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U of M president proposes nearly 60 percent tuition hike for non-residents

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Eric Kaler
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, Aug. 7, 2015 in Minneapolis.
Jim Mone | AP file

Some non-resident students at the University of Minnesota could see a dramatic tuition hike in the next few years.

University President Eric Kaler introduced a proposal to the Board of Regents on Thursday that would increase tuition for some non-resident students by almost 60 percent over the next four years. No action was taken on the measure.

State Rep. Bob Barrett, GOP-Lindstrom, said the proposal addresses a piece of a two-part tuition issue.  

"We do need to increase tuition for non-residents, we're at the bottom of the Big Ten, and it needs to get to the midpoint," Barrett said" "We also need to reduce tuition for residents. It's way to high, fourth highest in the Big Ten, and we need to reduce that to the midpoint at least, if not below."

Under Kaler's proposal, non-resident tuition would increase by $3,200 in each of the next four years. By the 2019-2020 school year, non-residents would pay $35,000.

Current non-resident enrollees would only see 5.5 percent tuition increases annually until their graduation.

The increased tuition would not affect students from Wisconsin, the Dakotas and Manitoba, which have reciprocity arrangements with Minnesota.

Also at this week's Board of Regents meetings, Kaler addressed the process for hiring a new athletics director to replace Norwood Teague, who resigned in August amid sexual harassment allegations.

"I've charged Vice President Kathy Brown to develop and propose a search plan for the next director of athletics based on the recommendations of the external review," Kaler said. "She will consult as needed and include in the plan recommendations regarding the use of a search firm, the size and composition of a search committee and interviewing and vetting processes to be used."

Kaler also asked that Brown evaluate the actions of current employees, as cited in a recent financial audit of the athletics department, and recommend discipline if warranted. The university says Teague owes more than $6,000 for inappropriate expenses.