East Carolina University’s Board of Trustees (BOT) Finance and Facilities Committee met Thursday to speak on budget, mandatory fees and tuition increases.
The BOT members on the Finance and Facilities Committee are Jason Poole, Leigh Fanning, Angela Moss and Vince Smith. All were present at Thursday’s meeting.
Tuition revenue is estimated to be down $5.3 million compared to previous years, according to the PowerPoint presentation read by BOT member Leigh Fanning. Board members expect to have a better sense of tuition revenue after billing for the spring 2020 semester is calculated from students, according to the BOT presentation.
The presentation said tuition on campus has not been raised in four years. A 3% cap on mandatory fees is in place, bringing them up to $78. Nonresident undergraduate tuition increases are allowed.
The proposed tuition increase is 3%, making tuition $134 more per academic year for incoming undergraduate students. No increase was proposed for undergraduate nonresidents, graduate residents, or graduate nonresidents. The increase would bring tuition from its current rate of $4,452 to $4,586, according to the presentation.
The presentation said the College of Business has proposed an annual increase of $450 per academic year for its Master of Business Administration and Master of Accounting programs based on 18 annual credit hours. The Master of Science in Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality degree program has proposed a new tuition differential of $2,700 per academic year.
This annual increase proposed by the MBA/MSA and MS-STH programs would bring an estimated $347,500 in revenue, which would be put towards student scholarships, assistantships, and support for operations, promotions and marketing. The Masters of Science in Athletic Training has requested a $2,280 annual increase, which would generate $68,400 in revenue, according to the presentation.
The athletics department has proposed a $50 increase, which would generate $1,025,000 in revenue. The education and technology fee would be a $10 increase, generating $250,000 in revenue. The student centers operation would see a $17 increase, generating $348,500 in revenue. The student center’s fee increase would be used for operational costs, including support for personnel, according to the presentation.
“I would say generally that students supported what they saw as necessary expenses, but expressed concern about the sustainability of the athletics budget,” Colin Johnson, SGA president, said.
The presentation also showed housing, dining and parking departments increasing fees.
Housing proposed a 3% increase for renovated residence halls and hourly rate increase for student workers. Dining proposed a 2.23% increase for on campus meal plans, and a 5.31% increase for off campus meal plans; which would benefit employees and the new student center operations. Parking proposed a 2% increase for all parking permits, with the exception of the garage fees.
The OneCard office proposed a 5$ increase to the card replacement fee, which would generate $10,000 per year in revenue to support new options to link bank accounts to the 1card, use it was a voter ID, and upgrade card reader technology, the presentation said.
As Johnson stated, SGA supported all tuition and fee proposals, with the exception of athletics and housing. The tuition and fee committee supported all tuition and fee proposals, and Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson supported the tuition and fee recommendations.
The motion to approve all fee and tuition proposals was passed.
A motion to increase project authorization for the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center was brought up. An increase of $265,000 was proposed to repair and renovate the first-floor fire sprinklers among other issues. The motion was passed.
The BOT wrapped up their meeting by discussing construction projects across ECU’s campus and mentioning estimated finishing and start dates.