UVU escalates employee wages, not tuition

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The largest amount of equity funding ever granted by the Utah System of Higher Education has been awarded to UVU. Students and employees will enjoy the benefits of an alleviated financial burden resulting from the millions of dollars allocated by the state for university development.

During the annual Truth in Tuition hearing last month, President Holland said it would be ‘ill-advised’ to raise second-tier tuition if the school were given an increase in state funding. With UVU receiving $21 million in equity, there will be no increase in second-tier tuition next year.

UVU is one of the five institutions in the USHE that has no intention of increasing second-tier tuition next semester. Utah State University, Snow College, and the University of Utah plan to implement second-tier tuition increases ranging from 1.5-2 percent.

Graduate students however, will notice a raise in tuition due to the new requirement of completing an international experience as part of their program of study. Graduate resident tuition will rise from $4,280 to $5,560 to accommodate the new requirement.

The President’s Council has approved an increase in student fees for the 2014-15 year of $5. Student fees support building development, athletics and health, technology, transportation and student activities. The largest percentage of student fees goes toward building bonds and athletics, followed by student activities.

The USHE has proposed a four percent increase in first-tier tuition, which means tuition would go up $87 per semester for an undergraduate enrolled in at least 15 credit hours. For undergraduate nonresidents, tuition would be raised $268 per semester.

If approved, the 4 percent increase would be the smallest tuition adjustment imposed by the USHE in the last 10 years.

According to a document prepared by the UVU Board of Trustees, the revenue from the first-tier tuition increase will support the increasing cost of health care, employee compensation and other university initiatives.

Employee compensation was the university’s second priority during the 2014 legislative session. The tuition increase proposed by the USHE would comprise 25 percent of the increase in employee wages granted by state legislature, the remaining 75 percent coming from new tax funding.

All full-time faculty, staff and executives at UVU will receive a 1.25 cost of living increase to their annual base salary plus an additional $250 from medical premium savings. This excludes the president’s salary, which is determined by the Board of Regents.

Adjunct faculty will receive pay rates comparable to other regional universities with a pay rate increase of $300 per 3-credit hour course. Hourly staff may also expect to receive a pay increase, as hourly staff rates will rise by 2.5 percent.

With the lowest proposed first-tier tuition hike in a decade, a zero percent increase in second-tier tuition for students and an employee wage increase across the board- this upcoming school year marks a beacon of opportunity for the university.