Board of Control Approves Budget and Tuition Increases, Accelerates Strategic Initiatives
June 19, 2008—
Michigan Technological University's Board of Control approved a fiscal year 2009 budget June 19 extending key initiatives in its strategic plan.
The Board approved a general fund budget of $146 million for the new fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2008, and a total spending plan of $231 million.
The budget's top priority is a $3.4 million total increase in the salary pool, or 4 percent. Of that, 3 percent will be allocated to the units and 1 percent will be held back centrally to address merit, equity and marketplace issues. Wages for union members will be negotiated. In addition, the budget projects a $1.4 million increase in fringe benefits costs, for a total compensation increase of $4.8 million.
Other priorities receiving funding are filling faculty positions, the ongoing Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative (SFHI) and increasing financial aid, as well as enhanced campus safety measures. The SFHI calls for adding 10 faculty positions each year in areas central to the University's strategic direction and mission.
Also approved by the Board of Control was an 8.2 percent increase in undergraduate tuition and fees, along with a 5.8 percent increase in room and board rates.
Tuition and fees for incoming freshmen will increase $805, from 9,828 to $10,633.
The Board also approved a new Experience Tech fee of $64 per semester, which provides students with free access to Mont Ripley Ski Hill, the Portage Lake Golf Course, the Gates Tennis Center, Department of Visual and Performing Arts performances, hockey games and participation in intramural sports. Experience Tech, a student-led initiative, was supported by a large majority of the over 3,000 students who completed an online survey.
Les Cook, vice president for student affairs, called Experience Tech "an opportunity for students to experience the many things that make Michigan Tech so special."
Room and board increases will range from $396 to $547, with total rates ranging from $7,216 to $9,971 for the academic year, depending on the room and meal plan selected by the student.
"I am delighted with the Board’s commitment to fund the strategic plan while insuring that Michigan Tech remains an exceptional value," commented President Glenn D. Mroz. "Our goal is to become a world-class research university, and this budget funds initiatives that will propel our strategic growth. At the same time, the Board is mindful of the need to provide our students with an outstanding education at a reasonable price."
Dr. Kathryn I. Clark, Board of Control chair, affirmed the Board's commitment. "We are seeing tremendous progress in moving Michigan Tech toward premier status among technological universities, and we will continue to fund the strategic plan. I believe we have done well to enhance the quality of our programs in the face of declining state support. Michigan Tech is a remarkable value," said Clark.
State funding levels have dropped precipitously in recent years. Since 2002, state appropriations to Michigan Tech are down over 14 percent, including a cut of $8 million between 2002 and 2004. Like all colleges and universities, Michigan Tech is experiencing strong cost increases in such necessities as energy and food. These cost pressures, coupled with reduced funding due to Michigan’s economic downturn, prompt tuition increases.
"We are instituting new cost containment measures while improving the education we deliver to students," said Mroz. "Tuition increases are inevitable, but the payoff of a Michigan Tech education is sizable. Demand for our graduates by employers is greater than ever before."
In other business, the Board
* elected Russell A. Gronevelt as chair and Martha Richardson as vice chair, to take office at the first meeting of the new fiscal year.
* appointed Daniel R. Fuhrmann a professor with tenure in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He will chair the department.
Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.