April 3, 2013 by Julie M. Hughes, NMSU News Center
At a special meeting April 3, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved a 3-percent increase in tuition and fees, which translates to $90 per semester for a full-time resident undergraduate student at the main campus in Las Cruces for 2013-2014.
Interim President Manuel Pacheco spoke about the funding challenges NMSU has faced in the last few years.
“Since 2009 the budget situation has not been as positive as we would have liked, which has limited our ability to progress with some programs or compensate employees the way we would like. There have been some significant cutbacks as well. I think the university has done a great job during this time, even advancing in some areas, but there has been an impact,” Pacheco said.
He said the recommendations to the regents focused on keeping tuition and fees low while still moving the university forward, including addressing compensation challenges for faculty and staff.
Student Regent Jordan Banegas was the lone dissenting vote on the tuition and fees increase.
The increased funding will help the university invest in institutional priorities such as faculty and staff compensation along with phase one of a faculty salary enhancement plan, scholarships for students, graduate assistantships and student support services including advising and tutoring.
In addition, the increase will fund the required student fee request, which incorporates the Student Fee Review Board recommendation, for student fee supported units and activities.
The 3-percent increase for full-time, non-resident undergraduate students will be $288 per semester; $97.20 for full-time, resident graduate students; and $295.20 for non-resident graduate students.
NMSU community colleges will see some increases as well. For resident in-district students, NMSU Alamogordo tuition and fees will increase 1.3 percent, Doña Ana Community College 1.6 percent, and NMSU Carlsbad 2.3 percent. NMSU Grants will not have a tuition and fee increase for resident in-district students.
The regents also approved an increase for meal plan rates ranging from 3.28 percent to 3.43 percent, depending on the type of plan. NMSU’s contractual agreement with Sodexo allows for rate adjustments associated with the cost of business based on Producer Price Index and other operational costs.
No increase was requested for housing or parking rates. Operating efficiencies along with a temporary adjustment to the housing inventory will relieve associated operating costs allowing housing rates to remain level for the upcoming year. Operational cost containment efforts will allow NMSU to maintain flat parking rates for the next year while the proposed implementation of the parking and transportation master plan is being developed.
In other business, the regents gave final approval for the issuance of $56.2 million in system revenue bonds. The sale of bonds provides a means for NMSU to borrow money in support of major projects. This action will allow the university to self-fund the major renovation of the Corbett Center Student Union as well as replace the 30-year old irrigation system at the NMSU Golf Course. As part of the bond issuance, NMSU will refinance about $46 million in outstanding debt, resulting in a present value savings of $6.2 million.
Finally, the regents voted to accept an invitation from the Sun Belt Conference to join as a football-only member beginning in July 2014.