when other costs are going up,” Kramlich said.
UA President Pat Gamble noted the three university chancellors and system administration have worked very hard to reduce costs internally. “Tuition should be the last place we go when trying to balance the budget,” Gamble said.
The board also approved operating and capital budget requests for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014. The operating request totals $388 million in state general funds, with the university generating an additional $547 million through competitive federal research grants, tuition and fees, self-supporting auxiliary services, private donations and other sources.
Regents also endorsed the capital budget, at $319 million in state general funds plus an additional $84 million in university generated revenue. Deferred maintenance of existing facilities; finishing the two engineering buildings at UAA and UAF; a major upgrade of the UAF combined heat and power plant; and research specific to Alaska—including a digital mapping project and other initiatives–round out the capital request.