WSU tuition rate to remain flat, but not without consequence

The+Kansas+Board+of+Regents+discusses+tuition+and+fees+at+their+June+2018+meeting+in+Topeka+%28FILE+PHOTO%29.
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WSU tuition rate to remain flat, but not without consequence

The Kansas Board of Regents discusses tuition and fees at their June 2018 meeting in Topeka (FILE PHOTO).

The Kansas Board of Regents discusses tuition and fees at their June 2018 meeting in Topeka (FILE PHOTO).

Matthew Kelly

The Kansas Board of Regents discusses tuition and fees at their June 2018 meeting in Topeka (FILE PHOTO).

Matthew Kelly

Matthew Kelly

The Kansas Board of Regents discusses tuition and fees at their June 2018 meeting in Topeka (FILE PHOTO).

UPDATED: After publication, Vice President for Student Affairs Teri Hall informed The Sunflower via email that the cut to her department was for a third, legally-mandated interpreter for deaf and hard of hearing students and faculty. “Our deaf and hard of hearing students and faculty members is increasing,” Hall said in the email. “We will have to find another way to support this position because we are legally mandated to provide these services.”

For the first time in at least 30 years, Wichita State will not increase tuition for the upcoming school year, but not without consequence.

Wichita State originally asked for a 1% increase for both tuition and fees in May. Now, only fees will go up by 0.3%, down from 0.9% last year. The Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) accepted the request at its Wednesday meeting in Topeka.

The original request and the approved request were the lowest increases in at least 30 years, according to University Budget Director David Miller.

After pressure from the Kansas Board of Regents at their May meeting, no regents schools asked for an increase in tuition. KBOR put pressure on regents schools to cut back on tuition increases this year after the state legislature passed additional funding for higher education.

However, the additional funding by the legislature won’t be sustainable, according to a university news release.

In an email to The Sunflower, Miller said about $876,000 will be reallocated from various areas on campus. The university reduced a $1 million enhancement to the University Scholarship Fund by $150,000 and reduced the university’s utility contingency by the same amount.

Other cuts came from “new planned positions” in Student Affairs and Applied Learning initiatives. The university also “reevaluated [their] overall utility budget to create some additional savings,” Miller said.

These reallocations occur after the university announced in late April that they will cut and reallocate about $1.5 million from a variety of areas on campus to help fund the new business school building.

According to a news release from KBOR, state universities receive $31 million less than they did in FY2009 despite the increase in funding from the legislature.

“State universities are having to find efficiencies and make difficult decisions next year to keep their tuition flat,” said KBOR Chair Dennis Mullin in the release. “I believe that these tough decisions will be worth it to keep our universities affordable for Kansas families, but continued investment by the Legislature will be critical in the coming years.”