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Board approves tuition increase, four administrative changes

The Board of Trustees approved a 2.8 percent increase in undergraduate tuition in a public meeting Tuesday.

In its first public meeting of the academic year, the Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved a 2.8 percent increase of in-state and out-of-state undergraduate tuition, along with a recommendation that will raise the school’s university services fee by $100 to a total of $790 per year.

In-state tuition will be bumped up to $14,398 per year for in-state students, while yearly out-of-state tuition will rise to $24,704. The university services fee, meanwhile, will increase for the first time since 2009, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Ken Kaiser said after the session adjourned.

Kaiser said the $100 increase will allocate $80 to student activities and organizations, and $20 for technology expenses.

“We need to make sure that we’re servicing and providing the best services to our students,” Kaiser said.

In July 2014, the university announced a 3.69 percent hike for in-state and out-of-state undergraduate tuitions in 2014-15. That change followed a 1 percent increase from the previous year.

Per a Tuesday press release, Temple has increased its tuition rates yearly by an average of 2.4 percent for the past three years.

“Temple University remains committed to keeping an excellent education accessible and affordable,” President Neil Theobald said in the press release. Theobald added the university has allocated an additional $6 million to student financial aid.

As far as the university’s short and long-term futures regarding its tuition rate, Kaiser said any future increases will depend on the funding it receives from the state.

“Our goal is to keep the tuition increase as low as possible and to increase financial aid as much as possible so we can help student manage debt and get out in four years,” Kaiser said.

“I would say students should expect an increase every year, and it should be [Consumer Price Index]-like. Roughly three percent,” he added. “Could be a little bit less; could be a little bit more.”

Along with the tuition schedule, the board approved the university’s operating budget for Fiscal Year 2015-16, along with the budget for Temple University Health System, Inc.

Other notable action recommendations, all of which were unanimously approved, included façade repairs for Conwell, Carnell and Weiss halls, along with Ritter Annex and the university’s old Dental School building. Conwell and Carnell halls will receive window repairs, while the board approved a roof replacement for Klein Hall.

The board also approved four position changes within Temple’s administration, including Michele Masucci’s appointment to the newly created position of vice president for research administration. Masucci, a professor in Temple’s Geography and Urban Studies Department since 2012, was previously named the university’s vice provost for research last October.

Former Athletic Director Kevin Clarke was approved as the university’s new executive vice president and chief operating officer, while Hai-Lung Dai and William Bergman also received approval regarding their respective position changes – Dai as executive vice president and provost and Bergman as vice president for public affairs.

Three guest speakers – School of Media and Communication Dean David Boardman, Faculty Senate President Tricia Jones and Temple Student Government Vice President of Services Brittany Boston – spoke to the board and an assembly of spectators toward the end of the session.

Andrew Parent can be reached at andrew.parent@temple.edu or on Twitter @Andrew_Parent23.

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