April 6, 2015 by Justin Bannister, NMSU News Center
During its regular meeting Monday, April 6, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents voted 4-1 to approve a 2.4 percent blended increase in tuition and fees for the 2015-16 academic year.
As part of the approval, the Regents asked the university to work over the next 12 months to create a proposal for a four-year guaranteed tuition rate program, review whether student employees can be utilized to cover certain duties assigned to positions considered for possible elimination and move the university’s benchmarking to four-year graduation standards, instead of six-year standards.
The approved tuition increase is well within NMSU’s agreement with the Associated Students of New Mexico State University, which limits tuition and fee increases to 6 percent or less per year from 2015-2019. The increase translates to an additional $72 per semester for an in-state undergraduate student carrying 12 credit hours.
The increased revenue will help the university fund priority investments, including the final phase of a three-year faculty salary market equity plan for tenure/tenure-track faculty, a program for first-year student advisers and additional funding for student scholarships, a student success program and marketing.
As part of strategic management efforts to deal with reduced revenue from enrollment declines, the NMSU system will permanently reduce expenditures by about $9.1 million during the upcoming fiscal year, with $7.2 million from the Las Cruces campus.
“We’re looking to ‘right-size’ the system,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. “We instituted a hiring moratorium last month to capture immediate savings and will identify $9.1 million in permanent budget cuts across the NMSU system the next fiscal year. We’re also negotiating with a staffing analysis firm to give the university recommendations when it comes to our staffing levels. Since 2010, full-time equivalent faculty positions have declined 2 percent and full-time equivalent staff positions have declined about 14 percent.”
Rate increases for NMSU’s community colleges include a 4.5 percent blended tuition and fee increase for NMSU Carlsbad, a 1.5 percent blended tuition and fee increase for NMSU’s Doña Ana Community College and a 2.3 percent blended tuition and fee increase, resident out-of-district only, for NMSU Grants. Tuition and fees for NMSU Alamogordo were left unchanged.
Regents declined to increase student housing rates, but approved a 4 percent increase in meal plans. Regents also approved a $7.50 annual increase in parking permit rates, with the exception of student parking permits, which were unchanged. The university’s special permit rate increased $64.
During the meeting, the Board of Regents recognized the NMSU men’s and women’s basketball teams. Each team won the Western Athletic Conference 2014-15 regular season championship, as well as the conference tournament championships and appeared in the NCAA Tournament.
The Regents’ Above and Beyond award was presented to Patrick Kennedy, the university’s ticket manager in the Special Events Office. He was praised for his behind-the-scenes work in helping events run smoothly, including NMSU’s recent sell-out of the Pan American Center during the men’s basketball team’s final home game.
The Board of Regents also elected officers for the upcoming year. Amanda Lopez Askin was selected as secretary, Debra Hicks was selected as the vice chair and Mike Cheney was selected as chair of the board.