The University of Toledo board of trustees yesterday approved a planned 6 percent tuition increase for undergraduate and graduate students for the 2006-07 academic year beginning this fall.
The increase is the largest allowable under a state cap on public college tuition instituted for the next academic year. Yearly tuition for full-time, in-state undergraduate students will jump from the current $7,491 to $7,940.
"The 6 percent is absolutely necessary," UT Trustee Rick Stansley said. "We are faced with reduced state subsidy and if we don't take the allowed percentage, we forgo access to that revenue."
The majority of the extra money from the tuition increase, Mr. Stansley said, has historically "gone back into scholarships for students."
The board of trustees also approved a 6 percent increase in graduate school tuition, 8 percent for the MBA program, and 8 percent for the college of law. The state's fee cap is not applicable to graduate programs.
There was no discussion about the vote for the increase, which was announced last week during a meeting of the trustees' finance, administration, and facilities committee.
Even with the added revenue expected from the tuition increase, UT is predicting a $3.1 million deficit next year.
Part of the school's budget reduction will include eliminating up to 69 positions, mostly through attrition, President Dan Johnson said.
"We are not going to fill as many vacant positions," Mr. Johnson said.
Ten people have been notified they will be laid off, and 11 jobs are being reduced in hours. Twenty-five vacant positions are being eliminated, and 18 vacant positions are being reduced in hours.
The university has 2,664 employees, officials said.
State funding for public colleges and universities has steadily declined in recent years. John Nutter, UT's director of institutional research, said a study he did last year found that each UT student would pay an average of about $1,500 less if the state provided the same funding at the same level as it did in 2001.
Even though the university experienced a 1.4 percent decrease in enrollment to 19,201 students in fall 2005, the university is betting that enrollment will increase by 265 students for the next school year.
Enrollment drops of equal or greater number occurred at Akron, Central State, Cleveland State, Kent State, Miami, and Youngstown State universities.
UT is dealing with the budget woes while it plans a merger with the Medical University of Ohio. Mr. Johnson said plans for the merger are proceeding well.
Also during the trustee meeting, President Johnson criticized The Blade for a recent front-page article about the relationship between the University of Toledo's art program and the Toledo Museum of Art.
Mr. Johnson called the story "unfortunate and unfair." He said that the story did not include many positive comments from the university's faculty and from museum staff, and he re-emphasized the university's collaborative support for the museum.