Regents Approve Special Course Fees

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

May 15, 2010 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today implemented a $30 per credit hour special course fee on undergraduate courses in athletic training, computer science and nursing to take effect with the fall 2010 semester.

Special course fees were one of eight institutional categories identified by the University’s Budget Review Committee for increasing revenue or reducing expenditures to balance the anticipated budget shortfall for fiscal years 2011 and 2012, said Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration.

According to Mangels, the Provost’s Office, with input from deans and department chairs, conducted an analysis to determine cost per student credit hour when considering implementing per credit hour course fees on high cost programs and per credit hour course fees by college or department.  Calculations included all costs incurred by the University as a result of offering each program, adjusted by any program specific income generated, using data from fiscal year 2007 through fiscal year 2009.

She said various models were explored for adding charges to high cost programs. Mangels said the University has defined a “high cost program” as one that exceeds the average cost per student credit hour for undergraduate programs at Southeast. The average cost per student credit hour for all undergraduate courses is $165. The comparison revealed that the cost per student credit hour for undergraduate programs at Southeast is lower than national peer group institutions for more than 70 percent of Southeast’s academic programs, Mangels said.

The analysis showed that undergraduate high cost academic programs exceeded the University average of $165 by a range of $50 to $99 per credit hour to $200 or more per credit hour. Mangels said the Budget Review Committee recommended that because of the variance in the level that high cost academic programs exceeded the University mean, a special course fee would be assessed only on those programs that exceeded the University mean at the highest range of $200 or more per credit hour.

Athletic training, computer science and nursing undergraduate programs exceed the University mean by $200 or more per credit hour, Mangels said.  Assessing a special course fee on all courses offered in these three programs will generate about $184,000, she said.

She added that consideration was given to student economic concerns, recent state directives concerning tuition increases and academic program needs when assessing the options.  An analysis of those programs that qualify as high cost programs will be reassessed every three years, Mangels said.