Regents Approve Fees for 2007-2008 School Year

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The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved a new fee schedule to take effect with the fall 2007 semester.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

May 11, 2007 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved a new fee schedule to take effect with the fall 2007 semester.

Under the approved plan, incidental fees will increase by $9 per credit hour for Missouri undergraduates and graduate students, $18 per credit hour for non-resident undergraduate and graduate students. Incidental fees for lower division courses at Southeast’s regional campuses in Kennett, Malden and Sikeston, Mo., will remain the same for next year.

The new per credit hour rates will be $176.80 for resident undergraduates; $323.30 for non-resident undergraduates; $204.20 for resident graduate students; and $375.10 for non-resident graduate students; and $114 for lower division courses at Southeast’s regional campuses in Kennett, Malden and Sikeston, Mo.

The Board also approved the allocation of a $5 per credit hour increase in the general fee to take effect next fall. Under the allocation plan, the Student Aquatic Center, athletics and student programming will receive an additional $2. This is in keeping with action approved by the Board in April 2005 in which the Regents approved a $2 per credit hour increase per year in general fees for students beginning in fall 2005 through fiscal 2010, with the proceeds funding construction and operation of a Student Aquatic Center, student programming, intramurals and enhanced student support for athletics. In addition, maintenance and repair will receive an additional $1. This is in keeping with action approved by the Board in April 2006 in which the Regents approved a $1 per credit hour general fee for renovation of academic facilities, particularly science labs, with an additional increase of this fee of $1 per credit hour per year through fiscal 2012.

Also under the general fee distribution plan, Information Technology will receive an additional $1, and cultural arts will receive $1, a new allocation approved by the Regents today. The $1 per credit hour allocation to cultural arts will provide Southeast students with half-priced admission to outside touring shows at River Campus.

With the $5 increase, the general fee, beginning in fall 2007, will be $20.70 per credit hour for students on the Cape Girardeau campus. Based on the new incidental and general student fee increases, total required fees per credit hour will be $197.50 for resident undergraduates; $344 for non-resident undergraduates; $224.90 for resident graduate students; and $395.80 for non-resident graduate students.

The Regents approved an $8.50 per credit hour increase in general fees for students taking lower division courses at Southeast’s regional campuses, bringing total required fees to $127.50 per credit hour for lower division courses at Southeast’s regional campuses in Kennett, Malden and Sikeston, Mo.

Kathy Mangels, vice president for business and finance, said current state budget deliberations include a 4.3 percent increase in operating appropriations for higher education. This would equate to an increase of $1.8 million for Southeast, after withholdings.

She says Southeast is strongly committed to its mission of providing quality academic programs with reasonable access to prospective students in its service region.

“We closely monitor how fee increases affect Southeast students,” she said.

Mangels said Southeast’s fees will still remain lower than almost every comparable university. Southeast’s incidental fees for fiscal 2008 will be less than the University of  Missouri-Columbia’s rate of $235.90 per credit hour, Missouri State University’s rate of $179 per credit hour, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s rate of $211.60 a credit hour, Truman State University’s rate of $243.34 a credit hour, and Murray State University’s rate of $196 per credit hour. Southeast’s incidental fees for fiscal 2008 will be slightly more than Northwest Missouri State University’s rate of $146.45 per credit hour and Lincoln University’s $160.61 per credit hour.

When considering both incidental and general fees for a 12-hour semester, Lincoln University is the only institution with total costs lower than Southeast.

In related action, the Board approved special course fees to take effect with the fall 2007 semester. Special course fees are requested by departments to cover the cost of consumable supplies or other expenses unique to a course. Mangels said formalizing “up-front” billing avoids surprise costs to students after they enroll.

“This process also makes special course fees eligible for the Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning tax credits that the student or parent may claim,” she said.

The special course fees approved by the Regents are for two courses in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics and a course in the Department of Biology.

The Regents today also approved an increase in the domestic application fee from $20 to $25 to take effect June 1 for fall 2008 applicants.

Dr. Dennis Holt, vice president for administration and enrollment management, said the increase will partially fund the addition of an Admissions specialist to assist in processing admissions applications, which have increased from 3,696 in fall 1999 to 6,034 in fall 2006. The remainder of the salary for this position will come from increased enrollments, Holt said.

Also in related action, the Board approved an increase in online Web course fees by $2.50 per credit hour and ITV course fees by $1.50 per credit hour effective with the fall 2007 semester.

Mangels said that while ITV credit hours have remained relatively steady, the demand for online Web course offerings continues to rise. The fall 2002 schedule included 55 online Web courses, and the fall 2006 schedule included 169 online Web courses, an increase of 207 percent in offerings in five years. Mangels says the revenue from the increase will assist in funding the increasing personnel and operational costs associated with delivering these non-traditional instructional courses.

The Regents also approved a $1 per credit hour increase in the student computing general fee to take effect with the fall 2007 semester. Holt says the increase would generate revenue necessary to cover several Information Technology needs. He says costs associated with technology, including technology enhanced classrooms and open labs, have grown significantly since the student computing general fee was last increased in fall 2000. Technology support directly impacting student learning includes network services, open labs and academic labs, technology enhanced classrooms, and student portal and Web based services.

Holt says a five-year information technology plan, including projects of future needs and resources was completed this year. Working from these results, Holt and the assistant vice president for Information Technology met with Student Government, which later approved the request for an increase in the student computing general fee by a two-thirds vote.

Holt says that with the opening of the Information Commons in Kent Library in August, the net number of computers under the open lab system will rise by 62, and additional staffing and printers will be needed. The cost of this expansion, including maintenance costs and sustaining the current replacement cycle is estimated at $30,000, he said.

In addition, with the opening of River Campus in the fall, there will be 147 technology enhanced classrooms on the Cape Girardeau campus, up from just 80 four years ago, Holt said. At the same time, he says there is an increasing demand for smart boards and other enhancements to these classrooms that cannot be funded at the rate requested.

“Like open computer labs, technology enhanced classrooms require technical maintenance and service, and our five-year analysis of technical support needs for the expanded campus networks indicates that we lack the number of technical support staff to maintain the replacement cycle,” he said.

Holt says the cost of maintenance, repair and development of technology enhanced classrooms is estimated to be $80,000, and the cost of a technician dedicated to supporting these classrooms is estimated at $45,000 annually.

Labs supervised by academic departments for instructional purposes are not included in the open lab budget, Holt said. While departments assume responsibility for the replacement cycle in these labs, the demand for technical support has increased. An additional technician is needed to maintain the ongoing process of maintenance and upgrades in the academic labs at an estimated cost of $45,000 annually, he said.

In addition, students involved in the planning process and Student Government leaders have expressed an interest in working with Information Technology to identify and provide additional Web-based services, interface enhancement and improvements to the student portal, Holt said. A student applications programmer is needed to meet this request at an estimated cost of $49,000 annually.

In the last decade, the University’s network – both wired and wireless – has increased six fold, he said. This expansion involves the addition of fiber runs, switches and routers. Until now, the cost of this expansion has been covered incrementally by a one-time installation fee for additional drops. But Holt says the resources are not available for the inevitable life-cycle replacement costs of the various physical components of the network, which are set by vendors. Excluding the Student Residential Network, which is paid for by Residence Life, the estimated annualized cost of replacements is about $112,000. Of this, a little less than half provides direct support to students through open labs, academic labs, technology enhanced classrooms, wireless service and e-mail stations at an estimated cost of $51,000, he said.