June 11, 1999

The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call, in Open Meeting at 11:02 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 1999, in the Cascade Room 127, in the Compton Union Building, Pullman, Washington, for a special meeting to consider setting tuition and fees for FY 2000 and FY 2001.

Present: Peter J. Goldmark, President; Regents: Richard R. Albrecht, Kenneth Alhadeff, Bernadett Buchanan, Richard A. Davis, Robert D. Fukai, Joe King, William Marler, and Carmen Otero; President Samuel H. Smith, Provost Gretchen Bataille, Vice President for Business Affairs Samuel Kindred, Vice President for Extended University Affairs Thomas L. Purce, University Counsel Sally P. Savage, Faculty Senate Chair Robert Greenberg, GPSA President Stephen Kuehn, and ASWSU President Steve Wymer.

Also present were: Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Douglas Baker, Executive Director of Budget and Planning Gregory P. Royer, Assistant Vice President for University Relations Barbara Petura, Budget Director Karl Boehmke, and Director of Statewide Affairs Larry Ganders.

1. Opening and Introductions. Regent Peter Goldmark opened the special meeting of the Board and stated that the purpose for holding the meeting was to consider the tuition authority granted to the Board by the legislature. Regent Goldmark welcomed new student Regent Bernadett Buchanan and new GPSA President Steve Kuehn to the table.

President Samuel Smith stated that, in addition to the consideration of tuition, the special meeting was an opportunity to discuss the values of the institution. He noted that this year, in the budget language, the legislature had granted authority to the Regents to set tuition within certain limits and that the Regents will use the institution’s values as a guide in setting tuition levels.

2. Tuition Overview. President Smith introduced Budget Director, Karl Boehmke, who provided a PowerPoint presentation on the issues surrounding tuition setting authority. Attached as Exhibit A is a copy of the PowerPoint presentation provided by Mr. Boehmke.

Mr. Boehmke displayed the recommendations from the Finance, Audit, and Capital and the Academic Affairs Committees as a reference tool for the Board during its discussions. Attached as Exhibit B is a copy of the recommendations from the two Committees.

3. Public Comment. Regent Goldmark opened the meeting to the public for testimony on the issue. Following are the comments from the public.

Professor of Psychology, Tom Brigham, stated that his position has always been for the lowest tuition possible. He said, however, that salaries at WSU were abysmal and are causing a clear disruption to its academic programs. He provided examples from the Psychology Department where two faculty members were lost during the past year for reasons exclusive to salaries. One faculty member was a neuroscience professor and the other was an assistant professor in the clinical program. He reviewed the situations of both faculty members who left WSU to work at other institutions, which he said resulted in a clear loss to the department and the university.

ASWSU Vice President Patrick McAdams focused his comments on institutional values and the process for setting tuition. He pointed out that the process is new to the university and our values are central to whether or not we can raise tuition. He stated that our values relate to being a land-grant institution and indicated that tuition should remain low for in-state students, as this is central to our mission. Related to the process issue, he stated that although there is a clear necessity for an increase in faculty salaries, he recommended these issues not being linked too much. He explained that it is important that faculty receive an increase but that the undergraduate resident tuition should not be increased by 4.4 percent the first year and 3.6 percent the second year. Mr. McAdams also noted that he feels that undergraduates and graduates should hold an equitable responsibility for the salary increases. The recommendation asserted by Mr. McAdams was that no more than a 4.0 percent increase should be taken on undergraduate resident tuition and that a strong message will be sent to the legislature that WSU will not increase tuition more than has been increased in the past.

Economics Professor and Legislative Representative for the Faculty Senate Carolyn Clark echoed Professor Brigham’s comments and emphasized that WSU has lost far too many of its first-rate faculty who benefit the students and, through research, benefit the state. She said that the faculty does not want to solve its problems “on the backs” of the students and feels badly that the tuition levels and faculty salaries are linked. Dr. Clark also indicated that the perspective from the legislature is that WSU must help to address the faculty salary problem. She stressed that if WSU were to fail to use its recently granted authority to set tuition, then it would be perceived that faculty salaries are not the priority at WSU as has been previously emphasized by this institution. Note: Dr. Clark is also the Chair of the Council of Faculty Representatives, which is comprised of the faculty representatives from each of the six public baccalaureate institutions.

