By James Steinbauer, Editor-in-Chief, and Megan Zahneis, News Editor
Miami University’s Board of Trustees is expected to approve several resolutions in its end-of-year meeting today, including a rise in tuition costs for graduate and regional campus students, a discount on online winter and summer courses for in-state students and increased parking costs for faculty.
Starting in the fall, out-of-state students at Miami’s regional campuses and graduate students at all campuses will be assessed a 2 percent increase in tuition. For full-time regional campus students, this represents a $147 upcharge (from $7,350.72 to $7,497.72), and graduate students will pay $290.28 more than they did this year (a price increase from $14,829.52 to $15,119.80).
According to Miami’s Office of Institutional Research, as of October 15, 2015, there were 63 out-of-state regional students enrolled at Miami. If these numbers remain constant in fall 2016, the university would gain $12,411 from the tuition increase. Miami’s graduate student enrollment totaled 2,689, which would net the university an additional $780,562.92 in tuition fees.
Senior Vice President of Finance and Business Services David Creamer said that the tuition increase was necessitated by a rise in salary and wage costs.
“The State of Ohio appropriated more funds for next year to cover these costs for Ohio residents, but an increase will occur for nonresident students,” Creamer wrote in an email.
Oxford undergraduates will not be affected by the change, as Miami approved its Tuition Promise in December.
The university is implementing a 20 percent discount on online courses for summer and winter terms. Undergraduate in-state students on all campuses will be eligible for the reduction, effective this summer.
The Board of Trustees is also slated to approve an ordinance raising parking costs for faculty and staff. Currently, annual parking permits for red parking spots set faculty and staff back $75. Under the new ordinance, that cost will rise to $125, a 66% increase. Annual garage and dedicated parking space passes will be $425, up from $375.
“The parking increase actually was approved last year,” Creamer said. “It is intended to cover the cost of adding spaces to campus and making improvements in the lots.”
Creamer added that permit prices for ride-sharing faculty and staff will be lowered to cut down on demand for parking spots.
According to a presentation by Tom Herbert, vice president of University Advancement and executive director of the Miami University Foundation, in the Board of Trustees’ agenda, $42.5 million has been raised in 2020 Plan fundraising efforts — 94 percent of the $45 million goal the Advancement office set for the 2015-16 fiscal year.
“Increased fundraising has been identified as a critical priority for Miami and our Advancement operation is doing a great work on these goals,” Creamer said.
How those funds are used, Creamer said, is informed by the donors. Few donations are made without any usage restrictions. When such specifications aren’t made, the funds are typically designated as student scholarship monies.
The meeting will start with a Public Study Session hosted by Daryl Baldwin, director of the Myaamia Center, and Doug Lankford, chief of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. Lankford will start the session by offering what he calls a 10,000 foot view of the Tribe.
“I’m going to talk about our government and our sovereignty — things that are important to the Tribe. I’ll also talk about the Tribe and Miami’s partnership with each other, what we’ve learned from this partnership and how important it is to the Tribe,” Lankford said. “I think the more [the Miami community] knows about [the Tribe] the more interested they are to provide more, whether they’re providing another trip or allowing another talk.”
The Miami University Board of Trustees will meet from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Marcum Conference Center.