Topic: Administrative

June 16, 2011

The Ball State University Board of Trustees have set tuition and fees for the 2011-13 biennium and the university budget for 2011-12. The board sought to limit the financial impact on students while providing the resources needed to meet the university's mission.

"Establishing budgets and setting tuition is a delicate balancing act," President Jo Ann M. Gora said. "Our mission is to provide our students with a high-quality education that prepares them for the challenges of the twenty-first century. At the same time we strive to meet the universal expectation that we will work to contain costs. Our goal is to strike a fair and reasonable balance between these goals. I am confident we have done so."

Randy Howard, vice president for business affairs, presented the budget, tuition, and fees recommendations to the board during its June 16 meeting. Following a public hearing May 31, trustees voted to increase student tuition and mandatory fees for full-time undergraduate Hoosiers by 3.9 percent for the 2011-12 academic year and additional 4.9 percent for the 2012-13 academic year. The total increase in 2011-12 will be $162 per semester for student taking 12 to 18 credit hours. The following year, 2012-13, the increase is $211 per semester. The current 2010-11 resident undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees are $8,234 per year. Tuition and mandatory fees would be $8,558 in 2011-12 and $8,980 in 2012-13.

The trustees also approved a simplified and more transparent fee structure for students. The new structure will make it easier for students to create hybrid course schedules with both on campus and online courses in a single semester. This will facilitate faster time-to-degree by enabling students to take more courses in a semester without additional charges and will make classes during summer sessions more affordable.

The tuition restructuring, first presented to the board at its May 6 meeting, was initiated in response to student concerns. It is the culmination of a task force evaluation of the university's tuition structure and subsequent recommendations for the new approach.

Salary and wage changes

The board also approved a salary funding increase for faculty as well as professional and staff personnel. The available allocation for salary increases is 2.7 percent, which allows merit-based raises designed to  help retain the university's best employees. This will also allow Ball State to pay salaries that are more competitive [in line] with peer institutions. Salary adjustments for service employees will be distributed in accordance with the method agreed upon through the Equal Representation Committee.

"Attracting and retaining highly productive faculty and staff continues to be a high priority for the university,' said Howard.  ‘We continue to focus on institutional efficiency. In fact, it is our employees who are largely responsible for the efficiencies that allow the university to operate at staffing levels significantly below our peers. Despite being an already lean institution, we continue to leave no stone unturned in our search for savings. It is only through careful planning and stewardship that we can maintain our quality despite two consecutive biennia of reduced state funding . This modest salary increase is an investment in the people who make Ball State the dynamic institution it is today."

The salary increase is funded largely by continued institutional savings from compensation restructuring, and additional efficiencies across the university.

In other business, the board also approved funding for student services and activities, such as Late Night , and established new conference services fees. The meeting concluded with a presentation from Provost Terry King, who provided board members a preview of the Higher Learning Commission accreditation process. The accreditation process is conducted every 10 years and will begin in the fall semester and conclude in 2012 .

By Joan Todd, Executive Director of Public Relations