AUSTIN, Texas—A Tuition Policy Committee, consisting of students and campus officers working together to review and recommend tuition policy, has been established for The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of the university, said Wednesday.
The university’s initiative to create a Tuition Policy Committee that would include student representatives came about after the Texas Legislature gave its approval earlier this year for state universities to set their own tuition rate.
The committee will recommend to the president, on a three-year rolling basis, the amount of the university’s core tuition needed to address the budget forecast. It is intended that the committee make specific tuition recommendations for both undergraduate and graduate students for the year immediately ahead and tentative recommendations for the two subsequent years.
After the president receives recommendations from the committee, the recommendations will be presented to the campus community for comment. The public response will be considered by the president and the committee before the president submits a final tuition and fee proposal to the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System.
“The leadership of student government and officials of the university have worked very smoothly in setting up this review process and I’ve especially been pleased we were able to recommend it jointly to the chancellor,” said Faulkner. “I have every expectation we’ll be able to work collaboratively to develop tuition policies in future years in the best interest of the university and its students.”
Brian J. Haley, president of Student Government at the university, said that after the Texas Legislature gave universities the power to set their own tuition rate, he and Faulkner met to discuss the method The University of Texas at Austin would use to set tuition.
“Together, we committed to developing a policy that would give students, faculty, and administrators direct input into the entire tuition setting process,” Haley said. “I am confident that our new policy will ensure just that.”
Haley said students will work side-by-side with administrators and faculty, reviewing the university’s financial needs for the next year.
“I hope that UT Austin’s commitment to ensure student involvement throughout the entire tuition setting process will be the standard set for all universities across the state,” Haley said.
Voting members of the Tuition Policy Committee will include the university’s executive vice president and provost and the vice president and chief financial officer serving as co-chairs. Other voting members will include a student government representative, a student representative from the Senate of College Councils, a representative from the Graduate Student Assembly, the vice provost and dean of graduate studies, a college dean, the chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets and a student representative at large. The student representative at large would be appointed by the president from the student membership of one of the following groups: Educational Policy Committee; Student Services Fee Committee, Recruitment and Retention Committee; Committee on Financial Aid to Students or student representatives to the Faculty Council.
At least one of the student representatives should be a recipient of financial aid, able to reflect the perspectives of students for whom financial aid is vital to their ability to pay college costs. The appointment process also will take care to appoint students from various colleges so that several viewpoints are represented on the committee.
Non-voting advisory members of the Tuition Policy Committee will include the executive vice provost and the associate vice president and budget director.
The committee will receive annually an updated multi-year operating and capital budget forecast from the university’s chief financial officer and the budget director. The update will provide the total forecasted financial picture and will focus principally on significant changes from the forecast for the preceding fiscal year. Each forecast will incorporate revenue assumptions, such as tuition and fees, approved by the Board of Regents and will include as a separate item the revenue projections based on the proposed tuition levels recommended previously by the committee. The forecast will not, however, incorporate any additional new tuition revenue assumptions. The forecast will be reviewed and approved by the University Budget Council prior to presentation to the committee and will incorporate key recommended expense and policy assumptions, including salary programs, increases in student headcount, faculty strength, repair, renovation and capital improvement needs.
For more information contact: Don Hale or Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-471-3151.