Regents approve budget, freezing tuition fees for NU students for two years | Nebraska

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The University of Nebraska board of trustees on Friday approved a billion-dollar annual budget that will freeze tuition fees for two years.

Meeting at Varner Hall for the first time since early 2020, the regents unanimously applauded the budget’s focus on investing in student success, paying faculty and improving facilities.

President Ted Carter said the plan was the result of a “thoughtful, strategic and disciplined” approach taken by campus and system leaders in the midst of a pandemic.

“We had to make some tough decisions, but we did it for the long-term growth and success of the university,” Carter said. “I feel very good with this budget.”

The 2021-2022 budget includes a 2.5% increase in state appropriations, bringing taxpayer support to NU to $ 628.5 million next year, and takes into account planned increases in tuition income to as the number of registrations increases.

In addition to keeping tuition fees at the same level for the next two years, NU will follow through on Nebraska’s promise, which covers the full tuition fees of 1,000 state students from families with low household incomes. of $ 60,000 or less.

It also includes a 1.5% merit pay hike for professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and provides funding for chancellors to pursue strategic goals on their behalf. respective campuses.

Finally, the budget includes plans to begin deploying $ 400 million in funds to improve infrastructure on UN campuses.

Before voting, the student regents – all at their first meeting – hailed the plan as one that invests in student success, both directly and indirectly.

UN Regent Maeve Hemmer said the tuition fee freeze makes higher education more accessible and affordable, while increasing faculty salaries and meeting facility needs indirectly benefit students.

“This budget, for lack of a better term, really puts the money where our mouth is,” she said.

UNMC Regent Taylor Kratochvil said investments in teacher compensation will translate into better training for students, which in turn will benefit hospitals and clinics statewide.

UNK Regent Noah Limbach added that the deferred maintenance program will result in “state-of-the-art facilities” that will also help recruit faculty and students in Nebraska.

“It really is an investment in the future of Nebraska,” said UNL Regent Batool Ibrahim.

The budget was passed 8-0.

* Governor Pete Ricketts addressed the Regents, becoming the first Governor to do so in recent memory. Ricketts praised NU for increasing its enrollment at a time when other colleges and universities were seeing declining student numbers, and credited Carter with “setting the tone” by announcing the university would be hosting in-person classes. last fall.

* Regents approved a 2.3% increase in the 2021-2022 operating budget for the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. The total state-funded agricultural college budget is now $ 4.6 million.

* Kiewit Hall, announced in 2019 to help expand the UNL College of Engineering, had a guaranteed maximum price tag of $ 80.3 million. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new building, which will stand at the corner of 17th and Vine streets, is scheduled for Monday.



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