UT Trustees Adopt Fee Increases, New Budget

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Student fee increases, the 1996-97 budget and termination of 20 low-productivity academic majors were approved Thursday by University of Tennessee trustees.

The fee hikes range from 3 percent for undergraduate students to 10 percent for out-of-state students in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.

It is the second straight year of 3 percent undergraduate increases — the smallest combined two-year percentage increase in 19 years, the smallest dollar-wise in 12.

UT-Knoxville undergraduate students, for example, will pay an additional $28 per semester, raising their annual fee to $1,940.

Even with the fee increases, UT will remain one of the “best buys in higher education, in terms of quality and cost,” UT President Joe Johnson told the trustees.

The fee increases will generate about $3.1 million in new revenue to support scholarships and increases in operating costs, Johnson said.

The finance committee, which met Wednesday, did not recommend fee increases for in-state students in medicine, dentistry and pharmacy.

The proposed in-state increases are:

* Undergraduate, graduate nursing and veterinary medicine, 3 percent. For example, the 1996-97 annual in-state undergraduate fees (and the increase) would be $1,940 ($56) at UT-Knoxville, $1,790 ($52) at UT-Martin and $1,790 ($76) at UT-Chattanooga.

* Graduate, 5 percent.

* Law, 7 percent.

The committee recommended the following out-of-state tuition increases:

* Undergraduate, graduate and graduate nursing, 5 percent.

* Law, 8 percent.

* Medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary, 10 percent.

In addition, UT-Chattanooga requested and the board approved (1) a $12 per semester fee increase to complete the process of equalizing the UTC and UT-Martin fees, (2) a $13 per semester increase in the student activities fee to support expanded health programs, gender equity in athletics and intramurals, and (3) a $15 technology fee for all students to pay for expanded and improved computer services.

The UT Space Institute got the board’s okay for a $15 per semester activities fee hike to buy needed computer equipment. And the board approved a $2 per semester activities fee increase at UT-Martin to offset inflation.

The board terminated 24 academic majors — seven each at Knoxville and Memphis and five each at Chattanooga and Martin. Some of those will be consolidated into biomedical science and pharmaceutical science majors at Memphis, one engineering major at Martin and one in foreign language and literature at Chattanooga.

UT regularly “prunes” its inventory of academic programs, Senior Vice President Homer Fisher said. “Over the last 15 years, nearly 100 programs have been terminated or consolidated.”

A budget of $990.6 million for the year beginning July was adopted by the trustees. It includes a $365.2 million state appropriation — an increase of 3 percent, or $10.7 million.

The budget includes $67 million in building and maintenance projects, including $12.4 million for Phase III of the Wittenborg-Link renovation in Memphis and $11.4 million for renovation of the Claxton education building at Knoxville.

Fly reported that the 10,583-seat upper deck addition to Neyland Stadium will be ready for the Vols’ home opener Aug. 31, raising the stadium’s official seating capacity to 102,485.

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