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The University of New Mexico’s Board of Regents voted Tuesday for a tuition increase, a three percent raise for faculty a one percent raise for staff, as well as a one-time, $1,000 supplement to UNM staff.
The increase, which is for the main campus only, will be 6.6 percent for students who are taking 15 or more credits. For those who are taking up to 15 credits, the tuition increase will be 13.2 percent.
What does this mean for the students on the Los Alamos campus?
According to UNM-LA Director, Dr. Cedric Page, while the 3 percent raise and the $1,000 supplement applies, the 6.6 percent tuition increase does not. Instead, at some point in the future, maybe as soon as the spring of 2014, the Los Alamos campus will adopt a 5.6 percent increase to accommodate the 3 percent raises and the $1,000 supplement.
For now, however, Page said the current tuition fees at the Los Alamos campus remain firm and will not be changed. “We’ve already published our tuition rates for the summer and the fall and that’s what students will be paying,” Page said.
The Tuesday vote ended a moratorium on raises that lasted for several years. Page said the raises and the supplements were to help counter that.
“This is viewed as an offset for the years that staff and faculty have not received support from the state of New Mexico,” Page said. “The university has obviously taken steps to acknowledge the contributions of faculty and staff by voting for these increases.”
In March of this year, citing increasing financial burdens and a decline in financial support from the state, the Los Alamos campus’ Advisory board voted for a 2 percent tuition increase. According to Steve Boerigter, chairman of the UNM-LA Advisory Board, that increase will be replaced by the Board of Regents’ decision some time in the near future.
“Due to the dire budget situation at UNM-LA, our Advisory Board had chosen to increase tuition 2 percent at our March meeting. The tuition increase at UNM-LA of 5.6 percent approved by the regents replaces our proposal of 2 percent in order to help offset these faculty and staff raises,” Boerighter said. “We recognize that UNM-LA still provides an extremely cost-effective education when compared to our peers.”
Currently, students at UNM-LA pay $62.50 per credit. When the 5.6 percent is voted in, students will be paying $66.
Boerigter added the UNM Board of Regents made the right decision, even though it may seem like a controversial one.
“Regarding the decisions, I applaud the Regent’s decision to provide a pay increase for faculty and staff as well the the one-time bonus. The UNM-LA faculty and staff have worked very hard to provide quality programs for our students with declining state budgets and no pay raises,” he said. “The extra burden of developing grants and other alternative funding sources while re-invigorating cherished community programs such as University Adventures and the growth of Dual-Credit programs has stretched core faculty to the limit.”