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Students at the University of Minnesota at Rochester will see a 1.5% increase in 2022

Tuition at the Rochester campus would increase to $ 12,376 – up to $ 157 – next school year for students residents and non-residents. That compares with the Twin Cities campus increasing to $ 13,532 – up $ 202 – next school year; and $ 32,096 – $ 480 more – for non-residents.

A 1.5% salary increase for all college employees is pending labor negotiations and employee performance reviews, said college budget director Julie Tonneson.

The Rochester campus will also receive $ 350,000 in one-time money for anticipated student growth under its Bluff Top Plan. UMR's tuition grew 11.5% last year during the pandemic, and the extra dollars will be used to hire more teachers and for scholarships for students, said Molly Olson, UMR's director of communication and marketing.

Rochester is one of two entities in the University of Minnesota system (the other being the Carlson School of Management) that projects higher revenues due to increased enrollment.

The university will receive approximately $ 19 million in state funding by 2022, of which $ 3.5 million will remain for 2023 and $ 19 million for 2023, for a total of $ 38 million. This is approximately 82% of what the university applied for.

At Tuesday's meeting, the board voted unanimously to pass a resolution to issue debt for operational purposes. The university plans to take a loan of $ 35 million to $ 40 million for sports, and officials anticipate that the athletics department will generate revenue to repay the loan over several years, said Myron Frans, senior vice president of finance and operations.

The loan will be capped at $ 50 million, and all future requests that extend beyond the cap will be brought to the board for approval, Frans said.

In 2022, the university expects to generate $ 13.6 million in tuition, $ 15.5 million in state appropriations, $ 49.6 million in internal reallocations, and $ 9.8 million in other resources, for a total of $ 88.5 million.

The university plans to spend $ 87.7 million, in addition to its regular expenses, in 2022, including MPact 2025 strategic planning, tuition impacts from 2021, an increase in employee salaries and costs. facilities / technology.

"I look at this budget, you know, considering all the consequences and everything that is happening over the last year and a half, I see the budget as very reasonable and very responsible," said Regent Steve Sviggum. "We would all like to have reduced enrollment in a world that was not real."

An increase in state and federal grants should cover the increase in tuition for low-income students, he said.

While Regent Mike Kenyanya said he didn't like the idea of ​​increasing tuition, he said the conversation about tuition in terms of competitors and reciprocal students is outside the scope of the budget meeting. Kenyanya approved the 1.5% employee pay increase, saying it could help retain employees and save money in the future on hiring.

During the meeting, Regent Darrin Rosha proposed an amendment, suggesting that instead of increasing tuition, the university could use the funds allocated to strategic initiatives.

"Cost of attendance is a real problem for many, many people," he said. "This has a real impact on real people, and I think we are not aligned."

The amendment failed and Rosha was the only vote against the budget.

Regent James Farnsworth said the board must commit to "focusing the values ​​of opportunity, access and affordability," especially when emerging from a pandemic. He also said that the $ 36.1 million investment in MPact 2025 is essential for the university.

Regent Mary Davenport echoed Farnsworth's sentiment on strategic planning, saying that strategic planning "is necessary for our university to move forward."

Regent Douglas Huebsch supported the budget proposal, saying he doesn't want to cut strategic initiative money because "that's what will get us into the future."

“I wish the tuition increase was a little less and, frankly, I wish the salary increase was a little greater. But given where we are, I think it's a balancing act, and I think this threads the needle, ”said Regent Ken Powell.

Regent Janie Mayeron said she supported the budget proposal and believes that the decision to increase tuition as part of the budget has taken into account the pandemic, competing institutions, and college spending.

"I think President Gabel and her team have demonstrated and picked up where President (Eric) Kaler left off and took several more steps, this holistic and systemic dialogue on tuition and enrollment strategy more broadly," said the Regent. David McMillan. "I can support the one and a half percent, but I don't do it in a vacuum."

Post Bulletin reporter Matthew Stolle contributed to this report.

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