AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin will ask its Board of Regents to approve a $150 per semester infrastructure charge for students at the board’s meeting in San Antonio on Feb. 14, Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin, said today (Feb. 7).
Dr. Faulkner said the revised proposal resulted from consultation with student government leaders, as well as comments from students in public hearings.
The charge will increase by $50 in fall 2003, $85 in fall 2004, $85 in fall 2005 and $30 in fall 2006 and fall 2007, capping at $430 after six years.
Students attending the university in the summer and taking seven or more credit hours will pay $100 in the first year of the charge. The charge will grow annually by $30, capping at $250 in the sixth year. Students taking fewer than seven hours — about 70 percent of summer attendance — will pay $50 initially, with their charge growing $25 annually.
“After we announced our initial proposal for the infrastructure charge,” Faulkner said, “we engaged in discussions with the university community and student leaders. We have held two public hearings and a number of meetings with leaders of student government since our announcement.
"The response we’ve received and the thoughtful analysis of student government leaders led us to restructure our proposal,” he said.
In a meeting with administration officials yesterday (Feb. 6), student leaders requested the university find a way to lower the initial rate to $150 per semester, Faulkner said.
"They also suggested a five-year program in which the rate would increase to the final figure of $430," he said. "We have adopted their suggested initial and final rates: moreover, we have chosen a six-year program of more gradual increases."
The university initially proposed an infrastructure charge of $230, increasing annually by $50 over five years. The charge is to provide funds needed to pay for essential repair and renovation of buildings. By 2006-07, it will provide about one-third of $150.7 million in recurring funding the university says it needs to offset projected budget deficits.
“On a cumulative basis over the first three years of this new charge, all students will pay less under our modified proposal,” said Kevin P. Hegarty, vice president and chief financial officer. “And 65 percent of all students will pay less on an annual and cumulative basis over the first five years, compared to the original proposal.”
Hegarty said the new proposal will generate about $8.1 million less than the initial proposal during the ramp-up, but essentially the same recurring final income.