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Trustees approve 2019 operating budget

The UT Board of Trustees approved on June 18 the University’s operating budget for fiscal year 2019 that includes the new Tuition Guarantee plan for incoming students and no tuition increase for continuing undergraduate students.

The $750 million operating budget is based on stable student enrollment and reflects efforts the University has taken to control costs, such as savings from last year’s Voluntary Separation Incentive Program and health-care savings generated by encouraging employees to use UT’s pharmacies.

The new Tuition Guarantee goes into effect for the 2018-19 academic year and allows new degree-seeking undergraduate students to pay the same tuition and general fees from their first day of college through graduation four years later. On-campus housing and meal plan rates also are guaranteed for four years; however, residence hall space cannot be guaranteed beyond a student’s second year due to high demand from first- and second-year students.

An undergraduate tuition freeze continues for the fourth consecutive year for students enrolled prior to summer 2018 who are not included in the Tuition Guarantee program. The budget includes a 2 percent increase in the graduate tuition rate, with additional increases in some specific graduate programs. The trustees previously approved a 2 percent increase in housing and meal plans to cover increasing costs of operations.

The budget reflects wage increases for professional staff and faculty members who are not part of a bargaining unit. The increases are based on salary levels in which individuals with a salary greater than $100,000 will receive a 1 percent wage increase; employees who make between $75,000 and $100,000 will receive a 1.5 percent raise; and those who make less than $75,000 will receive a 3 percent wage increase. University employees who are members of unions will receive increased compensation as determined by their collective bargaining agreements.

The Board of Trustees elected officers for the 2018-19 year. Mary Ellen Pisanelli will serve as chair, and Alfred A. Baker will serve as vice chair.

The June meeting completed the board service of Joseph H. Zerbey, former president and general manager for The Blade, who was appointed to the board in 2009. Lucas D. Zastrow, a student trustee in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, also was recognized for his two years of service to the board.