UT Board Approves Fee Increases

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The cost of attending the University of Tennessee will go up at least $196 next year.

The UT board of trustees Thursday approved fee increases ranging from 7 to 20 percent at its five campuses.

In-state undergraduate students at UT-Chattanooga will see the smallest annual hike — up from $2,464 to $2,660. At UT-Knoxville undergraduates will pay $360 more, up from $2,744. The increase for UT-Martin students will be $314, up from $2,342. The figures include maintenance and program service fee adjustments.

Out-of-state students at Knoxville and Memphis will see fees go up 20 percent, while UTC and UT-Martin will pay 9 percent more.

Bill Sansom, vice chairman of the board, said the increases are necessary to protect quality and he pledged to keep standards high.

The board approved a fiscal year 2000 budget totaling $1.06 billion, up $14.4 million from the current year. Only $828,300 of the increase is in new state appropriations.

There is no new state money for buildings or renovations, but the budget does include $11.9 million for maintenance projects such as roof replacements.

In other action, the board:
–Approved a new competitive admissions policy for freshmen at UT-Knoxville. It will be effective in fall 2001.
–Approved the lease of the UT Memorial Research Center and Hospital in Knoxville to a non-profit organization, University Health System. The hospital will retain the UT name and will pay the university at least $75 million over the 50-year lease.
–Created a limited liability corporation with Battelle Memorial Institute for the purpose of operating Oak Ridge National Laboratory. UT and Battelle are joining together to bid for the operations contract of ORNL.

In remarks at his final board meeting as UT president, Dr. Joe Johnson said state support has to improve.

“The last five or six years have been bad times. The trend lines have been going in the wrong direction,” Johnson said.

“On the positive side, public higher education didn’t get cut (by the legislature). The governor and legislative leaders recognize the state has a revenue problem, and there is more conversation in the legislature about the needs of public higher education.”

Johnson retires July 31 after 38 years at UT, the last nine as president.

His successor will be Dr. J. Wade Gilley, president of Marshall University.