Board of Curators plans to propose tuition increase for non-residents

Tuition of undergraduate and graduate students would be raised 3 percent in FY 2015.

The UM System Board of Curators held its last fall semester meeting Nov. 21-22 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Potential Tuition Raise

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2015 could lead to 3 percent increases in both non-resident undergraduate and graduate tuition.

MU’s budget proposal includes additional fees for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Arts and Science, School of Health Professions, School of Journalism and the Sinclair School of Nursing.

Tom Richards, UM System interim vice president of finance, said these changes are not without feedback.

“All of the proposals will be getting input from the students,” he said. “The question is whether there will be an actual formal vote or a townhall meeting, but all of them will have some sort of student input.”

Combined room and board rates may also increase at each campus.

A proposal for MU to increase its room and board cost by 3.3 percent, housing by 4 percent and dining by 2 percent will be sent out in January.

A potential Department of Health Management and Informatics course fee of $30 per credit hour would raise $63,000 at MU to update and expand classroom equipment.

A Truman School of Public Policy course fee of $40 per credit hour would raise $120,000 at MU to establish an office of career and alumni services to help Masters of Public Administration and doctoral students.

The College of Veterinary Medicine would increase tuition by 6 percent for Missouri residents and 2.5 percent for non-residents.

The Board of Curators will vote on the proposal at its meeting on Jan. 30-31.

MU Fiscal Year 2015 State Capital Appropriations Requests

The finance committee unanimously approved a request from MU for permission to submit an appropriations request to the state under the terms of the 50-50 Capital funding match program in fiscal year 2015, Richards said.

The grant would go toward renovations to Lafferre Hall and the Fine Arts facilities, the business school’s Applied Learning Center addition and a teaching winery within CAFNR.

Richards said MU raised roughly $6.1 million in pledges for Lafferre Hall from donors and is now asking for a match in that amount from the state, which Richards said would result in approximately $12.1 million.

The fine arts facilities received $2.7 million in pledges, and also asked the state to match funds for a total of $5.5 million.

The teaching winery has received $1.5 million in commitments for a $3 million total in what Richards called a “discrete project.”

The Applied Learning Center is an addition to the existing facility at business school, and its total cost is estimated to be $77.5 million. So far $10.7 million has been raised, and a match would bring the total to $21.5 million.

The curators granted permission, but did not vote to formally approve the plans.

All projects are part of the MU strategic plan created in 2011.

MU School of Medicine Expansion

The Board of Curators finance committee unanimously approved a request to expand the budget for the MU School of Medicine.

The total project budget will now be $35 million.

"We want to increase the current class size of about 96 students to 120 per year," Richards said. "It’s a sizable increase and drives the space requirements.”

The expansion will add approximately 75,000-85,000 square feet to the existing building in the form of three floors on top of the building and a tower in front.

Richards said the discussion does not concern a particular funding plan.

“We are not bringing forward a funding plan right now," he said. "We are just trying to fast track this project as much as we can to fulfill the intent of the legislature, which is to educate more doctors.”

Other actions

The Board of Curators meeting also involved these actions:

  • MU will drop full out-of-state tuition rates for online-only students. Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies, said the online-only student population at MU spans 42 countries, all 50 states and all 114 Missouri counties.

  • MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources was acknowledged for its maintenance of 113 extension offices that support all Missouri counties.

  • From 2003 to 2013, MU has increased its student population by 32.5 percent last year, according to the annual enrollment report. During the same time period, the UM System as a whole increased its student population by 27.3 percent.

  • UM System President Tim Wolfe said the search for a new MU chancellor is drawing to a close.

  • The Board of Curators unanimously nominated Don Downing and Donald Cupps as the next chair and vice chair of the board, respectively.

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