ASWSU Legislative Director Justin Felker stated that all students want a quality education and higher faculty salaries but that they do not want students set in opposition to the faculty. He emphasized that this is not the message the students want to send to the legislature. He stated that the students want to maintain the quality of its institution while maintaining faculty salaries. He notes that WSU students and faculty relate well to each other.

Professor of Mathematics David Wollkind noted the importance of remembering that up until now, the tuition levels at WSU and the University of Washington have been identical. He said if we were to set our tuition lower than that of UW, we would be saying, in effect, that WSU is a lesser institution relative to its quality.

ASWSU Senator Jesse Keene added that it is important that WSU review what other institutions have done but that we must stick to our mission as a land-grant institution and keep tuition low.

ASWSU President Steve Wymer said that the discussion has included much about sending a message to faculty and the rest of the state and agreed that our faculty and staff salaries are important. Mr. Wymer indicated that he thinks raising tuition by 4.4 percent does not send enough of a message to the students about keeping tuition low. He indicated that, rather than a 4.4 percent increase, a 4.0 percent increase is an acceptable number. He said this will help address the problems at WSU, while at the same time keep tuition as low as possible. Additionally, he said that this would not raise tuition more than has been done by the legislature in the past. Mr. Wymer stressed that this was not an easy recommendation at which to arrive. He noted that the students might have said they are against any increase; however, he believes that the students should assist the institution in the goal of raising faculty salaries. Mr. Wymer also indicated that it is important to remember that different circumstances exist for out-of-state residents and graduate students and that a 4.0 percent increase does not result in the same numbers as it does for undergraduates. Mr. Wymer stressed that we must send a message to the students that tuition will be kept as low as possible and that if the Regents are willing to send a message to the faculty, then they must also be willing to send a message to the students.

GPSA President Steve Kuehn reiterated some of the sentiments express by Mr. Wymer. He said he has been mindful of the issues of affordability and equitability of the increase and that we must look at dollar values to a greater degree than percentages. He said a 4.0 increase might be affordable at one level but not at another, as in the case of professional students. He also brought up the point that there are many students who reside at the branch campus sites and who have families they are trying to support.

Faculty Senate Chair Bob Greenberg stated that the faculty has been encouraged by increases received by the legislature so far, but that these increases have not raised faculty salaries in relation to WSU’s peers. He stated that it is only through retention and improvement that we can make progress and that there is a great need to enhance that pool of funds. Dr. Greenberg stated that he does not envy the position of having to balance all the differing opinions of all the stakeholders. He said the faculty identifies with the students on the issue of affordability. He noted, however, that it is likely that the state would have increased tuition anyway and there is a need to send a signal that we are doing what we can to identify with the public. He encouraged enhancement of the pool of funds used to recruit and retain faculty.

4. Recommendations from the Finance, Audit, and Capital Committee. Regent Albrecht stated that the Finance, Audit, and Capital Committee had met recently in Seattle to review material related to setting tuition and fees. He said the Committee discussed its concerns about salary levels, as well as the issue of affordability and access for students. Additionally, the Committee had expressed its concerns for parity with other institutions. He said the Committee reviewed tuition levels, S & A fee levels, the use of fee waivers, and the course and other fees students must pay. Mr. Albrecht presented the Committee’s recommendation.

Mr. Albrecht further stated that the FAC Committee also recommends that although the legislature has provided for the unlimited authority to grant tuition waivers, that these be limited to 21 percent of the institution’s total gross revenue.

5. Recommendation from the Academic Affairs Committee. Regent Otero reviewed the recommendation put forth by the Academic Affairs Committee. Regent Otero stated that she, as an individual, had held a differing opinion. As part of the Academic Affairs recommendation, Regent Alhadeff provided the rationale for the 2 percent increase for professional students. He stated that the fees paid by these students are already high, that a two percent increase would mean an increase of over $500, so recommending a higher increase did not make sense. He added that the discussions being held may change individual opinions and pointed out that these are historical, emotional, and very symbolic discussions. He said the statements expressed are important, that the Regents are in the position of having to make a statement, and that it is counter to what they feel. He stressed that no one in the room feels that the faculty are getting paid enough, while at the same time no one feels that the students should have to pay more for tuition; however, the legislature has put WSU in the position of having to make a decision on this. He said it is important not to read too much into the emotions and the passionate desires of the faculty and the students and that this is a very small piece of a huge puzzle to reach our goals.

