By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer
As it has every year for the last decade, the University of Toledo’s board of trustees approved a budget yesterday that raises tuition for students.
Beginning in the fall, undergraduates will pay 4.6 per cent more than they did last year, an increase several trustees criticized as too small.
UT President Frank Horton said the tuition increase was $210 per term below the assumptions made by the Ohio Board of Regents. “We are not up to the OBOR levels,” he said, “but we think this is a good balance.”
Officials said not raising tuition to those levels will cost the university $4 million a year in lost revenue, and some said the cost to students should be even higher.
“If our budget comes back at the end of the year unbalanced, this loss will hurt us for years to come,” said trustee Ronald Langenderfer.
Nationwide, college tuition has outstripped inflation since the 1970s. This year, every four-year public university in Ohio is raising tuition more than the inflation rate.
The largest increase is at Miami University, where tuition is being raised 6 per cent.
Had UT’s tuition increased only at the rate of inflation – that is, the average rate of all other consumer goods – next year’s tuition and fees would be nearly $800 less than today’s.
The budget projects a $10.7 million increase in revenue, more than half of it from tuition increases. It assumes a 3 per cent decline in enrollment, in part because of the university’s switch this fall from a quarter system to a semester system.
Since semesters are longer and more costly than quarters, many students crammed in their work before the switch. As a result, May’s commencement was the largest in UT history, with 3,312 students graduating.
The $188 million budget is projected to balance. It invests $1.2 million in computers for student use and $1.5 million in scholarships. Nearly all employees will receive 4 per cent raises, including administrators, campus police, and clerical workers.
Dr. Horton’s salary will be determined separately from budget negotiations, but he is contractually guaranteed an annual raise equal to or greater than what the university’s employees receive.
He makes $174,408 a year and receives a house in Ottawa Hills and a car as part of his compensation package.