University of North Carolina Wilmington students could see an increase in tuition, general fees and room and board over the next two school years.
Friday, the Board of Trustees approved a recommended hike unanimously. The Board of Governors still has to approve the increase for it to take effect. UNCW officials said the Board of Governors will vote on it during their February 2015 meeting.
Here is the breakdown of how much of an increase students would see:
School leaders believe the increase is needed. “We have increasing costs in order to provide education,” explained Rick Whitfield the Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs. “For the last several years, salary increases have not been provided to faculty and administrative staff. We felt that we needed a modest increase there in order to remain competitive in the marketplace.”
The proposed tuition increases would allow the school to hire more faculty members, expand course offerings, add more academic programs, create more graduate programs, and add to the Excellence and Equity fund which provides a pool of money to be used on compensation for staff and faculty.
It would also allow the school to hire more people to help investigate the increasing number of sexual misconduct cases that are being reported. In the first quarter of last year, Rebecca Caldwell of UNCW's C.A.R.E. program said there were 13 cases, that number jumped to 44 cases this year.
She said the increase is largely due to changes in reporting regulations. New regulations require almost all UNCW employees, who are not part of confidential services – like C.A.R.E., to report when they hear about sexual misconduct. They also require more types of misconduct to be reported.
“These positions are actually designed to keep the University in compliance with all of those new regulations and to complete all of the investigations that we are needing to complete and just to handle the caseload of all of the new reports we are receiving,” Caldwell said.
The increase in general student fees would go to a variety of places, including allowing for the hiring of more athletic coaches and staff.
When it comes to campus life, the increase would cover facility and technology upgrades. The funds would also enable the school to upgrade the wireless system, something Whitfield said is necessary.
“Our students take exams that are timed, they can get bumped off the [wireless] network because of high demand and it can take up to five to 10 minutes to log back on,” explained Whitfield. “They are taking a timed examine so it was really important for us to look at our wi-fi network.”
Increases would also go towards transportation including allowing the school to provide additional WAVE routes.
Again, the hike still has to be approved by the Board of Governors for it to take effect.
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