Regent Goldmark called upon Regent Otero to provide her individual point of view on the increase. Regent Otero stated that for in-state undergraduate tuition, she voted for a 4.6 percent increase. She pointed out that this results in only a $5 difference per person from a 4.4 percent increase. She said the faculty has worked so hard and is so underpaid, and further, the legislature will note that WSU had an opportunity to make this the highest priority possible. She said that the faculty would remember if we do not do as much as possible at this time, whereby the students in the long run, will understand that the increase was for a good cause. The said we need to be reminded of our goal of increasing salaries, as well as the goal of affordability. She said there is not enough difference in the dollar amount to justify not increasing by the greater amount.

6. Regents’ Discussion. Regent Marler asked if the University had investigated other sources of funding to augment the revenue received through tuition increases or in lieu of tuition increases for the purpose of increasing faculty salaries. President Smith stated that state budget policy states that we can use only state allocated funding for salaries. He said that over the past 12 years, we have made reallocations. He said that this year in order to get a 1.8 percent increase in salaries, we asked each of the colleges to “collapse positions.” He said, for example, in the College of Agriculture in the last five years, that College has collapsed over 70 positions. President Smith said that during the past year, the state has refused to allow collapsed position funding to be added to the salary base. Regent Marler asked if there is a plan to return to the legislature to resolve this issue, and President Smith stated that although this has been a good efficiency measure in the past that there is a point where quality is an issue and that we currently have some serious quality concerns. President Smith added that one of the ideas that will be brought forth to the Regents will be to return to the legislature to increase the retention pool through a supplemental budget request next fall. He said the Regents would hear more about this at upcoming meetings.

Regent Albrecht noted that the institution is undergoing an unusual exercise and that this is the first time the legislature has given authority to the Board to affect our pricing. He said we have talked a fair amount regarding enrollment management but what we have had really is recruitment management. He said if the revenue side is to be added to the equation, the pricing must be controlled. He said we should keep in mind that this is an experiment on the part of the legislature, and if they are serious about this, they will consider giving full pricing authority in the future to increase or decrease tuition in the various categories. He said he hopes also that the institution will use the pricing authority as part of its enrollment management plan so that we can price competitively but also price to attract students, which will in turn attract faculty and pay them higher salaries.

Regent Davis indicated that ASWSU President Wymer and Regent Otero both had made persuasive comments from two different perspectives. He stated that the dilemma faced is complicated by the fact that the legislature has not demonstrated in the past, nor will they in the future, any way to disconnect faculty from the rest of the employees in terms of salaries. One of the reasons he feels as to why this authority was granted was that this was the only way to get salary money for professors, as they have K-12 teachers and state employees representing a large part of that base. He stated that although this is not a good solution, the Regents are in the position of having to take this opportunity or lose credibility. He said he respects Mr. Wymer’s point of view but feels this is an opportunity to make a strong statement to the legislature that faculty salaries are a priority. However, he said that in the long term, this does not address the faculty salary issue and we must take full advantage of the opportunity or another chance may not occur.

Regent Otero stated that the Regents have to make a decision to try to keep tuition down but they also must try to increase salaries, as well. She restated that for the individual $5 is a very little amount but that collectively, it is a lot. She encouraged everyone to consider this point in making his or her decisions.

Regent Alhadeff stated that he is proud of Mr. Wymer for his courageous position, and he wants to stand with him. However, at the same time, he stated the Regents have to listen to the legislature. He pointed out that the Regents can stand for both in the final decision and that the Board will have to work to take the interpretation and the “spin” out of the final decision. He emphasized that it is not the students against the faculty, however, a difficult decision must be made and it concerns a mixture of access, affordability, and salaries. Regent Alhadeff said he personally honors Mr. Wymer’s commitment and passion for the issue.

Regent Goldmark added that when we affect faculty salaries, we are trying in the long run to affect quality for the students by retaining better faculty, better programs, and better educational packages. He said this is our long-range goal, which is not really about faculty, but rather, it is about the students.

Regent Fukai asked Regent Albrecht about the rationale behind a 4.4 percent increase, rather than just going with the maximum 4.6 percent increase. Regent Albrecht stated that if we want to recognize that there is a legitimate concern about the level of tuition while at the same time remembering that we are a land-grant institution, the Committee felt tuition should not be raised by the total amount. He said although it was a small gesture, they felt it was symbolic to say we were not going to raise tuition by the total amount.

