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Regents eye tuition hikes at June 13 meeting

Tuition increases will be one of the main topics of discussion when the university’s Board of Regents meet 3 p.m. Friday, June 13, in Lighty Student Services Building, Room 405.

The regents will consider recommended tuition increases for the 2003-04 and 2004-05 academic years. Resident undergraduate tuition would increase 7 percent to $4,435 for 2003-04 and another 7 percent in 2004-05 to $4,745. Non-resident undergraduates would see a 5 percent increase to $12,537 each of the academic years and resident and non-resident graduate students, a 2 percent increase.

The board also will consider a recommendation to set the Services and Activities fees for the 2003-04 academic year at $401 for full-time students. This is an increase of $26 (7 percent) for resident undergraduate students and $43-$85 for other student categories.

Under academic affairs, the regents will consider the recommended extension of the Bachelor of Sciences in horticulture with a viticulture and enology option to WSU Tri-Cities, effective fall 2003. The two sciences involve grape growing and wine making.

Under business affairs, changes to the WSU Retirement Plan will be considered. The modifications would be made to enhance employee retention, assist employees with transition and compete with other employers who offer flexibility and creative options to their retirement-eligible employees.

The regents will discuss a recommended 4.35 percent increase in academic and summer Student Recreation Center fees or an amount equal to the percentage change in the undergraduate tuition, whichever is less, effective fall 2003. The 15-member University Recreation Advisory Board voted unanimously in support of the increase.

Also, the board will discuss the SRC Backyard Capital Project at a projected cost of $565,000, funded by fiscal year 2004 Services and Activities Facilities fees. The proposal would add a sand volleyball area and basketball courts, both of which could be used for a variety of activities, including sand flag football, sand soccer, roller-hockey, concerts and picnic areas. If approved, the project is scheduled for construction during fall 2003.

Regents will discuss the selection of a general contractor/construction manager for the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory at WSU Tri-Cities. The projected maximum allowable construction cost is $13.5 million. The total cost of the project is estimated at $24.25 million. The state capital budget and certificates of participation will fund the project. Design of the new facility is set to begin summer 2003 with construction to begin summer 2005 and completed no later than summer 2007.

Recommended additional funding for the construction of campus well No. 8 will be considered. Funding for the project, previously estimated at $750,000, would provide for site selection, drilling of the well, pump house, associated electrical and mechanical equipment and water line distribution connection to the existing system. Estimates to complete the project are $250,000. Construction of the well would allow WSU to meet water demand reliably and without interruptions, said Greg Royer, vice president for Business Affairs.

Under university development, the regents will discuss the recommendation to approve the WSU/WSU Foundation “Principles of Operation.” The document defines the mission of the WSUF and its relationship to WSU.

The Regents also have committee meetings set for 11:15 a.m. on Friday.

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