University Senate discusses tuition increase at Monday meeting

UConn Provost Mun Choi (left) speaks during the University Senate meeting in Storrs, Connecticut on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. UConn's current deficit of $40 million will count for a 16 to 17 percent increase of tuition, Choi said at the meeting. (Marissa Aldieri/The Daily Campus)

Members of the University of Connecticut faculty voiced their concerns about a possible increase in tuition as a remedy for budget cuts during Monday night’s University Senate meeting. 

The value of the tuition increase has not been decided on, but the Board of Trustees will resolve the issue by the end of 2015, Provost Mun Y. Choi said.

During last week’s Board of Trustees meeting, Chief Financial Officer Scott Jordan said there was a need for an increase in tuition, according to Choi. This is because UConn’s expected deficit next year is $40 million.

The deficit of $40 million will count for a 16-17 percent increase of tuition, he said.

“We can’t raise tuition to a level to meet all of the deficit that we have,” said Choi. “Tuition increase is a component to address the situation that we are facing.”

During the past eight years the UConn had $82 million in permanent budget and fringe benefits, which are supplementary to faculty’s salary, Choi said.

An increase in revenue and cutting of university expenses will help to create a more balanced budget, he said.

We can’t raise tuition to a level to meet all of the deficit that we have. Tuition increase is a component to address the situation that we are facing.
— UConn Provost Mun Choi, speaking at the University Senate meeting on Monday night.

Faculty members wrote a letter to Choi outlining their concerns about library budget cuts.

“The last thing that we want to cut is the library,” Choi said.

Senators again voiced their reservations about the library cuts at the senate meeting.

“I do feel that the library is primary in our academic core,” Senator and UConn professor of English and women’s studies, Veronica Makowsky, said. “I request that you look for other sources to make up that money.”

Senator and associate professor of Communication Diana Rios was concerned that slashing the library’s budget will affect student learning conditions.

“The learning conditions of students are important for us as scholars and teachers. As a first-class university I do not know where we are going with these slashes,” Rios said.

Choi said the collections budget was cut by 2 percent and would not be considered a “slash.” He said the administration and staff should work together to find solutions.

Student tuition accounts for 27 percent of the university’s budget, Scott Jordan said.

“For in-state students tuition is relatively low at about $10,000 with around an additional $3,000 in mandatory fees,” Jordan said.

Senators voiced their concerns that raising tuition will affect UConn’s accessibility to students struggling financially.

“I am very concerned about the university’s accessibility, especially to the first generation, the first to go to college from their family and underrepresented students,” said Rios. “I am talking about blue-collar kids who want to go to UConn and have the grades and want to go to their home state university."


Annabelle Orlando is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at annabelle.orlando@uconn.edu.