Apr 092007
 
Authors: Emily Polak

Administrators are scrambling to finalize a budget proposal, and the amount that tuition will increase for CSU students is still undecided, said Tony Frank, senior vice president and provost, on Monday.

A budget proposal is expected to be complete by the end of the week.

Frank passed out a budget draft explaining next year’s CSU funding picture to the Student Fee Review Board on Monday afternoon, but the box for tuition increases for resident and non-resident students was blank.

“We still don’t know what that (number) is,” he said.

The proposed budget will require nearly $12 million in funding from tuition but the breakdown of where that money will come from has not been decided. The administration can choose to divide tuition costs between in-state and out-of-state students as well as graduate and undergraduate students.

“There are just a million different options and a virtually infinite number of possibilities,” Frank said.

Frank said CSU is behind in funding and that of the university’s revenue streams, tuition and fees are the only place the university has discretion.

The proposed budget should be completed by the end of this week and will then go to the CSU board of governors for approval in June, Frank said. There will be forums held allowing students to voice concerns about the proposed budget before the board votes.

As an amendment to a state bill was defeated two weeks ago that would have increased the cost of a CSU education by 37 percent. Frank explained to students that the competitive edge of a CSU degree is dependent on the amount of funding CSU receives.

“If we are spending money in the right places the quality of the university and the degree go up,” Frank said.

On Monday night, The SFRB continued to evaluate fee proposals from different departments but it doesn’t have a say in the more than $21 per semester per student increase dictated through the university administration.

“It is the truth that the SFRB doesn’t generally get to comment on where the general and administrative money goes, but it is no secret what happens to it,” Frank said.

Frank said that the increase in fees goes into the same general fund that tuition goes to and will help improve the quality of a CSU degree.

The university’s total revenue comes from a variety of sources, the largest being research, followed by tuition and fees that account for 21 percent of total revenue. State funding and the College Opportunity Fund account for 15 percent of the revenue.

“You can collect it as tuition, as fees, however you want,” Frank said. “In an ideal world the state would provide it.”

In the past the university has kept fees low because fees must be for specific projects whereas tuition can be spent more generally.

The majority of the fees will go to salary increases and university stretch goals, including improvements for graduate education, community involvement and technology.

“The quality initiatives are a good idea,” said Associated students of CSU vice president Sadie Conrad. “But where was the student voice to decide which initiatives are important?. I wish there was a little bit more about communication between students, faculty and the administration.”

Staff writer Emily Polak can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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