SFA Regents approve tuition hike

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Charging more plus deep cuts equal SFA offsetting extreme shortfalls in state revenue.

"Right now, it appears, we will run 10 to 11 million dollars short each year," said Dr. Baker Patillo, SFA president, to the regents. "Another way of saying that, some where between 20 and 22 million dollars over the next two years. That is our challenge."

Three newly sworn in regents followed the lead of more experienced colleagues. Tuition, room and board and fee increases were approved. It had to be done to meet the unprecedented shortfall.

"At that level it's going to take a combination of cuts and some increases in order to make up that difference," explained Bob Garrett, Regent's chair.

Students and parents now know that tuition will climb from $119.85 to $124.40 per semester credit hour. In addition, food service will increase 1.1 %. Room and board rates will see an average increase of 3%. The changes still give SFA a competitive edge, according to Garrett.

The funding challenge also concerns staff. This week they take the first of several work furloughs scheduled for the year.

Then this summer more anxiety could surface. "In July is when we'll announce what cuts we're making in order to make the entire formula work," said Garrett.

Regents want to solve the funding formula by July when the university budget is adopted. Right now they wait to see the Senate version of the state budget.

Other important issues face Stephen F. Austin State University.

In July, the university's accreditation status with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools will be announced. Also, the first of many proposed redistricting maps puts Nacogdoches County in a new district with a new state representative. And administrators watch closely for developments in the guns on campus bill. They've made numerous lobby trips to Austin to voice opposition to the measure.