Catherine Couretas, For The Miami Student

Students enrolled in some business courses may face an increase in fees per credit hour over the next three years, ultimately resulting in a charge of $100 per business school credit hour beginning in fall 2013.

Currently, there is a $25 charge per credit hour for all business classes on the Oxford campus that was installed six years ago, according to John Skillings, interim provost.

“The objective was for us to be competitive in our business school, particularly in the area of faculty salaries,” Skillings said.

At that time, Skillings said there was an expectation of another increase, which is now taking effect. The plan calls for an increase to $50 per credit hour beginning in fall 2011, $75 per credit hour the following fall and finally $100 per credit hour in fall 2013.

The increase, however, will focus on business majors rather than charging the fee across all business courses. Courses that are primarily populated by business majors will be the only ones affected. Students enrolled in Miami Plan Foundation courses and business courses taken by mostly non-business majors will not see a fee increase.

Roger Jenkins, dean of the Farmer School of Business, fully supports the proposal.

“Six years ago when we proposed the first $25 fee, I wanted to propose a $100 fee,” Jenkins said. “That would have kept us competitive and a little bit ahead of our competition.”

With the $100 fee, Miami University still stands at the fourth lowest out-of-state business school tuition rate when compared to peer institutions.

Jenkins reiterated the importance of well-paid faculty.

“The primary motivation is to keep our faculty competitive,” Jenkins said. “There are only five public undergraduate business schools in the nation ranked by Business Week stronger than us, but we’re still not competitive with those schools salary-wise.”

Over four years, business majors will pay an average of $1,500 more per year, according to Jenkins. Right now, the university makes about $2 million from the $25 fee. With the gradual fee increase, the school expects $3 million in revenue next year, $4.5 million the year after and a $6 million annual revenue from the $100 fee.

It was noted there would not be a fee difference for in-state versus out-of-state students.

“We already have a much higher tuition for out-of-state students,” Skillings said. “Adding to that differential is probably not in our best interest.”

The recommendation was approved by the finance and audit committee of the board of trustees Wednesday but will not take effect without approval by the entire board.

The board will hear the recommendation Dec. 10.