Student Affairs presents SFAC pleas

The Vice President’s Office of Student Affairs concluded the last day of Student Fees Advisory Committee hearings by requesting a $12 increase in student fees instead of collecting administrative fees from its departments.

“On Monday, I presented them with an option to no longer apply a 1.5 percent fee…In order to have stability and funding within the Vice President’s Office, I recommended that they consider a flat $12 per semester student fee,” said vice president of student affairs Richard Walker.

Until recently, the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs received a base allocation of $114,004 from the student services fees, a 1.5 percent administrative fee collected from other departments, and allocations from state funding.

When the University’s state funding was cut last year by approximately $27 million, the student affairs office was forced to operate on reserve funds in addition to the 1.5 percent fee.

“During my presentation last year to SFAC, I asked for an increase in base funding to offset the loss of state funding, about $350,000, which they granted,” Walker said. “They then asked me to look at moving forward and to come up with a potential proposal to not charge more than the 1.5 percent fee.”

Should the plan proposed on Monday be approved, it would generate approximately $1,004,842 in FY14. The money would be utilized within the department to implement new programs and to create new positions.

These include the establishment of the Graduate Professional Student Association in the summer and hiring a Director of Planning and Assessment, and a Marketing and Communication manager. Getting primary funding from student fees would increase flexibility within the office and ease concerns over budget issues.

“Sometimes in a budget cycle, people come up with really good ideas that are off cycle. So we have a choice between waiting for whole other cycle, or do we find a way and do it,” Walker said.

According to Walker, the proposed changes would have no significant effect on the funding of other departments.

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