BOR considers tuition freeze

By Maureen Morrissey

Students at Illinois state universities might not have to face tuition increases for the first time in almost 20 years.

The Illinois General Assembly passed a resolution in late June urging tuition not be increased before January of 1991. In January a joint committee of the House and the Senate will issue a report recommending a tuition policy for all state universities.

“University systems are urged not to raise tuition until the report is released,” said David Starrett, Executive Director of the Illinois Student Association.

The ISA lobbied last year for the freeze and the establishment of a tuition policy.

The Board of Regents will discuss tuition increases today and tomorrow at this months board meeting being held at NIU.

The Board is not being asked to raise tuition despite inflation and a shortage of funding, according to a Regents report.

“The BOR won’t raise tuition for the fall and it is doubtful it will be raised” until the report is released, Starrett said.

Tuition at state universities tripled during the 1980’s. This is the first statewide tuition freeze since the early 1970’s.

Board member Sylvia Nichols said the freeze is mainly because of the stance of the legislature.

However, Starrett said the legislature and the ISA share feelings on the freeze.

“A lot of powerful senators and representatives support the freeze. Unless the BOR wanted to make a lot of those people angry, they will not increase tuition,” he said.

Tany Smith, Student Association vice president and ISA director at NIU, said she has mixed feelings about who is responsible for the freeze.

“As an ISA director, I feel the ISA is responsible, but as an individual I feel there are a number of reasons for the freeze,” Smith said.