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Trustees approve 1998-99 fee increase
Request for room and board increase is halved
January 19, 1998

The Board of Trustees at its December meeting approved a 3 percent increase for most student fees for 1998-99, but lowered the proposed room and board increase from 3 percent to 1.5 percent.

The board's vote on the proposal to raise all fees by 3 percent had been delayed from the November meeting, after board members expressed concern about the continuing rise in costs to students.

The increases, together with a 3 percent increase in tuition approved by the board last summer, bring the total cost for 1998-99 to $11,080 for an in-state student, $19,770 for out-of-state. The increases were approved by the board with L.C. Heist voting against the motion. He said he felt it inappropriate to tell the administration where to make specific cuts.

Chancellor Mark Emmert said the 3 percent proposal was based on the assumption of maintaining current services. "It will be a very tall order to maintain the current level of services," he said. "We will work very hard to minimize any impact."

The 1.5 percent increase in room and board, which will require cutting about $300,000 from the residential life budget, may result in the loss of some services in the dorms. Carmen Vance, interim vice chancellor for student services, said the cuts might include a new program to provide paper towels and soap to dormitory bathrooms.

Some students protested possible cuts in services. Others called for the University to keep costs down. "We're concerned about the quality of life on campus," said Amy Woodward, a junior. "Higher prices will reduce the level of diversity in the student body, lower the quality of life."

Trustees urged the administration to aim for a zero percent increase for fees in 1999-200.

"We're not voting to hold to a zero percent increase but this is what we hope it will be, what I'll be looking for next year," said Trustee Jim Abromaitis.

Wilbur Jones, vice president for business and finance, presented a proposal to improve the University's budget process, that would include moving to a biennial budget, incorporating input from the board earlier in the process and seeking better ways to involve students.

The trustees also approved elimination of the transcript fee. Elimination of the $5 fee has enabled the Registrar's Office to process requests more quickly.

In other business, the board approved a resolution congratulating Marilyn Nelson on "her poetic achievement and her commitment to scholarship and teaching." Nelson was a finalist for the 1997 National Book Award for The Field of Praise: New and Selected Poems. She also was a finalist for the award in 1991 for another collection of poems, The Homeplace. The resolution, which recognized "the acclaim, distinction and national prestige" these and other awards bring to Nelson and to the University, added that "Professor Nelson, in the body of her work as a poet and in her teaching, lives, and inspires her students to live, the 'life of the mind."

Trustees also approved a resolution to name the research wing of the new chemistry building the Charles E. Waring Research Wing. Waring, for whom the current chemistry building is named, taught at UConn from 1946 to 1979, including 20 years as chair of the chemistry department.

Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu