By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Eastern New Mexico University President Steven Gamble met with members of the Board of Regents in Ruidoso, which resulted in an increase in tuition and board expenses along with pay increases for ENMU staff.
The transition from instructional center to campus status was approved by the 2005 New Mexico Legislature. Gamble said the Ruidoso Instructional Center will be officially known as a branch campus on July 1.
Regents approved an $83 increase in tuition per semester for resident and non-resident undergraduate students. The increase is 6.4 percent higher for residents and 2.06 percent for non-residents.
“That will be either the lowest or second lowest in the state of New Mexico,” Gamble said. “I guarantee we kept it as low as we could.”
Gamble said the first 4.5 percent of the 6.4 percent increase goes back to the general fund of the state of New Mexico. He said the other 1.9 percent will be used to balance the university’s budget.
Gamble noted that the University of New Mexico will have between an 8 percent to 12 percent tuition increase, Western New Mexico University a 7 percent increase and New Mexico Tech a 10 percent increase. Gamble said he hasn’t heard any announcements from New Mexico Highlands University.
New Mexico State University regents on Friday approved a 6.8 percent increase in tuition and required fees for in-state students and an 8.1 percent increase for some out-of-state students.
Regents also approved a $93 increase in tuition per semester for resident and non-resident graduate students. The increase is 6.3 percent for resident graduate students and 2.1 for non-resident graduate students.
“If it’s going to come back to the students in some way then I don’t mind it,” Fide Davalos, ENMU junior, said. “If it’s going to improve education and attract professors to ENMU then I don’t mind it. But if it’s not going to help the students then that’s not good.”
ENMU officials announced a 6 percent tuition increase last year during the Board of Regents meeting in Ruidoso. Tuition and fees combined for undergraduate resident ENMU students has risen from $1,236 per semester during the 2003-04 semesters to $1,308 per semester for the 2004-05 year to the proposed $1,392 for the 2005-06 year.
Regents also approved an average of 3 percent pay increase for all employees. Last year a 3 percent pay increase for faculty and staff, with no increase on room rates. Gamble said faculty and staff deserve more, but that they gave them as much as they could.
This year there was a 5 percent increase in housing rates approved by the board members. The cost for a double-occupancy room at Lincoln or Bernalillo Hall will go up from $995 to $1,045.
The cost for a suite at Eddy Hall went up from $1,300 to $1,365 per semester. Tamika Thomas, an ENMU junior and Eddy Hall resident, said the increase in board will affect her also. Thomas said she hasn’t registered to keep her suite for the fall semester yet.
“They charge enough already,” Thomas said. “That’s money I could be using for something else. That may affect my decision to live (either) at Eddy Hall or off-campus.”
Gamble said it would be tough to find anything less expensive off-campus and that there has not been an increase in board for the last three years.