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Published: Tuesday, 6/19/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

UT trustees OK '13 budget with 3.5% tuition boost

BY NOLAN ROSENKRANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The University of Toledo's board of trustees Monday approved a budget for next year that includes a 3.5 percent tuition increase for undergraduate full-time students.

The budget for the university's nonclincal operations for fiscal year 2013 would be about $521.2 million, with UT projected to break even after expenditures. In-state tuition will increase by 3.5 percent, or $132.96, to $3,931.92 from $3,798.96.

Undergraduates' general fee remains flat at $595.20, which means the total increase for tuition and fees will be 3.03 percent, to $4,527.12 from $4,394.16.

Tuition and fee increases for Ohio public universities and colleges were capped this year at 3.5 percent by the state legislature.

Revenue from the tuition-rate increase will counteract a projected $7.6 million decrease in state funds. University officials have argued UT controlled its tuition costs in recent years better than most institutions, and median net costs for students declined between 2008 and 2010, in part because of increases in scholarships and other student aid.

The budget was approved unanimously by trustees in attendance.

The board also approved a tentatively agreed upon one-year contract extension with its American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union represents about 2,000 UT employees.

The agreement extends the final year of a three-year contract approved in October, 2010, that covered the period from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2012. That pact included a 2 percent pay raise in November, 2010, and the next year a 3 percent raise, including a lump-sum performance bonus. Employees agreed to higher health-insurance premiums and dropped a vacation and sick time cash-out policy.

Terms of the contract would remain the same from the last year of the previous contract. Extending the contract for another year should have negligible costs to the university, spokesman Jon Strunk said.

Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, UT president, said, "I believe that it's a win-win."

The union is expected to vote June 27 on the contract. The university is in negotiations with its professors' union. That contract is to expire June 30.

Also approved was a buy-in to the Discovery Channel Telescope in Flagstaff, Ariz. The university will join the Discovery Channel, Boston University, the University of Maryland, and the Lowell Observatory in the project. J.D. Smith, professor of astronomy at UT, said the project will for the first time give UT researchers dedicated access to a ground-based telescope.

Initial costs for the buy-in is $1.4 million, with annual costs of about $125,000. Board members approved the university's involvement unanimously.

New board officers were approved. William Koester, founder and retired chief executive officer of Koester Corp., Defiance, is the new chairman, and Joseph H. Zerbey IV, president and general manager of The Blade, was named vice chairman.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086.



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