UAA gets tuition increases, UAS and UAF get new programs

The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved tuition increases and gave the stamp of approval to several new degree and certificate programs at a two-day meeting in the Gorsuch Commons last week.

According to the board’s reports, statewide system president Mark Hamilton recommended two years of 5 percent tuition increases. Regents unanimously approved the increases, and several expressed a desire to revisit the issue next year.

With a 5 percent increase starting in the fall 2008 semester, students taking 15 credits a semester will pay $4,290 annually. This is $210 more than students are paying for 2007-08. Lower-division tuition will be $134 per credit, up from the current $128, according to the board’s reports.

“Our students have paid increasingly higher tuition, which is an important part of our revenue component,” said Board Chair Mary Hughes, according to the UA Statewide System. “Tuition revenue is about 12 percent of our overall budget, with faculty grants, private donations and other university-generated revenue making up a significant portion of the rest. The State of Alaska provides approximately 40 percent of our budget. Thus, the support of our governor and legislators has always been, and will continue to be, crucial to providing postsecondary educational opportunities important to Alaskans.”

UAS will be getting a new Bachelor of Arts degree in art, which the board also approved at the meeting, according to the board’s reports. UAF will be getting a certificate in veterinary science and a certificate in high-latitude range management through UAF’s Northwest Campus in Nome.

A tuition increase was the only new item approved for UAA, according to the board’s reports. The tuition increase affects all campuses statewide.

In other action, the board approved a 193-acre land sale to Sitka’s city and borough for $3.3 million, according to the board’s reports. It also approved $4 million in roofing, siding and mechanical repairs to the Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel and discussed the UA system’s 2009 operating and capital budgets. Formal approvals for the 2009 budget are scheduled in November.