Md. regents approve tuition, fee increases University board to seek $53 million more from legislature

August 29, 1998|By Timothy B. Wheeler | Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF

The University System of Maryland regents yesterday approved increases in tuition and fees for the 1999-2000 academic year, while agreeing to seek a $53 million increase in state funding for the system's 11 campuses next year.

Meeting at Bowie State University, the 17-member Board of Regents voted unanimously to raise in-state undergraduate tuition by up to 4 percent, starting in the fall. Smaller mandatory fees will increase by as much as 16.5 percent.

The highest tuition will be at the University of Maryland, College Park: $4,050 for the school year. The highest annual fees will be at Towson University: $1,188.

Under pressure from Gov. Parris N. Glendening, the regents last year agreed to limit tuition increases to no more than 4 percent a year for the next few years, in return for promises of increased state funding. They did not restrict fees, however.

The mandatory fees will help finance nonacademic buildings and services, such as student gymnasiums and unions, that the state will not support. Many of the projects were requested by students, noted Edwin S. Crawford, chairman of the regents finance committee.

Crawford said that fee increases, "although distasteful, do help to enhance the ambience and attractiveness of our campuses." He acknowledged that families must foot the bill and pledged to monitor future increases carefully.

The regents approved the tuition and fees to help pay for a $2.2 billion budget for 1999-2000. The budget seeks a $53 million increase in state funding, to a total of $685 million from Annapolis. The regents said the governor and legislative leaders already had pledged to provide two-thirds of that increase, or $35.5 million.

Encouraged by this year's state budget surplus and the strong economy, the regents decided to seek an extra $17.5 million from the state.

Of that extra request, the state's flagship campus, University of Maryland, College Park, would get $7 million more, while $6 million would be divided among the UM system's eight other regional and comprehensive university campuses.

Another $3.5 million would be steered to the health and research campuses, with most of that going to help University of Maryland, Baltimore cover a deficit caused by cutbacks in federal funds forteaching hospitals.

The final $1 million in the supplemental budget request would boost the system's downtown Baltimore center and a comprehensive educational reform initiative aimed at improving teaching from kindergarten through college.

Pub Date: 8/29/98

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