TBR Approves Tuition, Other Committee Recommendations

The Tennessee Board of Regents today approved maintenance fee/tuition recommendations at its universities and community colleges. Maintenance fee increases are lower this year than in the past two years and will not affect the Tennessee Technology Centers.

It also took action on recommendations by a number of committees, including Finance and Business Operations, Personnel and Compensation, Academic Policies and Programs, and Tennessee Technology Centers.

The Board approved a recommendation made by its Committee on Finance and Business Operations earlier this month to increase maintenance fees/tuition at the system’s 19 community colleges and universities across the state. When combined with mandatory fees (unique to each campus, including fees for athletics, student activities) already approved, the proposed increases for students taking 15 credit hours will amount to:

  • $102 per year for community college students,
  • $72 per year at Tennessee State University,
  • $240 at Austin Peay State University,
  • $348 at Middle Tennessee State University,
  • $383 at Tennessee Technological University,
  • $432 at the University of Memphis, and
  • $546 at East Tennessee State University.

“While we regret any increase in cost to students, we are grateful to be able to limit the extent of the increases this year thanks to additional state funding,” said TBR Chancellor John Morgan. “Our state leaders have recognized the critical role higher education plays in our state’s economic development.”

A complete list of maintenance fee/tuition and mandatory fee increases is available at http://tbr.edu/student_information/default.aspx?id=8205

The increases in maintenance fees/tuition are needed to fund the portion of the mandated 1.5 percent salary increase for all state employees that was not funded through state appropriations and inflation cost increases in utilities and insurance. Most institutions also requested additional increases to fund efforts to support student success.

The Board also approved an incentive compensation plan that would allow institution leaders to earn an annual payment tied to exemplary outcomes in performance, primarily related to the outcomes outlined in the state’s funding formula for public higher education. That formula identifies specific outcomes related to student success, including graduation and retention rates. The plan allows institution leaders to qualify each year for an incentive payment of up to roughly 10 percent of their base salary. Base salaries for presidents and directors were capped at 90 percent of the average market salary for comparable positions in the southeast.

In other new business, the Board approved a slate of new programs, including several in high-demand workforce fields in Tennessee. Among them are a new master of arts degree in Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University, and a bachelor of science degree in Mechatronics Engineering at Middle Tennessee State University.

Newly approved associate of applied science programs include:

  • Mechatronics Technology at Motlow State Community College,
  • Information Systems Technology at Motlow State,
  • Medical Informatics with a concentration in Healthcare IT Technician at Nashville State Community College,
  • Advanced Integrated Industrial Technology at Southwest Tennessee Community College,
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant at Walters State Community College, and
  • a collaborative Surgical Technology program through Walters State and Roane State Community Colleges.

New programs implemented at the Tennessee Technology Centers include:

  • Health Information Technology program at Paris,
  • Health Information Technology program at Whiteville - Brownsville Campus,
  • Machine Tool Technology Program at Morristown- Greenville Center,
  • Industrial Electricity Program at Morristown- Greenville Center,
  • Industrial Maintenance Program with HVAC component program at Oneida,
  • Industrial Technology Education Program for dual enrollment at Ripley,
  • Patient Care Technician Program at Knoxville-Strawberry Plains,
  • Industrial Maintenance Program at Knoxville-Strawberry Plains,
  • Automotive Program for dual enrollment at Hartsville-Tri-County Vocational Center,
  • Graphic Design and Web Development Technology at Murfreesboro, and a
  • Health Science Program at Pulaski- Spot Lowe Vocational Center at Marshall County High School.

The Board also heard a report on the planned name change for the state’s 27 Tennessee Technology Centers and satellite campuses. A bill introduced in the legislature and signed by Governor Haslam changes the name of the centers to Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology effective July 1.

“These various new programs reflect strong partnerships between our colleges and universities and the workforce needs of their surrounding communities,” Morgan said.

The Board also re-elected Governor Bill Haslam as its chairman and selected Regent Emily Reynolds to serve as vice chairman. Reynolds has a long career of public service and was appointed to the TBR in 2010 to represent the at-large seat for Middle Tennessee.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is among the nation’s largest higher education systems, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 27 technology centers, providing programs to more than 200,000 students across the state.

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.