Fees could rise by $15

By Michael McFall, Staff Writer

Student fees could go up by more than $15 next year.

The U Board of Trustees will hear proposals this morning to raise nine student fees, adopt the new sustainability fee and cut an existing fee within the College of Nursing.

The highest increases in existing fees are the building and athletics fees, which could go up by $3.50 and $2.80, respectively. The other increases are less than a couple of dollars.

Student fees are prone to rise every few years to keep up with inflation, said Paul Brinkman, vice president of budget and planning, who oversees student fees. However, some of this year’s proposed increases are greater than the U’s need to match the fluctuating economy.

The building fee, which helps the campus maintain its buildings, has to rise this year because of inflation, Brinkman said. The fee is also rising because of needed updates and repairs, such as the Union’s fire code upgrades.

Chris Hill, the U athletics director, said his department needs more funding next year because it helps pay for athletes’ tuition, which is expected to rise by as much as 9 percent. The cost of sending athletes to away games is also going up because of rising luggage fees. The athletics department is also expecting fewer donations during the next fiscal year because of the hurting economy and needs to compensate, Hill said.

The board will also consider a $1.34 increase per semester in the publication fee to create a new student media council. Glen Feighery, head of the existing Publications Council, did not have a comment about the increase.

Patrick Reimherr, president of the Associated Students of the University of Utah, will also propose a new $2.50 sustainability fee meant to support initiatives to make the campus more sustainable.

If accepted, the fee would have to be re-evaluated in three years. If it has failed to reach substantive results, a concern among its opponents, the fee would then be dropped.

However, the cost of higher education isn’t all uphill. The College of Nursing wants to cut an existing $100 fee that funds a student assessment computer program. Students in the college can take the program to test their knowledge for graduate school or the professional world. Cutting the fee is meant to offset the college’s proposed tuition increase, said Maureen Keefe, dean of the College of Nursing.

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