PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University’s Board of Regents has approved increasing resident undergraduate tuition 6.7 percent, effective this fall.

In a special meeting today, the board also supported a 6.1 percent tuition hike for the fall of 2002.

WSU President V. Lane Rawlins told the regents that state lawmakers assumed tuition rate increases of 6.7 percent for 2001-02 and 6.1 percent in 2002-03 in preparing the state budget.

These increases are necessary because the legislature failed to fully fund the salary increases for employees with state monies, he said. In addition, the legislature reduced the state funding available for university operations and provided no state funding to cover inflation costs on utilities and other items.

Rawlins said the administration recommended the tuition hikes for undergraduate and professional students matching the levels assumed in the legislation. The recommended increases for graduate students was 3.5 percent per year. The smaller increase recognizes that the current tuition rates charged graduate students are well above the levels charged at most of WSU’s peer institutions in other states.

“We don’t favor high tuition,” Rawlins said. “But we must protect quality. The university will work hard to offer additional support in financial aid and more private dollars for scholarships.”

The president said WSU tuition currently is a little below the average of its peer institutions. Graduate tuition at WSU is higher than the average.

Jesse Keene, president of the Associated Students of WSU, said he and other students understand that the tuition hikes were necessary in order maintain quality. He recommended that the student services and activities fees be increased only 5.5 percent for undergraduates. “We have ways to cut back spending there and lessen the financial impact on students,” he said. The administration and regents agreed.

Rawlins said the tuition increases should generate $11 million in additional revenue. However, $13.3 million will be needed to make up unfunded legislative mandates, energy cost increases, budget reductions and unfunded inflation.

He said it will have to shift some budget items, but the university will handle the $2-plus million difference through adjustments to university-wide resources as part of the allocation process.

The new tuition rates for 2001-02 are $3,574 for a resident undergraduate and $10,955 for a nonresident undergraduate. Graduate resident tuition will be $5,541, while nonresident graduate students will pay $14,040. The resident professional tuition will be $9,552, while the nonresident professional tuition will be $24,171. Services and activities fees for a resident undergraduate will increase $17 to $324. Other S and A fee increases range from $9-16, depending on the student category.

All tuition and fee hikes are subject to passage of legislation granting the tuition-setting authority to the regents.