BOT raises fees

By Erin Calandriello

CHICAGO-The Board of Trustees approved another tuition hike Thursday, raising rates by more than $200 next year.

Returning in-state students will pay $3,218 per year – an increase of $211. Rates for incoming freshmen, who pay a fixed rate for all four years of school, will rise $291 to $3,521.

Housing fees also increased 4.8 percent, and mandatory fees rose $49.

Board members said the rate increases, which are expected to bring in $47.1 million to the University, were necessary.

“The University is facing inflationary cost increases and the University must address it,” said Chester Gardner, the vice president of academic affairs at the University.

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Student Trustee Matthew Diller also said he felt the tuition hike was unavoidable.

“It’s rough,” Diller said. “We don’t look forward to it, but it’s necessary to keep up the quality of the University.”

Board Chair Lawrence Eppley responded in a similar manner to the tuition increase.

“I don’t want to minimize the tuition situation. A $250 increase a semester in tuition is a little more of an out-of-the-pocket cost, but we’re hopeful that it’s manageable,” Eppley said. “On top of that, there will be an increase in financial aid, which corresponds to the tuition increase.”

Eppley said he does not think the tuition increase will affect prospective students.

“Tuition was raised last year,” Eppley said. “And we bumped up the rates of students applying to the University, the number of applications was higher than ever before.”

Board members also officially named Ron Zook as the new football coach of the Illini at a salary of $1 million. $195,000 of it will come from the Department of Intercollegiate Athleticism, and another $705,000 will come from radio and television revenue.

“Zook’s salary is at or below (former coach Ron) Turner’s salary,” Eppley said.

President James Stukel also retired at Thursday morning’s meeting after 10 years as University President and board member Jeffery Gindorf left after 12 years of service.

The Board also decided to merge Community Health and Kinesiology into one degree.

All existing kinesiology degrees will remain unchanged and all existing community health degrees will be placed in the new merged unit.