Administrators discuss potential tuition hike

Jerry Pogatshnik, dean of Graduate Education and interim provost, addresses the crowd of students, faculty and staff on Tuesday in O'Donnell Hall about potential tuition increases and proposed budget priorities.   

Eastern Kentucky University officials discussed a potential tuition increase for the 2019-2020 academic year in a budget briefing to students, faculty and staff in O’Donnell Hall on Thursday.

Barry Poynter, senior vice president and treasurer of the office of Finance and Administration announced that his office will propose a three percent increase to the Board of Regents next week during their meeting on Tuesday, April 23. 

“Given the fact that our state has not increased our appropriation over the last several years, we are kind of forced into a corner,” President Michael Benson said.

Benson said Kentucky was one of five states to cut higher education funding this year. Kentucky and South Carolina made the highest cuts out of those five states, according to the Courier Journal.

The maximum tuition increase that EKU could propose is four percent, Poynter said.

“For 2019-20, we are proposing an increase across the board for part-time and full-time [students] per semester,” Poynter said.

This proposed increase will bring the tuition for an in-state student to $4,633, a $135 increase from 2018-2019 tuition.   

Poynter also addressed meal plans and housing. Poynter said that EKU’s contract with Aramark includes a 3.5 percent increase for all meal plans in the 2019-2020 year.

Regarding housing on campus, Poynter said that on average, residence halls will increase by four percent and some will increase more than others.

David McFaddin, senior vice president of Operations and Strategic Initiatives and Jerry Pogatshnik, dean of Graduate Education and interim provost also addressed the crowd of faculty, staff and students.

Pogatshnik addressed EKU’s other budget priorities for 2019-2020. Those priorities included closing and renovating Telford resident hall in the fall and Keene in the spring. Also included in the 2019-20 budget are technology updates around campus. Those improvements include updating Wi-Fi in Combs and Wallace, upgrading classroom technology, increased SPAM protection in the student email system and relocating Tech Commons to improve access. This proposed budget will involve investing in Academic Programs such as aviation, social work masters and high demand online offerings like business, criminal justice and social work, Pogatshnik said.

Classroom renovations are also in the proposed budget. The budget includes plans to renovate Burrier, Combs, Memorial Science, Wallace and Whalin in the summer of 2019, Pogatshnik said.

The Eastern Progress will follow up with more information as it becomes available.

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