The University of Wyoming board of Trustees will consider a proposal to raise program fees at the University during a series of meetings running from Wednesday, March 22 to Friday, March 24.

The proposal was first put forth in October by the UW Revenue Enhancement Sub-committee, which was convened at UW President Laurie Nichols in July.

The goals of the program fee laid out in the proposal are to create a revenue stream to support programs that require additional resources and to allow UW to improve important student-centered institutional priorities such as improving the retention rates, graduation time and career-readiness among UW graduates. The university is faced with the challenge of making up over $40 million that has been cut from the UW budget over the past year.

Two types of program fees are outlined in the proposal. The first are college-wide program fees that would be implemented for all courses offered within all colleges at UW, for example the college of business. It would impose a fee for each credit hour taken in UW colleges, with fees differing for each college.

The second are discipline-specific fees applied to particular programs and would be charged in addition to the college-wide program fees, the proposal states. The programs included in the proposal are science and quantitative programs, or Sci-Q, visual and performing arts, agriculture studio/science and some health sciences programs, which include communications disorders, kinesiology and health, nursing and the WIND minor programs.

The proposal estimates the fees would produce $10.9 million, with $1.4 million of the proposed fees replacing current fees for a total of $9.5 million in net new revenue, which is to be used exclusively for student instruction, student services and program requirements. The report says the fees must benefit the students this revenue comes from and cannot be used to supplement research or faculty salaries.

Cost of attendance as a result of the fees would increase from an average of $5055 per year to $5793 per year. Despite this, the proposal states, the cost of attending UW for a year would still be 51 percent lower than peer institutions if the fees were imposed.

The board of Trustees will discuss the proposal Thurday, March 23 at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, according to their official meeting schedule.

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