| 03.17.2018

Hooked on a fee-ling — Student Fees Committee discusses increased department funding


The Associated Student Fees Committee met Jan. 24 to hear from university departments seeking an increase in funding.

The committee decided on students’ activity fee, which currently stands at $577.98, said Trina Mahoney, budget director and non-voting member of the fees committee. The requested increases were put in terms of amount per full-time equivalent student, meaning the increases would only affect full-time students, Mahoney said.

The amounts requested at the meeting were not set in stone, as the committee will debate the increases and recommend which departments should recieve increases to University of Idaho President Chuck Staben. Staben will then take the requests to an April meeting of the Idaho State Board of Education, Mahoney said.

Rob Spear, director of athletics, asked for an increase of $3.41 per full-time student. Spear said the increase would go toward ensuring adherence to the UI strategic plan, helping provide a competitive, integrity-based athletics program and sustain recent success.

Rusty Baker, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Movement Sciences, requested a $2.43 increase to help cover the cost of employee salaries so the Integrated Sports Medicine and Rehabilitative Therapy (ISMaRT) clinic can meet the increased demand from the student body. ISMaRT services include standard care in athletic training and physical therapy. Baker said the clinic could increase appointment opportunities and staff availability to students with the additional funds.

Student-Athlete Support Services asked for a $6.15 increase to help cover the cost of an academic coordinator and 37 cents for change in employee compensation. Greg Tatham, assistant vice provost of student affairs, requested an $11 increase for the Campus Recreation Center. The fee is broken up into sections, with $2 going to an increase for temporary help staff, $2 to sports clubs, $2 for the outdoor program and $5 for maintenance and improvements to the center.

Katie Dahlinger, assistant director of the Department of Student Involvement, requested a $1 raise for ASUI Vandal Entertainment to help cover the cost of bringing more well-known artists to campus. Dahlinger said the increase would bring the total amount of student fees that go toward entertainment to $13.Savannah Rogers, tutoring program coordinator, and Cori Planagan, manager of Tutoring and College Success, asked for a $1.70 increase to cover three priorities for drop-in tutoring. One dollar of the increase would go toward paying tutor wages.

Ten cents would go toward recovering the reallocation amount from program prioritization to avoid having to reduce drop-in tutoring hours. The last 60 cents would go toward launching an online tutoring service for students who cannot attend drop-in tutoring.

Greg Lambeth, director of the Counseling and Testing Center (CTC), requested $1.07 per student which would help with 24-hour counseling and crisis intervention services.

Julia Keleher, director of the LGBTQA office, requested a 75-cent increase, which would bring the total fee amount to $4.67. Keleher said this increase would help to pay the director’s salary and benefits and allow for an operating budget to increase the effectiveness of events and services the LGBTQA office provides.

Jessie Martinez, director of the Office of multicultural affairs (OMA), requested a $1.25 per full time student increase. This increase would go toward both the change in employee compensation and expanding campus-wide cultural programing, Martinez said.

Director of the Women’s Center Lysa Salsbury requested $1.03 per student to help cover the change in compensation and an increase in programing. Salsbury said the increase could help lower the price of some programs the Women’s Center offers.

Barry Johnson, director of veteran and military family services, asked for $2 for the department, which receives no money from fees. Johnson said the increase would help the department to bring in national speakers and send two students to conferences. It would also allow for the department to conduct training for faculty and staff each semester on veteran and military affiliated student issues and give aid to veterans with mental and physical health issues.

Director of the office of undergraduate research David Pfeiffer requested a 30-cent increase to help fund more student research. Pfeiffer said undergraduate research at UI is not limited to just sciences or engineering but can also include majors such as dance or theater.

This committee does not have control over any other parts of what a student pays, Mahoney said.

The total amount of all requested increases, if all were accepted, would raise the student activity fee by around $30.

ASUI President McKenzie MacDonald said the committee will meet to discuss the proposed increases and decide what is feasible for students.

Kali Nelson can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @kalinelson6

Twitter: The student’s fees committee meet last week to hear the reasons they should consider giving new departments raises which come from a student’s activity fee.

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