CTBAC holds forum, agrees on 2.6 percent tuition increase

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The College of Liberty Arts College Tuition and Budget Advisory Committee chair Hank Dugie speaks about their proposals and student opinion on tuition increase during Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday evening.

Photo Credit: Mary Kang | Daily Texan Staff

Liberal arts students met for the last time this semester before voicing their opinions on tuition policy in front of peers, faculty and administration today.

The College of Liberal Arts College Tuition and Budget Advisory Committee held an open forum last night to discuss their upcoming proposals and what to do at today’s Tuition Policy Advisory Committee. TPAC has agreed to a 2.6 percent tuition increase for the next two years, said vice-chair Andrew Clark.

Clark said although the surveys done by the CTBAC showed that the majority of the college’s student population opposed a tuition increase, the committee cannot combat the tuition rise by suggesting cutting services as an alternative.

“I don’t think as a committee we would be able to go out and say these are the services we will cut,” he said. “We didn’t approach things as ‘this is what we should do instead’ we said, ‘students are opposed to it, this is why students are opposed to it, but if you have to do it, this is what we want to see.’”

The committee will propose uses for the money gained in the tuition increase in their next recommendation, Clark said. These will include the creation of a “degree in three” program similar to the one in the College of Natural Sciences, a more flexible four year degree program with stronger incentives to graduate on time, a stronger role for the Dean’s Office in summer course selection and a reevaluation of merit pay increases, he said.

Once each college’s committee has established itself, they will be able to band together and make more forceful suggestions to TPAC, said committee chair Hank Dugie.

“We need to work university-wide when we make opinions and suggestions so they can be unified college to college,” he said. “That’s something that could happen in the future. It’s just a very bureaucratic process.”

While the Liberal Arts CTBAC has been around for a little over a year, most CTBACs have been around less than a year, and some are not yet established on their own, Dugie said.

TPAC did not survey students or do research on student opinion like the CTBACs did before making their decision on tuition increase, said John Lawler, a Student Government liberal arts representative. He said that at the TPAC forum tomorrow, members of the CTBAC and other liberal arts students should ask TPAC members why that is.

“TPAC didn’t do nearly as much work in getting the student opinion,” he said. “We really have a chance to let students know that it doesn’t have to be that predetermined tuition increase.”

Printed on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 as: Students speak out about tuition