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Trustees Say Tuition Increase Needed to Ensure Quality Education

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Board of Trustees endorsed a $635 increase in campus-based tuition and fees for the 2006-07 academic year during its meeting Friday, Dec. 2. The proposed increase will be submitted to the UNC Board of Governors for approval.

The increases are needed, board members say, to maintain the quality of education available to students at Appalachian.

In addition, the board approved a $105 increase in indebtedness fees to pay for construction of a new cafeteria, and a $302 increase in room and board fees for students living on campus. These fee increases do not require BOG approval.

James Deal, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, says the board’s top priority is to assure that students receive the best quality education from the best faculty available, and with constraints on the state’s budget from other sectors — such has health and public safety — that an increase in tuition is the only option.

“In the last four or five years, the state has faced a severe economic downturn and the percent of funding available for higher education has been cut every year,” Deal said. “To maintain the quality of an Appalachian education, we have to figure out how to pay for it.”

If it receives Board of Governors approval, the $400 campus-based tuition increase would generate slightly more than $5 million in revenue. Almost 63 percent of the increase would be used for academic and student support, 23 percent would be used for a “hold harmless” provision that would generate financial aid for qualifying students, and 15 percent would be used to address faculty salary equity.

The $235 fee increase includes a $50 increase in the university’s education and technology fee, a $95 increase in the athletics fee and a $90 increase in the student activities fee.

Student Government President Jud Watkins was the sole member of the board voting against the proposed increases, expressing a concern for the rising cost of attending Appalachian.

If the increases are approved, an in-state student living on campus would pay $9,146.50 to attend Appalachian next year. The costs for an out-of-state student living on campus would be $18,888.50.

In other action, the board endorsed an agreement between the university and Appalachian Regional Healthcare System that facilitates collaboration between the two organizations, including use of facilities and other resources in the areas of community service, patient care, education, training and research.

The board approved faculty emerita status for Glenda Hubbard, Judy Humphrey and Marianne Suggs. Hubbard retired as a professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling in June 2004. Humphrey and Suggs retired as professors in the Department of Art in June 2005.

The board awarded a $3,000 travel study grant to Mike Marlowe to conduct research in Scotland next year. Marlowe, a professor in the Department of Language, Reading and Exceptionalities, will collaborate on a book with Tory Hayden, a widely read expert on the education of children with social and emotional problems.

Trustees also discussed campus safety issues and praised the university’s procedures regarding drug use on campus.

(See related article Appalachian’s Trustees Discuss Campus Safety.

View a copy of the proposed tuition and fee increases (pdf))