7. Academic Year Tuition. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents accept the recommendations to set tuition for FY 2000 and FY 2001 as put forth by the Finance, Audit, and Capital Committee as follows:

FY 20004.4 %3.0 %3.0 %0.0%0.0 %0.0%
FY 20013.6 %3.0%3.0 %3.6%3.6 %3.6 %

Following the motion to approve the Finance, Audit, and Capital Committee’s recommendation, there were three motions to amend the recommendations. Following is an outline of the amendments and the actions taken:

Amendment #1. It was moved and seconded to amend the non-resident undergraduate tuition rate for FY 2001 from 3.6 to 0.0 percent.

Action #1. Following discussion of the rationale’s provided by each of the Committees, the amendment to the Finance, Audit, and Capital Committee’s recommendation to change the non-resident undergraduate tuition for FY 2001 from 3.6 to 0.0 percent increase was carried by a vote of 5 to 3 with.

Amendment #2. It was moved and seconded to amend the non-resident graduate tuition rate for FY 2001 from 3.6 to 0.0 percent.

Action #2. Following discussion of the rationale’s provided by each of the Committees, the amendment to the Finance, Audit, and Capital Committee’s recommendation to change the non-resident graduate tuition for FY2001 from 3.6 to 0.0 percent increase failed by a vote of 5 to 3.

Amendment #3. It was moved and seconded to amend the resident undergraduate tuition rate for FY 2000 from 4.4 to 4.0 percent.

Action #3. Following discussion, the amendment to the Finance, Audit, and Capital Committee’s recommendation to change the resident undergraduate tuition for FY 2000 from 4.4 to 4.0 percent increase was carried by a vote of 5 to 4.

Action #4. Following the acceptance of the recommendations put forth by the Finance, Audit, and Capital Committee, including the amendments outlined above, it was further moved and seconded that the Board of Regents accept the recommendation that the granting of tuition waivers be limited to 21% of the institution’s gross revenue. Carried.

Attached as Exhibit C is a copy of the final schedule of tuition and fees as approved by the Board of Regents.

8. Academic Year Services and Activities Fees. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents accept the recommendations to set Services and Activities fees for FY 2000 and FY 2001 as follows:

S & A Fees
FY 20004.0 %$10*
FY 20013.6 %$10

*The Finance, Audit, and Capital Committee’s recommendation was to set the S & A Fees at $11 for FY 2000. However, the resident undergraduate rate is the basis for calculating the total amount of S & A Fees that may be charged. When the Board amended the FAC Committee’s recommendation from a 4.4 to a 4.0 percent increase for FY 2000, the S & A Fee recommendation was recalculated and therefore changed.

Regent Marler asked ASWSU President Steve Wymer why student government would be supportive of an increase in S & A Fees in light of its opposition to an increase in tuition, and Mr. Wymer responded that the money that students pay in S & A fees is returned to the students in the form of services, such as those provided by intramural programs, bus transportation, the disability awareness program, the children’s center, and many others. He said the S & A Fees limit direct costs of services for students. He said these direct benefits mean a lot to the students, and they are strongly in favor of increasing these fees.

Faculty Senate Chair Bob Greenberg stated that he is a member of the S & A Fees Committee, and that the mandated increase in the minimum wage has hurt the distribution of funds. He said this has impacted many budgets, which means fewer students are hired and have work. Subsequently, without the S & A Fees, fewer students would be able to afford many of the services provided as a result of them. He indicated his support for the increase in the fees.

Following discussion, the recommendation to set S & A Fees at $10 for both FY 2000 and FY 2001 was carried by a voice vote of 7 to 1.

9. Summary and Closing. Regent Peter Goldmark was asked to summarize the discussion and actions taken at the meeting. Following is a statement provided by Regent Goldmark.

Following a thorough examination of all the data provided by President Smith and his staff, and after serious consideration and healthy debate, the Board has approved moderate increases for resident undergraduate and graduate students for the next two years. We chose to cap non-resident undergraduate and graduate tuition for 1999-2000, which we recognize as already high among our peers nationwide.

The decisions made today send a clear message of support for our faculty, as the tuition increases will allow additional improvements to faculty salaries, the key to quality education at WSU. WSU’s faculty salaries are 17 percent behind those of our peers, the land-grant universities with veterinary schools, and closing that gap is imperative.

At the same time, the Board has reaffirmed its longstanding commitment as a land-grant university to affordable tuition for our students. Opening the doors to a quality WSU education to students of all backgrounds is a fundamental WSU value.

At 12:40 p.m., the special meeting of the Regents adjourned.