published Friday, February 20th, 2009

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to push for 9 percent tuition hike

UTC officials are preparing to fight for a 9 percent tuition increase at the UT board of trustees meeting next week, a proposal that may be resisted since state officials have suggested only a 7 percent increase.

UTC officials also will present nine academic programs for possible discontinuance at the meeting in Memphis. According to University of Tennessee at Chattanooga documents, the board of trustees will review more than 40 academic programs for possible discontinuance throughout the UT system.

“These cuts are real,” said Richard Brown, vice chancellor of finance and administration at UTC. “It changes a university. ... Folks, we won’t fix this in a year.”

Dr. Brown, who presented budget plans to the UTC Faculty Senate on Thursday, said a 7 percent tuition increase, which the Tennessee Higher Education Commission recommended for UTC, is not enough.

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“It does not work for financially rebalancing,” he said.

The commission recommended 9 percent increases only for institutions as large at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, which has about 26,400 students compared to UTC’s 9,800.

“There are members of the board that will think 9 percent is too high,” UTC Chancellor Roger Brown said. “Our needs are as logical and urgent as Knoxville.”

Steve Jean, a sophomore majoring in biology at UTC, said that, as a student without financial aid and working a part-time job, he is not looking forward to paying an additional 9 percent for his schooling.

“That’s not a very good idea,” he said.

Phil Oldham, provost at UTC, said he is recommending that the undergraduate programs in Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, theater education, art education, music, humanities and a graduate degree in music be examined for possible closure.

More than 100 course selections will be eliminated in the fall throughout the academic catalog, he said.

However, Dr. Oldham said he is not recommending any programs be closed during this budget cycle.

In addition, UTC likely will eliminate one of the two Children’s Center locations at Brown and Battle Academy, he said, costing about 14 employees their jobs. The Challenger Center will have to increase its revenue and the Cadek Conservatory of Music will be forced to raise its registration fees, he said.

  • UTC Chancellor Roger Brown talks about budget cuts at the faculty senate meeting.
about Joan Garrett McClane...

Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...

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