By Gina Vaile/Managing editor
The Student Senate voted unanimously last week on five recommendations to present to the University Budget Council regarding the new tuition policy passed by the University Board of Regents in February. The university is currently revisiting the change in tuition policy. The new policy requires in-state undergraduate students who enroll in more than 16 hours to pay $66 per each hour over 16. Graduate students also must pay additional fees.
“The Student Senate realized the policy was created to maximize the university income and the Senate was not convinced the fee would discourage students from dropping out of classes. We realized this policy was not going to work,” said Lance Melching, academic affairs chairman.
Among the recommendations submitted to the Budget Council and forwarded to Glasser, who will make a recommendation to the Board of Regents, was an immediate suspension of the recently adopted policy.
Glasser said via e-mail Wednesday that the Budget Council will also submit a recommendation to suspend the $66 fee to her this week.
“While the Budget Council still believes the tuition structure is necessary to better use resources, it plans to revisit this issue again the fall 2003, giving students and faculty a better opportunity to have input and discussion,” Glasser said. “I have been told that final recommendation regarding tuition structure will be presented to me by December.”
The Senate also recommended the university investigate a per-credit-hour tuition policy versus a flat rate; adopt a tuition policy while equalizing full and part-time tuitions and address the course dropping habits of students with a separate policy.
In a three-page report, Melching addressed the reasons why the university moved in favor of the new policy.
“The proposed policy may seem like the best attempt to correct disproportional tuition that the university can currently make, but it fails to adequately address the problem,” he wrote.
Melching, who is concerned with the “pay for what you use” mentality, said the university should thoroughly examine the benefits of the new policy before destroying the history of Eastern’s flat rate tuition system.
According to the report, the new policy still allows for discrepancies between students taking between 12 and 16 hours. If fairness is to support this policy, then the policy needs to be fair completely and the university should adopt a per-credit-hour tuition fee for all hours taken over twelve,” it states.
The Senate calls for the university to analyze competing institutions before making such a decision.
Finally, the Senate agrees the university should do something to solve the problem of students dropping courses unnecessarily. The Senate included in the report other solutions besides the current policy.
Melching is confident the President and the Board of Regents will listen to the students’ concerns and act upon them.
“The Budget Committee has admitted the policy went to the Board too quickly. I’m proud to see now that this is being worked through the proper channels to find a better solution,” Melching said.