With costs rising and funding on the decline, the Board of Regents expressed regret as it approved a tuition increase for the 2017-18 academic year.
“This is unpleasant,” Regent Sandra Messbarger said before the vote. “This is not something we want to do.”
Based on growing enrollment, the anticipated rise in costs for operation and an expected decrease in state appropriations the board was recommended to raise tuition for students.
The motion, passed with an 8-1 vote, will raise tuition by $5 per credit hour for students next year. This is the first time tuition has been raised in three fiscal years.
“This is always very difficult to do,” DMC President Escamilla said. “This is always done with the most serious consideration.”
Even with the tuition increase, Escamilla said the cost of DMC is still lower than regional universities.
Regent Elva Estrada seemed as hesitant as the rest of the board, saying, “if this is the only option, I will support that. I don’t want to but I will.”
Other regents echoed this same feeling around the room.
James Klein, a history professor, stood up to speak his mind during the public comments section of the discussion.
“I think as a society, locally, statewide, nationally we’re going to have to decide to commit to higher education,” Klein said. “Education benefits all of us.”
Escamilla said that this is a short-term strategy and that the board will discuss long-term strategies at next year’s budget workshops.
Regent Guy Watts voted against the motion.