For the second year in a row, the Kansas State College of Engineering will attempt to pass a $15 per credit hour fee.
Over the course of the next four weeks, a college tuition committee, or CTC, consisting of engineering students and student senators will meet with the Tuition and Fees Strategies Committee and Darren Dawson, dean of engineering, to discuss the merits and potential uses for the fee before voting.
The CTC met with TFSC for the first time Tuesday evening in the Center for Student Involvement conference room for orientation on the fee approval process. The meeting also reviewed the debate surrounding last year’s $15 per credit hour fee increase, which the CTC approved with a vote of 12-6-0.
At $99 per credit hour, the College of Engineering already charges students with the highest course fees. The College of Business Administration comes in second at $65 per credit hour.
If the CTC approves the new fee, the engineering college’s fees could increase to $114 per credit hour.
Last year’s debate contended upon a discrepancy between the survey that was sent out to engineering students which outlined a series of departmental fees, each for $15 dollars per credit hour that would raise money only for the department, and the fee that was brought to TFSC, which was one college-wide fee.
Two other prongs of that debate focused on whether increased costs would hinder accessibility and the split between using funds for tenure-track faculty and instructors.
“I think it is important to realize that being taught by research faculty is an important distinguisher for our university from other universities,” Provost Charles Taber said during Tuesday’s meeting. “[At] some of the universities, the students in engineering aren’t taught by research faculty who are themselves doing research, and that is a benefit to you. … You don’t want to become a university where the faculty are largely teaching faculty without people who are creating new knowledge through research.”
Jonathan Cole, senior in mechanical engineering and student senator, countered this, citing a lack of teaching skills.
“My experience, at least, with that is that research faculty, especially within the College of Engineering, don’t have a background in education or communication very often, so their teaching skills aren’t something for an undergrad that we need,” Cole said.
The CTC will meet for an in-depth discussion on the fee proposal next week. However, the date and time may change to allow for members of the CTC and TFSC and ex-officio members to attend the K-State versus KU basketball game next Tuesday, Feb. 5.