Two College of Human Ecology departments approve fee increases


On Tuesday, students majoring in personal financial planning, or PFP, and apparel, textiles and interior design, or ATID, approved fee increases unanimously during meetings with the Tuition and Fees Strategies Committee.

The fees will be paid for on top of the $20 per credit hour fee in the College of Human Ecology, which houses both programs.

ATID students approved a $30 per credit hour fee increase by a vote of 13-0.

Students raised very few concerns during debate.

“Personally, I would love to not pay any more money, but seeing the need for this and knowing that this is going to benefit me job-wise and internship-wise, I am for it,” Brooklyn Burnett, junior in interior design, said before voting.

Before bringing the fee to the tuition committee, faculty and administration within the Department of Human Ecology and ATID conducted votes to gauge student opinion. According to the fee proposal, 254 of the 268 ATID students who participated in the vote showed that 81 percent of the students supported the fee.

“It’s pretty overwhelming to get that percentage of students in favor of a fee,” John Buckwalter, dean of human ecology, said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I think that’s a pretty strong endorsement that they think that they’re getting a pretty good return on investment. They don’t want to see that go away, and that’s why they’re willing to invest in themselves.”

The fee will be used to fund instructional salaries for non-tenure track faculty and instructors in order to provide students with six additional courses that are currently unavailable due to vacancies. The additions will alleviate crowded studio sections and add face-to-face and online-only sections.

PFP students also approved a $30 per credit hour fee increase by a vote of 8 to 0.

This fee, which follows a $20 per credit hour increase from last year, also received substantial student support in surveys. Undergraduates approved at a rate of 95 percent, with graduate students at 74 percent.

Jack Giardino, senior in personal financial planning, voted in favor of the fee increase last year, and he voted in favor of this year’s fee, too.

“As far as what they said the fee was going to go toward last year, 100 percent they came through with it,” Giardino said. “So I have full belief that this fee, upon completion, will do a tremendous benefit to this program.”

The fee will “maintain high quality instructional faculty to enhance the advancement of career development and student experiences,” the proposal reads. Specifically, the fee increase will fund two instructors, expand the program’s tutoring efforts and maintain a diverse course offering including software training.

While the fee received less support from graduate students, the graduate student representative on the committee, Mackenzie Blakeslee, said she gave her full support.

“To me, if it’s going to help reduce the load on faculty and it’s going to make the program run more smoothly and run better and get opportunity to students, it’s a no brainer for me,” Blakeslee said. “I’m absolutely in support of it.”

Hey, hi, hello! I’m Rachel Hogan, the copy chief for The Collegian. I’m a senior in journalism from Olathe, Kansas. When I’m not at work in the newsroom, I like to spend my time cuddling with my dog, working as a barista and laughing with my friends.