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IU to Raise Tuition, Lower Costs, Freeze Salaries

Indiana University's next budget will raise tuition, but also makes sweeping changes in an effort to lower costs to undergrads who make their homes in-state.

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Indiana University’s 2009-2010 budget will raise tuition, but also makes sweeping changes in an effort to lower costs to undergrads who make their homes in-state.  But the cuts for Hoosier undergrads come at a cost to university employees, graduate students and those from other states.

Despite a 4.6% tuition and fee increase for in-state undergrads, the average out-of-pocket expense for those same students will decrease in the coming year by more than 5%.  President Michael McRobbie said the school will find the $15 million in financial aid necessary to make the change  in several ways.

“One of them is that there will be no salary increases for this financial year,” McRobbie said.  “But we will ensure that our lowest paid employees — those people on $30,000 a year or less — will get a one-time $500 cash supplemental payment.  We’ll be cutting our travel budget by half and we will be reducing the number of…positions caused by vacancies.”

What that means is that any department which sees a non-faculty employee leave will lose an amount of money equal to 50% of the departing worker’s compensation.  According to University Budget Office Director Steve Keucher, the system-wide salary freeze is the first seen at IU in at least three decades.  The school will also increase costs for most graduate students, especially those in the Kelley School of Business and the Maurer School of Law — students Chief Financial Officer Neil Theobald identified during Thursday’s meeting as those who stand to make higher wages when they graduate.  Graduate business students will be charged an average of 15% more in the coming year.  The increase is nearly 25% for law students.  Non-resident undergraduates do not escape the financial axe, either.  The average tuition increase for out-of-staters is 5.6% — a full percent more than in-state students.  Theobald said creating the student body administrators want requires some tough choices.

“With the state increase being zero, if we are going to focus on affordability for resident undergraduates, that shifts burden to others,” Theobald said.  “We can keep costs as low as we can, but at some point there needs to be funds that are generated from non-resident students, to run the university particularly.”

Still, the university plans to hire more than 100  new faculty members in the coming year, including more than 60 on the Bloomington campus alone.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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