PARKERSBURG- An 8 percent tuition increase was approved Wednesday by the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Board of Governors while the naming of an interim president was tabled until May.
WVU-P President Marie Foster Gnage said budget cuts made by the governor's office and fewer students enrolling necessitated the need for an increase.
"It has been determined that in order to fill the 3.75 percent reduction gap in the budget and with the decrease in enrollment, it would be to our advantage and to carry the budget that we have developed that we would increase our tuition by 8 percent," she said. "There is a gap there and that is what we are trying to address there."
Photo by Brett Dunlap
West Virginia University at Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage and WVU-P Board of Governors Chairman Gerard El Chaar discuss a proposed tuition increase for the school that the board approved Wednesday night.
Gnage said officials would rather focus on the actual dollar amount rather than the percentage.
"It you are comparing us to other CTCs (Community and Technical Colleges) and you said '8 percent,' it sounds like a large amount," she said.
Gnage said the actual increase would equate to $216 more per year for the associate degree and certificate programs and an increase of $300 a year for the bachelor degree programs for in-state students.
For out-of-state students, the increase is $768 a year for the associate degree and certificate programs and an increase of $786 a year for the bachelor degree programs
"Looking at what other institutions are looking forward to in tuition increases, I think we will be well in line," Gnage said.
Students from out-of-state border counties have the affordable tuition option, which is 60 percent of the non-resident cost.
"They are still getting a bargain," she said.
Related fees were mostly left as they were or reduced in some instances, Gnage said. There was a $3 increase in the fee for a nursing test.
"The faculty and the administrators really look at trying to keep the fees for courses to a minimum," she said.
The board voted unanimously to approve the tuition increase. Board members Joe Campbell and Jamie Six were absent, but both participated via conference call.
The increase still has to be approved by the Community and Technical College Council in Charleston before it is officially adopted.
"We are not trying to gain anything; we are just trying to stay on the path," Gnage said of dealing with the budget concerns.
The board of governors tabled a motion to officially name the interim WVU-P president who would take over at the end of June.
Gnage announced last month she will be stepping down from her position at the end of June.
She has announced she would not renew her contract with the university after June 30, bringing an end to 10 years of service with the institution. She is the second-longest serving president for WVU-P.
The board of governors has an interim president in mind who can take over at the end of June. The person, who has not been named, is from within the school.
Board Chairman Gerard El Chaar said the board did not want to create confusion among the faculty and students on who they should be dealing with for the time being.
"Nothing changes right now," he said. "We wanted to take away the uncertainty."
The new interim president will be announced at the board's May 14 meeting being held at WVU-P's Jackson County Center in Ripley.