The Tuition Fees and Strategies Committee decided to accept the votes from the Department of Kinesiology and the Institute of Personal Financial Planning tuition committees in favor of course fee increases, despite concern on the precedent it may set.
During the last two TFSC meetings, committee members expressed concern that accepting the two departmental fees may “open the floodgates” to numerous fees in the future and whether or not the current fee proposal process is able to accommodate department-wide fees.
“I think that right now, with these two fees, we don’t have any justification to say that the process was not followed,” Ryan Kelly, sophomore in civil engineering, said.
While kinesiology’s and personal financial planning’s course fee increases will move forward with a written recommendation the the university president, Jack Ayres, former student body president and senior in chemical engineering, and other committee members discussed the need for a new process and, possibly, a new subcommittee to sift through and process departmental fees.
“One way or another, we’ve got to figure out the process for this and not just modify what we have,” Ayres said.
April Mason, provost and senior vice president, said she agreed. She said it would be a task for the next TFSC to grapple with under the leadership of the new student body president Jordan Kiehl, junior in industrial engineering.
She also said the debate and uncertainty surrounding the fees could have been avoided if TFSC had considered whether it was within their capacity to consider departmental fees before moving forward with the proposals two months ago.
“I think I said to you last Friday afternoon that I’m kicking myself that I didn’t think of it and none of us thought of it a couple months ago,” Mason said in a comment to Ayres.
Since the question was not asked then, Mason said she struggled with rejecting the fees when many of the committee members believed that the deans and the tuition committees followed the set procedures.
The possibility of a new process to be put in place for dealing with departmental fees in the future, whatever it may be, also eased the fear of the “floodgates.”
“I think that deans will take that really seriously, and I think that if we outline a process before next year starts, then they can be proactive about making sure that frivolous fees don’t come forward,” Trent Kennedy, former federal relations director for Student Governing Association and senior in entrepreneurship, said.