UMinn president proposes tuition hike, pay raise

University of Minnesota incoming president
Eric Kaler, president of the University of Minnesota, in a file photo from June 2011.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has proposed a budget that would raise in-state tuition by $410, give most university employees a 2.5 percent pay raise and provide more money for scholarships and faculty hires.

The $3.5 billion budget plan would increase tuition 3.5 percent for Minnesota residents and 4 percent for out-of-state undergraduates. The rate hike would be the smallest percentage increase in 12 years.

The Board of Regents will hold a public hearing on the plan Friday and vote on it next month.

The plan is similar to what Kaler detailed in his State of the University address in March. It also features a new surcharge for Carlson School of Management students, the first time the university would charge different tuitions based on an undergraduate's major.

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Overall, the increases would bring tuition on the Twin Cities campus to $12,060 per year for in-state undergrads -- $21,300 with fees and room and board. For out-of-state students, tuition would rise to $17,310.

In total, tuition hikes would bring in an additional $24.6 million. Some of that money would help fund the university's Promise Scholarships and increase their maximum award for low- and middle-income Minnesotans from $3,500 per year to $4,000.

The proposal also includes funds to develop a Center for Social Media, hire three new faculty members in the College of Design and pay for upgrades in the College of Pharmacy.

It would also set aside $15.6 million to give most employees a salary bump -- faculty and other employees on merit-based pay plans would get raises based on their performance, and other workeres are never pleased to see tuition rise," she wrote in an email to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, "I believe this allocation is a testament to the integrity of Dr. Kaler's promise to students to keep tuition manageable."