Fees may rise with guidelines

By Ken Goze

Some student fees might be increased under a new set of guidelines to standardize the fee review process used by NIU President John La Tourette’s Fee Study Committee.

Committee Chairman Anthony Fusaro said the guidelines are an effort by the Board of Regents to change fee review procedures to resemble NIU’s appropriated budget process, automatically allowing for annual inflation.

“It (the set of guidelines) fills a big void in the process we had before,” Fusaro said during Monday’s fee study committee meeting.

The guidelines could streamline the review process by shifting the burden of estimating inflation costs from NIU’s fee-supported groups to the fee study committee, Fusaro said.

Under one of the guidelines, employees of fee-supported groups are expected to receive more uniform raises by using the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s recommended 6 percent increase.

Other guidelines recommend a 4 percent general cost increase, a 4 to 5 percent food cost increase and a utility cost increase based on projections of rates for the next fiscal year.

Fusaro said the increases suggested by the guidelines are not mandatory, but provide a reference point for the committee in cases where a fee-supported group fail to account for inflation.

The President’s Fee Study Committee consists of a ten-member board of students, faculty and administrators, that meets each year to consider requests from fee-supported groups, such as the University Health Services.

The committee serves an advisory role to La Tourette, who makes final recommendations to the Board of Regents in March. The fees are calculated on a credit-hour basis, with all full-time students charged for 12 hours.

Although committee members Huda Scheidelman, John Engstrom, and Jim Lankford were absent from Monday’s organizational meeting, Fusaro said absent members can vote by sending their proxy with another member.