Student fees might increase

By Ken Goze

Student fees might be automatically increased as a result of efforts to standardize the fee review process used by NIU President John La Tourette’s Fee Study Committee.

Committee Chairman Anthony Fusaro said an increase might be part of a set of expected guidelines intended to change fee review procedures to be similar to NIU’s appropriated budget process, which automatically allows for inflation.

“There may be an automatic, across-the-board increase,” Fusaro said during Monday’s meeting of the president’s fee study committee.

However, Fusaro later declined to speculate on the amount or possibility of an increase and said any new guidelines will come out of this week’s Board of Regents meeting.

The president’s fee study committee, a ten-member board of students, faculty, and administrators, meets each year to review requests from student-fee supported groups, such as the Athletic Department and University Health Services.

The committee considers fee requests by examining a group’s budget and importance of its services to NIU students. The committee serves an advisory role to La Tourette, who will make 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 the committee’s first meeting primarily focused on organization and introduction of new members, several committee concerns were briefly addressed.

Committee member Robb Cooper said he hopes all fee-supported groups will have their requests finished by the Dec. 12 deadline. Cooper said last year’s committee was forced to make tentative recommendations on several proposed fees because of late requests.

Fusaro said he would send a “strong message” to groups with late requests, but admitted the committee is “basically at the mercy of the vice-presidents and their subunits. We can pressure them, but we can’t simply leave them behind if they’re late,” Fusaro said.