This is my transcript of UA president Robert Shelton's presentation at Monday's tuition hearing. Shelton and eight UA students addressed the Arizona Board of Regents at the hearing.
"The University of Arizona's approach to budgeting and fiscal management has consistently been centered on balance.
When the regents will be voting on the tuition levels nxt month, it's essential to keep in mind that the University of Arizona is not requesting to backfill any of the past $100 million reductions in state funding, nor even the majority of the $67 million reduction proposed by the governor in her budget for fiscal year 2012.
In fact, the university will absorb through operational reductions and effiiencies $39 million of the $67 million proposed in the governor's budget.
This burden will not be offset by tuition, and I have presented this proposal to the regents.
In fact the University of Arizona will continue to offset reductions through innovation, efficiency increases, unit and production reductions and consolidations.
So the tuition proposal presented here depends on the use of efficiency and the university reserves to mitigate the need for larger tuition increases.
We must use our reserves to sustain the quality of the university as well as cover increases in operating costs that come at a time of increased enrollment and student/family demand for accessibility concurrent with a decrease in support from the state.
Our propsal also includes a substantial ongoing commitment to financial aid that ensures a UA degree is available to every qualified student in our state.
With the approval of this tuition proposal, the University of Arizona commits to maintaining our dollar investment in financial aid at the current level, including the regents' set aside of 17 percent for need-based aid.
Most importantly, the differentiation of the University of Arizona comes through the undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs focusing...
[Technical difficulties here cause Shelton to have to repeat the first portion of his presentation for regents listening by simulcast at other campus locations around the state.]
Specifically, for FY '12 we are proposing a $1,500 annual tuition increase for all resident students on the UA main campus. The tuition increase for resident students at UA South would be $1,200, consistent with the university's practice and the regents' system enterprise philosophy that differentiated, lower cost options are available to students seeking a University of Arizona degree.
We will continue to enroll a considerable number of out-of-state students and they will be enrolled at a higher tuition rate. We are proposing specifically an out-of-state undergraduate tuition rate of $24,573 this year. You can see the details in the charts.
In addition to the tuition proposals, we propose an increase of $150 in the student health, wellness and recreation fee. This reflects the second year of a two-phase implementation, an implementation that we discussed a year ago and broke into two separate requests.
This increase for this fee has been unanimously endorsed by the health and recreation student fees advisory board.
The second mandatory fee we're requesting is a two-year phased approach, again a two-year approach, for increasing the student information technology fee. It was increased last year and for FY '12 the proposed increase of $125 wolud be directed toward IT costs that support the student experiences.
Selected differential tuition program fees for proposals for professionally accredited programs and a small number of class fees are also being presented at the meeting next month along with the College of Medicine's tuition proposal that would put resident and non-resident tuition for medical students at the median of peer institutions.
Finally I note that with the March 15 release of the state senate budget proposal for FY '12, the University of Arizona would sustain not a $67 million cut but a $92 million cut. And this tuition proposal presented in our memo and this evening does not account for this additional $25 million reduction.
To put it in context, the state senate's proposal would take this institution back to the funding level of more than 20 years ago.
Thank you for allowing me to present this overview of our proposals."