KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved today a $1.9 billion budget for fiscal year 2011 which includes the final year of federal stimulus funding and a 9 percent tuition increase at the Knoxville, Martin and Chattanooga campuses.
The trustees first considered tuition increases of 8.5 percent, with several members recognizing the need to add dollars to academic units to protect availability of courses and preserve students’ ability to complete their degree in a timely manner.
Much of the new revenue will cover increases in operating costs and help prepare for the looming reductions to recurring state funds for fiscal year 2012. The university system faces a $24.2 million cut in state appropriations this year. The three-year cumulative cut of $110 million or nearly 22 percent of state funding will be in implemented once stimulus funds expire on June 30, 2011.
Leaders of each campus detailed their plans for implementing the unprecedented reductions, which began in 2008 as sales tax collections plummeted due to economic downturn.
“These increases will comprise essentially additional cuts to our base budget if we don’t do something to try to mitigate them this year. The increase will also give us a little bit of flexibility as we draw down the stimulus money to deal with the needs that arrive at the end for that funding, as we formulate how we do business. And make no mistake, we are reformulating how we do business,” Simek said.
“We will not be the same institution in 2012 that we were in 2008, but we have planned for this and we have positioned ourselves very well.”
Tuition increases which take effect this fall will be:
- UT Knoxville – 9 percent or $534 a year for in-state undergraduates ($6452 a year) and $616 a year for in-state graduate students ($7442 a year)
- UT Chattanooga – 9 percent or $407 a year for in-state undergraduates ($4913 a year) and $487 a year for in-state graduate students ($5891 a year)
- UT Martin – 9 percent or $424 a year for in-state undergraduates ($5132 a year) and $506 a year for in-state graduate students ($6120 a year)
- UT Health Science Center – 10 percent for in-state and out-of-state tuition for most programs, with several programs that have exceptions.
- UT Veterinary Medicine – 5 percent or $872 more a year for in-state and $1,980 a year for out of state.
At their March meeting, trustees approved a plan to implement differential tuition for UT Knoxville’s College of Business Administration, College of Engineering and College of Nursing, which also take effect this fall.
Chancellor Cheek pointed to increases in enrollment, significant demand for the programs and the employment of graduates into well-paying jobs. Students in business would pay an average of $1,000 a year for their second, third and fourth years. Students in engineering will pay an average of $680 a year, for all four years. Students in nursing will pay an additional $2,700 a year, but only during their junior and senior years.
The UT system received $196.3 million in federal stimulus funds to restore the campus’ operating budgets and address capital needs. The funds must be spent by June 30, 2011.
Along with statewide efficiency efforts and other consolidations, officials project that as many as 692 positions will be eliminated across the state to implement the reduction. At this time, 55 of those positions involve current employees who could be subject to reduction in force by June 30, 2011.
For a breakdown of the funding and the overall budget, go to http://bot.tennessee.edu/docs/FY_2011_Budget.pdf.