In-state students in the University of Nebraska system will face approximately a 2.75% tuition increase in the next two academic years after the NU Board of Regents voted to approve the new operating budget and tuition increases during its Friday, June 28 meeting.

Out-of-state students’ tuition rates will increase on average by an additional 3.75%. These tuition increases affect all four of NU’s campuses and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.The tuition increases will affect current and incoming students, according to NU Director of Communications Melissa Lee.

Bounds said NU tuition rates will be 20% less than comparable institutions even with the tuition increase. 

“As someone who paid for every penny of his college education,” Bounds said. “I don’t bring a tuition increase to you without some great pain.”

The change will mean an increase in undergraduate tuition by $7 per credit hour at UNL for in-state students and $28.50 per credit hour for out-of-state students for the 2019-20 academic year. In the 2020-21 academic year, out-of-state tuition will increase by $30 per credit hour. Students in the College of Architecture, College of Business and College of Engineering will face additional tuition increases.

The tuition increases and the 3% funding increase from the state of Nebraska will contribute to around a $990 million operating budget approved by the board for the 2019-20 fiscal year, a 2.19% increase based on president Hank Bounds’ recommendations.

The new operating budget also includes a 2% increase in the salary pool for merit-based promotions for NU faculty and an additional 0.4% increase to address the faculty competitiveness for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Operational and infrastructural expenses will increase as well.

Association of Students at the University of Nebraska president Emily Johnson said she supported the operating budget and tuition increases, but told members of the Board of Regents to empathize with students. She said that for a student, these changes are equal to three extra work days per year, but only one hour of additional work for an attorney or 45 additional minutes for a doctor. 

Additionally, the Board of Regents approved the current, unchanged presidential advisory committee to search for NU president Bounds’ replacement, which consists of 23 people representing faculty, students, administration, state leaders and philanthropists.

The committee will look for a candidate who exhibits seven pillars, which include: being a proven leader, prioritizing academics, commitment to One Nebraska, strategic thinking, political acumen, being a fundraiser and liking sports. One Nebraska is the informal term used to describe NU as one university on four campuses its service to the state as a whole.

Prior to the session, AGB Search Managing Principal Roderick J. McDavis spoke on recruiting the next NU president. AGB Search is the recruiting firm hired by the University of Nebraska to find a long-term NU president. 

McDavis discussed AGB Search’s listening sessions, recruiting strategies and new salary and benefit estimates. When compared to other Big Ten schools and similar university systems, McDavis said total packages, which consists of base salary and benefits, for Big Ten presidents ranged from $800,000 to $1.2 million.

McDavis said that in order to balance being both transparent and confidential, search candidates will remain anonymous during the process.

A proposal to create an interlocal cooperative agreement between UNL and the City of Lincoln to establish the iLink Corporation was passed at the meeting. The agreement will create a nonprofit interlocal corporation to secure federal grant funding to develop and market emerging wireless technologies with the purpose of benefiting urban and agricultural infrastructure.

During the open forum, a few individuals addressed the Board of Regents regarding topics not mentioned on the agenda.

Former Nebraska Legislature candidate Bob Van Valkenburg urged the Board of Regents to think about Nebraska’s young people, poor and rural communities before making its decision on the tuition increase. 

UNL professor of biological sciences David Woodman argued that the Board of Regents’ presidential search committee violates university bylaws because the committee does not have enough faculty staff.

District 2 regent Howard Hawks made a farewell address to outgoing NU President Hank Bounds and bestowed the title of president emeritus to Bounds. The meeting was Bounds’ last time attending as president. 

Bounds will leave the NU system in August and will be given a deferred compensation of $300,000 from his contract.

The NU Board of Regents will meet again on August 16 in the board room of Varner Hall, 3835 Holdrege St.

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