TBR approves tuition increase for 2013-14 academic...

TBR approves tuition increase for 2013-14 academic year

The Tennessee Board of Regents has approved maintenance fee/tuition recommendations at its universities and community colleges, including a total $348 increase for full-time students for the 2013-14 academic year at MTSU.

The decision will increase the undergraduate in-state tuition and program services fee at MTSU for 15 hours to $3,920 per semester from the 2012-13 rate of $3,746.

Students pass between the buildings on the east side of the MTSU campus, including the Business and Aerospace Building, the College of Education building, the new Student Union, the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building and the John Bragg Mass Communication Building. In the distance construction continues on the new Student Services Building and parking garage next to the Health, Wellness, and Recreation Center. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

On June 21, the TBR approved an earlier recommendation made by its Committee on Finance and Business Operations to increase maintenance fees/tuition at the system’s 19 community colleges and universities across the state.

Maintenance fee increases are lower this year than in the past two years and will not affect the Tennessee Technology Centers.

When combined with mandatory fees — which are unique to each campus and include fees for athletics and student activities — already approved, the proposed increases for students taking 15 credit hours will amount to:

  • $102 per year for community college students.
  • $72 per year at Tennessee State University.
  • $240 at Austin Peay State University.
  • $348 at MTSU.
  • $383 at Tennessee Technological University.
  • $432 at the University of Memphis.
  • $546 at East Tennessee State University.

“While we regret any increase in cost to students, we are grateful to be able to limit the extent of the increases this year thanks to additional state funding,” said TBR Chancellor John Morgan. “Our state leaders have recognized the critical role higher education plays in our state’s economic development.”

A complete list of maintenance fee/tuition and mandatory fee increases is available here.

The board said the increases in maintenance fees/tuition are needed to fund the portion of the mandated 1.5 percent salary increase for all state employees that was not funded through state appropriations and inflation cost increases in utilities and insurance. Most institutions also requested additional increases to fund efforts to support student success.

The board also approved an incentive compensation plan that would allow institution leaders to earn an annual payment tied to exemplary outcomes in performance, primarily related to the outcomes outlined in the state’s funding formula for public higher education. That formula identifies specific outcomes related to student success, including graduation and retention rates.

The plan allows institution leaders to qualify each year for an incentive payment of up to roughly 10 percent of their base salary. Base salaries for presidents and directors were capped at 90 percent of the average market salary for comparable positions in the Southeast.

In other new business, the TBR approved a slate of new programs, including several in high-demand workforce fields in Tennessee. Among them are a Bachelor of Science degree in mechatronics engineering at MTSU and a new Master of Arts degree in Appalachian studies at East Tennessee State University.

Newly approved Associate of Applied Science degree programs include:

  • Mechatronics Technology and  Information Systems Technology at Motlow State Community College.
  • Medical Informatics with a concentration in Healthcare IT Technician at Nashville State Community College.
  • Advanced Integrated Industrial Technology at Southwest Tennessee Community College.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant at Walters State Community College.
  • a collaborative Surgical Technology program through Walters State and Roane State Community Colleges.

New programs implemented at the Tennessee Technology Centers include:

  • a Health Information Technology program at Paris, Tenn.
  • a Health Information Technology program at Whiteville-Brownsville Campus.
  • a Machine Tool Technology Program and Industrial Electricity Program at Morristown-Greeneville Center.
  • an Industrial Maintenance Program with HVAC component at Oneida.
  • an Industrial Technology Education Program for dual enrollment at Ripley.
  • a Patient Care Technician Program and Industrial Maintenance Program at Knoxville-Strawberry Plains.
  • an Automotive Program for dual enrollment at Hartsville-Tri-County Vocational Center.
  • a Graphic Design and Web Development Technology at Murfreesboro.
  • a Health Science Program at the Pulaski-Spot Lowe Vocational Center at Marshall County High School.

During its quarterly meeting, the Board of Regents also heard a report on the planned name change for the state’s 27 Tennessee Technology Centers and satellite campuses. A bill introduced in the legislature and signed by Gov. Bill Haslam changes the name of the centers to Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology effective July 1.

“These various new programs reflect strong partnerships between our colleges and universities and the workforce needs of their surrounding communities,” Morgan said.

The TBR also re-elected Haslam as its chairman and selected Regent Emily Reynolds to serve as vice chairman. Reynolds has a long career of public service and was appointed to the TBR in 2010 to represent the at-large seat for Middle Tennessee.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is among the nation’s largest higher education systems, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities — including MTSU, its largest — and 13 two-year colleges and 27 technology centers, providing programs to more than 200,000 students across the state.