Nearly 20,000 resident students to see tuition freeze under President’s proposed FY17 budget

University seal

What: University of Minnesota Board of Regents meeting
When: Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13, 2016
Where: Sixth floor, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S.E., Minneapolis

About 20,000 students, or roughly half of the total undergraduate enrollment in the University of Minnesota system, will see no tuition increase in fiscal year 2017 under President Eric Kaler’s proposed operating budget.

The U’s Board of Regents will review the proposed $3.8 billon operating budget in the Finance Committee on May 12 and at the full Board meeting May 13. Regents will also take comments from the University community and members of the general public during a public forum from 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. on May 13. More details, including sign up information, are available here.

Under Kaler’s proposal, there will be no tuition increase for Minnesota resident undergraduates attending the U’s Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Rochester campuses. On the Twin Cities campus, a 2.5 percent tuition increase for resident undergraduates is recommended. Financial aid enhancements will completely offset the increase for approximately 10,000 students with family incomes up to $120,000.

“This plan is responsive to the needs of our students and their families while being market-sensitive,” said Kaler. “My focus, as well as the Board’s, is to continue to provide students with an exceptional education at a world-class research university that is as affordable and accessible as possible.”

The tuition freeze for resident students on each of the U’s system campuses ensures they are able to remain competitive with their respective peers.

Increases for non-resident, non-reciprocity undergraduate students on the Twin Cities (9.9 percent, or $2,040) and Morris (16.8 percent, or $2,000) campuses are proposed, with continuing students receiving waivers to mitigate the increases. At UMD, the recommended non-resident, non-reciprocity rate is proposed to increase by 2.5 percent, or $396. Graduate and professional rates remain competitive with the market, generally rising 2.5 percent. However, resident students at the Medical School will see no tuition increase.

Student fees and room and board rates are proposed to rise slightly on the Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Twin Cities campuses and remain steady at UMR. Estimated increases to the total cost for tuition, fees and room and board for resident undergraduates will range from 0 to 2.9 percent, or $20,118 to $23,200, depending on which campus a student attends.

Steering funds toward strategic priorities
Administrative reallocations of $15 million are proposed for FY17 as well, part of Kaler’s goal to cut $90 million by FY19. Implementation of this proposal means the University will be approximately $73 million, or 81 percent, toward the goal with two years left. A total of $27.5 million in reallocations toward core mission activities (education, research and engagement) is proposed in FY17.

Critical ideas and initiatives resulting from Driving Tomorrow, the Twin Cities campus strategic plan, are recommended for funding in FY17. This first investment, totaling $7.5 million, is the result of a robust and consultative planning process last year to reallocate funds to support work that helps address the state’s and world’s Grand Challenges.

Additionally, the budget proposes a 2.5 percent merit-based salary increase for faculty and staff. The Board will act on the budget during its meeting June 9-10.

Preserving and enhancing our facilities
Regents will also review a proposed FY17 capital improvement budget. To ensure the University is equipped to deliver on its mission of research, education and outreach, the proposal recommends $374.6 million in projects to begin design or construction.

The majority of the proposed budget comprises the U’s 2016 capital request to the state. An increase in funds for facility repair and preservation tops that request list. The request also includes plans for three new buildings to address growing educational needs in the areas of STEM and health on the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses. Additional infrastructure improvements to protect the U’s 29 million square feet are included.

The Board will also:
consider revisions to the Student Conduct Code, following its request for a comprehensive review. Clearer definitions of sexual misconduct, due process protections and medical amnesty are the primary focus of the review, which also includes minor changes in other sections of the Code.
discuss oversight of Intercollegiate Athletics. Continuing conversations from last month’s meeting, Regents will examine the Board’s history of oversight and current framework and consider whether changes are needed.
review the University of Minnesota Health integration agreement. In a full Board meeting Thursday morning, Regents will hear from U leaders about details of a draft integration agreement among the University, Fairview Health Services and U of M Physicians.
receive an update on the Duluth campus’ strategic plan. Chancellor Lendley Black will outline key accomplishments associated with the UMD strategic plan and areas of alignment with the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses’ strategic plans. This is the second in a series of strategic planning presentations from system campus leaders.
act on recommendations for promotion and tenure by Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson.
honor award winners. Faculty, staff and students who have excelled this academic year, including national scholarship winners and national champion student-athletes, will be formally recognized.

Following the full Board meeting on Thursday morning, committee meetings will begin at 9:45 a.m. On Friday, the full Board meeting begins at 8:45 with a ceremony honoring award winners.

For more information, including meeting times and locations, go to the Regents website.

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