Incoming students at Southern Illinois University will pay more next year, and continuing students will see higher fees in many areas... as the Board of Trustees approved the hikes at a meeting Thursday in Edwardsville.
The vote was not unanimous, as Trustees Roger Herrin and Don Lowery voted no on nearly every fee increase and the tuition hike. The two maintain more cuts must be made to rein in costs... and Herrin says he vowed to vote no on the issue last year if he didn't see progress in that area.
"While I'm aware that there's efforts in these areas, I'm not convinced that we have fully done our duty. Therefore I, too, am going to be voting against many of these fees. I just will not put the fees on the backs of the students."
Trustee Don Lowery says he continues to be troubled by rising costs for students and their families... and won't support tuition and fee increases until that is addressed to his satisfaction.
But administrators say they've cut to the core in many areas... and aren't sure where else to trim. President Glenn Poshard says the cuts have been painful all over the university system:
"I think if you go on our campuses and ask the people who teach, who man the labs, and those kinds of things, if they've been cut - if they've felt it... I don't think you'll get any no answers."
The tuition increase is 4.8%, for incoming students in the fall of 2012. Fees vary, but many are less than 3% with some remaining flat. The Health Insurance Fee is the exception to that, as increased costs are driving that fee higher.
Poshard and other leaders say they're keeping a very close watch on what's happening in Springfield... as they still don't know what to expect in the form of state monies in the coming year. There is talk of a cut which could top 5%, but Poshard says that's only a proposal at this point.