Students at the University of Arizona could face a base tuition and fee hike of 3 percent this fall and an $80 fee increase for libraries.
UA President Ann Weaver Hart's recommendations for the 2013-14 academic year were announced Friday morning. The Arizona Board of Regents will vote on the proposed plan when it meets April 4.
Tuition for UA undergrads who live in Arizona would go from $10,035 to $10,391. Other than the library fee increase, Hart did not recommend any other mandatory-fee increases.
Hart announced in December she anticipated tuition increases of up to 5 percent for the next several years unless legislators began restoring slashed funds.
The Legislature has cut about $400 million from the state university system since 2008, including more than $180 million in cuts to the UA alone. Adjusted for the Consumer Price Index, per-student funding for the UA is at its lowest level since 1967.
The UA's undergraduate-tuition rates increased by nearly 90 percent between 2008 and 2011.
Andrew Comrie, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, said the university looked at what it needed to do to maintain quality and cover costs without "putting too much on the backs of the students."
The tuition increase, if approved, would raise $10 million in extra revenue for the UA in terms of current students, Comrie said. It's anticipated the increase would raise $7 million from new students.
Another $34.3 million will be added to the university's overall budget of $1.7 billion next year with an estimated $11.1 million coming from the state, $8 million from the College of Medicine in Phoenix and the rest from cost savings and re-allocations, Comrie said.
The additional funds will help support the college's growing enrollment, help recruit and retain faculty, support research and pay for long-deferred building improvements - improvements Comrie called "critical life and safety issues."
J.C. Mutchler, executive director and vice president of the executive office of the president, said he is hopeful the regents will approve the plan, noting it has always done as much as it can to support the university.
Although the university is asking a lot from its students, it should be noted the university is matching their investment, Mutchler said.
Rick Myers, Arizona Board of Regents chairman, said in a news release he was "extremely encouraged" by the universities' proposals.
"As a result of an improved state budget outlook, and the presidents' sound fiscal planning and use of greater operating efficiencies, we are able to hold the line with modest tuition increases," Myers said.
Zach Brooks, president of the Graduate Professional Student Council at the UA, said that obviously no increase would have been preferable, but the recommended increase is a "pretty decent compromise."
UA students have experienced tuition hikes in 25 of the past 27 years. Tuition for in-state undergraduates was frozen last year for the first time in two decades.
For main campus (tuition, fees)
The Arizona Board of Regents will conduct a public, interactive meeting on the proposed tuition increase from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., March 27 at the Gallagher Theater in the Student Union Memorial Center. Comments can also be e-mailed to the board at email@example.com.
At the UA Sierra Vista campus, the hearing will be held in the Academic Technology Building, Room B153.
Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or firstname.lastname@example.org