The UCA board of trustees held its monthly meeting on May 27 that included a vote on tuition and fee increase for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.
Tuition and fees are approved alongside the proposed fiscal operating budget at the May Board of Trust meeting each year. Work on the proposed operating budget that includes revenue and budget models begins around November and continues through April before the May Board of Trust meeting takes place.
The approved tuition and fee increase will be 2.4% for undergraduate students or $225 for 15 hours a semester and $450 for the upcoming academic year.
According to Associate Vice President of Finance Terri Canino, $135 of the $225 tuition and fee increase will be used to support the debt service for the new Integrated Health Sciences building, the Windgate Center and Information Technology with the remainder of the increase used to support the overall operating budget.
For graduate students, the increase will be 2.2% or $191 for 12 hours a semester. Art, music and theater courses will now include an additional $8 per hour Windgate facility fee that will also help support the Windgate Center.
“The tuition and fee increases this next year — 2.4% for undergrad and 2.2% for graduate — will result in $1.5 million dollars that, along with the Resource Optimization Initiative redirect, will be part of our $193 million budget,” President Houston Davis said.
The Resource Optimization Initiative includes the reallocation of funds over the last three years that have resulted in almost $14 million in savings, budget cuts and redirected funds to priority items
“The budget includes a 2% cost of living increase for faculty and staff, additional position, facilities improvements, maintenance of facilities, technology needs, operating funds for departments, programs, and student organizations,” Houston added.
At the meeting, President Davis also acknowledged the Newman Civic Scholar Fellows and Bear C.L.A.W.S. during the president’s report. Furthermore, Davis recognized the 2020 Newman Civic Scholar, Greta Hacker and the 2021 Newman Civic Scholar, Emma Davis during the president’s report.
Davis also recognized Trevis Belle, second-year graduate student in the college student personnel administration program for his academic achievements.
The school of nursing was also recognized for their work and service to the community of Conway.
The board of trustees reported that four faculty members and dozens of nursing students helped to administer more than 12,000 COVID-19 vaccinations over a period of 23 days between January and April with 1,331 hours of service to the local community. A total of 337 students participated in at least one volunteer session.
The board also passed a resolution of appreciation for the diligent work of Dr. Randy Pastor for the UCA campus across the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the meeting, the board of trustees also voted to approve a right-of-way and easement to the city of Conway at the corner of College and Western Avenue for purposes of utilities.
The submission of a grant application to the Arkansas Department of Transportation through their Recreational Trails Program for extending the soft track on campus was also passed. The extension would include 2.5 miles to create a loop that connects existing trails on campus and would include a pedestrian bridge.
The board also voted to approve the extension of the temporary undergraduate admissions criteria through the 2022-2023 academic year.