After a long, thoughtful debate that included varying funding strategies, The University of New Mexico Board of Regents passed tuition, fees and a compensation plan for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year.
At a full-board meeting, the Regents were presented with requests to approve tuition and fee rates for main campus and the Health Sciences Center.
For main campus, budget priorities for $9.9 million, to be funded partially from the increase in general funding from the State Legislature include:
- A 3 percent across-the-board faculty and staff wage increase, including a $9 minimum wage increase for student employees: effective July 1. The University plans to ask the State Legislature to provide supplemental funding to allow an even greater increase in employee salaries to take effect at the beginning of next calendar year.
- Initiatives supporting compliance, safety, IT infrastructure and advising.
- Help to cover increases for group health insurance that is expected to increase by 5 percent and an increase in ERB by .25 percent.
- Faculty promotions and faculty lines
- Student aid and GA/TA waivers
Units across main campus will see an average of a 1.5 percent decrease in unit allocations due to an enrollment decline. In proposing how to come to terms with decreased revenues, the Budget Leadership Team (BLT) had deliberated carefully regarding how to protect the University’s mission in tight fiscal times, striving to minimize any tuition increase and avoid depleting critical fiscal reserves or further cutting key academic, student support, and administrative units.
Ultimately, the BLT recommended, and the Regents voted in favor of, the following proposal:
- A base tuition increase of 3.1 percent.
- Additionally, a $25 to $35 increase, per credit hour, for upper division courses.
- A tuition differential for the College of Arts and Sciences: $10 per single credit hour for undergrads and $50 per credit hour for graduates.
- An increase of 3.43 percent for mandatory student fees.
- And an IT technology fee: $50 fall, $50 spring and $10 summer. This fee gives students access to multiple Microsoft licensed products, Adobe Creative Cloud Licensing and Acrobat Pro licensing.
With tuition and fee increases, students can expect the following:
- Lower division tuition and fees, fulltime 15-hour block, will increase $333 annually, 4.55 percent.
- Upper Division tuition and fees, fulltime 15-hour block, will increase $633 annually, 7.84 percent.
- Graduate tuition and fees, fulltime 12-hour block, will increase $604 annually, 6.76 percent.
The base tuition increase was recommended to the Regents by the BLT to help fund the University’s mission, including adequate compensation for faculty and staff. Adding differential tuition to the College of Arts and Sciences is a student support strategy.
“In order to properly support student success, we have to fund the academic mission,” says Interim Provost Richard L. Wood. “These increases are a strategy to fund that mission adequately and at the end of the day, we think that’s a win for the students—a better education, more momentum and trajectory for success by getting students graduated in four years, rather than six or eight years, saving students tuition on those last few years. That’s core to all these proposals. This shows UNM’s ongoing commitment to excellence in serving our students and in our overall academic mission”
Health Sciences Center
The Regents also voted on a budget for the Health Sciences Center (HSC) that includes:
- A 3 percent wage increase for staff.
- And a base tuition increase of 3.1 percent for the Colleges of Nursing and Population Health.
- No base tuition increase for the College of Pharmacy and a small decrease for the School of Medicine.
The budgets for the branch campuses were approved during the initial Budget Summit at the beginning of the month. There were no changes in tuition or fees for the branch campuses.
The final step in formally approving a budget for next year will take place during the next UNM Board of Regents meeting on May 9 at 9 a.m. in the Student Union Building, Ballroom C. During this meeting, Regents will discuss and vote on the consolidated budget.