KNOXVILLE – The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees today approved a $1.861 billion budget for fiscal year 2012, reflecting a loss of stimulus funding, tuition increases at each campus and raises for faculty and staff for the first time in four years.
The state provided temporary stimulus funding for the prior two fiscal years to soften the reduction of state appropriations. For FY12, the University will receive $411.3 million in state appropriations, down 25 percent, or $138 million, from a year ago. Revenue from tuition fees is estimated at $488.4 million, marking the first time student fees have exceeded state appropriations.
Gov. Bill Haslam, attending the meeting as chair of the board, said higher education has been vulnerable to cuts in the state’s budget and all areas of the budget will be endangered while healthcare costs continue to increase.
“It’s a strong hope you won’t see those cuts in the future,” Haslam said.
The University has saved $45.8 million through efficiency measures based on more than 100 suggestions from employees statewide.
“We’re ready for this cliff. We have made adjustments,” UT President Joe DiPietro said. “Never is there a more important time for higher education and UT to be efficient and effective.”
The budget also included tuition increases for all campuses effective this fall:
- UT Chattanooga – 9.9 percent or $486 a year more for in-state undergraduates ($5,398 a year total) and $583 a year more for in-state graduate students ($6,473 a year total)
- UT Knoxville – 12 percent or $774 a year more for in-state undergraduates ($7,224 a year total) and $892 a year more for in-state graduates ($8,332 a year total)
- UT Martin – 9.9 percent or $508 a year more for in-state undergraduates ($5,640 a year total) and $606 a year more for in-state graduates ($6,726 a year total)
- UT Health Science Center – 15 percent for in-state and out-of-state tuition for most programs
- UT Veterinary Medicine – 6 percent or $1,099 a year more for in-state students and 4 percent or $1,664 a year more for out-of-state students
The tuition increases differed for each campus to address specific needs and individual institution missions. Overall, the increases will help offset higher operating costs and the decline in state appropriations and enable the University to fund employee pay increases for the first time since FY08.
“It’s not popular to raise tuition, but if you look at our state appropriations, it’s the only way to maintain our quality,” DiPietro said. “We did not take this lightly.”
The University is supplementing the 1.6 percent employee pay increase authorized by the state. Each campus and institute has worked out additional compensation increases based on merit, equity and other factors for faculty and staff.
Here is a breakdown of salary increases:
- UT Knoxville, Institute of Agriculture, Institute for Public Service and UT System: 2 percent across the board and 3 percent for merit/equity
- UT Health Science Center: 3 percent across the board and 2 percent for merit/equity
- UT Chattanooga, UT Martin: 3 percent across the board and 1 percent non-recurring merit pools
The board began the meeting by honoring outgoing trustees Sumeet Vaikunth, a student from the UT Health Science Center; Karen Johnson, a faculty member from UTHSC, and Jan Simek, who served UT as interim president prior to DiPietro’s election. The board resolved to remove interim from Simek’s former title, making him UT’s 24th president, and named him president emeritus.
Trustees elected Don C. Stansberry, Jr., as vice chair of the board. Stansberry was first appointed to the board in 2002 to represent the fourth district of Tennessee and previously served as vice chair from 2004-2006. He is an attorney, business advisor and real estate developer based in Huntsville, Tenn.
The board also approved the appointment of Larry Arrington as chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture. Arrington is professor of agricultural education and communication at the University of Florida, where he has worked since 1981. The Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; the UT College of Veterinary Medicine; UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers; and UT Extension with offices in all 95 Tennessee counties.
In other action, the board approved:
- Affiliation and services and employee services agreements between UT and the UT Foundation Inc. The foundation is a separately incorporated nonprofit organization that exists to receive, hold, invest, and administer private gifts and other private resources solely for the benefit of the University. The employee services agreement provides for the lease of University development and alumni affairs employees to UTFI.
- UT Knoxville strategic plan “VOL Vision 2015: The Pursuit of Top 25.” Vol Vision, UT Knoxville’s strategic plan, serves a roadmap for the campus on its journey to become a Top 25 public research university. The plan, which includes a new mission and vision statement, and lays out the campus’s five strategic priorities: retaining and graduating a diverse body of well-educated undergraduate students; producing increasing numbers of diverse graduate students; strengthening capacity and productivity in research, scholarship and creative activity; attracting and retaining stellar faculty and staff; continually improving the resource base.
- Revision of campus rules under the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act regarding student conduct. The code includes a uniform set of 29 standards of conduct along with various changes to other aspects of the student conduct rules for each campus. The board also approved revisions to the Honor Code at UTC and UTHSC.
- UT-Erlanger faculty practice plan. UTHSC will enter into an arrangement with Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga to establish a jointly managed faculty practice plan called UT-Erlanger Medical Group, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation.
- New admission requirements for all campuses. Starting with high school graduates of spring 2013, students seeking admission to UT must take more math and science classes, including three units of natural science instead of two.
- New admission requirements for UTC. Beginning fall 2012, the freshman admission standard will be raised from a 2.75 GPA to 2.85 GPA with an 18 ACT composite score or an 890 SAT composite score.
- Long range master plan for UT Knoxville. The master plan was last updated in 2001 and was revised to address enrollment growth and reflect the campus’ pursuit of the Top 25 goal.
- Diploma to commemorate the 125th anniversary of UTC. The diploma will be used for commencements in August 2011, December 2011 and May 2012.
- Extension of UTC regional tuition rate program for undergraduates and graduate student for 2011-12. The program was first approved in 2007 and allows students in certain northern Georgia and Alabama counties to attend UTC on a discounted out-of-state tuition rate.
- Proposal for a program of study leading to the doctor of social work at UT Knoxville, a part-time program for working professionals delivered primarily online.
- Merger of two departments in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The departments of Pathobiology and Comparative Medicine will become the Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences.
- A resolution on emeriti trustees, encouraging them to remain involved with the University by participating in advancement programs and attending board meetings. For emeriti trustees who served at least six years on the board, the University will help make available for purchase two tickets and a parking permit for individual home football games at Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin.
The FY12 budget document can be viewed online, starting at page 20, at http://bot.tennessee.edu/docs/062211_boardbook.pdf.
To view the meeting’s full agenda and materials, go to http://bot.tennessee.edu/.
The full board meeting was webcast live and will be archived for later viewing. For a link to the webcasts, go to www.tennessee.edu.