Tennessee Board of Regents
1415 Murfreesboro Road, Suite 350
Nashville, TN 37217
Phone (615) 366-4400 Fax (615) 366-4464

CONTACT: Mary Morgan

TBR Finance Committee Recommends 14% Tuition Increase-Board to Act on Friday
1,578 Course Sections Would Be Offered That Would Not Have Been Possible without Increase

Chattanooga, Tennessee, June 26, 2003- The TBR Committee on Finance and Business Operations today recommended a tuition increase of 14% for all TBR institutions. The full board will act on the increase at its meeting Friday, June 27, at 9:30 a.m. EDT. "While we wouldn't expect most students to look at it this way, this tuition increase actually would do less harm to students than a smaller increase or none at all. A 14% increase would let us add back 1,578 course sections that otherwise would not have been available," said Charles Manning, Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents. "Particularly for students nearing graduation, and with very specific courses required for completion, lack of availability of a needed course can add as much as a year to the time needed to earn a degree. We obviously regret any financial hardship to our students, but even with an increase of this size, we still would be eliminating 432 full-time positions-121 of them filled-along with 128 part-time positions-36 of them filled."

At a tuition increase of 14%, the gross additional revenue generated at TBR institutions is estimated to be about $50.6 million. Allowances for scholarships and fee discounts reduce actual revenue by about $9.1 million, so the net available new revenue is $41.5 million. Before restoring any items in their 9% reduction plans, institutions must meet operating cost increases for next year for items such as utility increases, annualized costs of last year's mid-year salary increase, group insurance price increases, and restoring reserves to the 2% level. Those items account for $25 million, so the net available to restore the 9% budget cuts is $16.4 million. The 9% budget cut amounts to $57 million-the $16.4 million available to offset those cuts is less than 1/3 of the amount cut. Almost $9 million will go to restoring positions and/or hiring adjuncts, with almost $6 million devoted to restoring operating budgets,

According to Manning, "Even with a 14% fee increase, TBR universities and community colleges would be operating with only about 87% of the dollars per student that similar institutions in neighboring states have. This is because state funding per student has fallen steadily over the past 10 years, at the same time it has been growing at peer institutions. Peer institutions are the marketplace competitors of TBR schools for faculty, and dollars per student are a good way to judge relative quality. Even the tuition increases over the past several years have not kept pace with the cuts in state appropriations. If the state is not able to increase appropriations for higher education, tuition increases almost certainly will continue. In 1994-1995, the state provided about three times as many dollars per student as the student paid in tuition-in 2002, the state provided only about twice as many dollars per student as the student paid in tuition. If appropriations continue to be flat or decline, tuition will have to rise to permit us to continue offering Tennesseans a quality education."

Attached to this release is a pdf file containing back-up information and details. If you are not able to open it, please call Linda Bissette at TBR headquarters, and she will fax it to you. Her number is 615-366-4402.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is the nation's sixth largest higher education system, governing 45 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 26 technology centers, providing programs in 90 of Tennessee's 95 counties to over 180,000 students.

Back-Up information and Details (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)