Board of Governors denies request for 14 percent tuition hike
Published: Friday, June 22, 2012
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012 15:06
FGCU students will face a tuition increase this year, but most likely not as high of one as the Board of Trustees wanted.
The Board of Trustees approved a request for a 14 percent tuition hike on Tuesday, but the Florida Board of Governors rejected the request Thursday in favor of a 12 percent increase.
The Board of Trustees first voted to approve the maximum 15 percent tuition hike, but the vote was deadlocked at 6-6. Student Body President Peter Cuderman changed his vote to an affirmative after the proposed increase was lowered by 1 percent, barely passing the request at a 7-5 margin.
President Wilson Bradshaw recommended the maximum tuition increase of 15 percent.
“Florida Gulf Coast University has sustained five consecutive years of cuts in state funding…The rubber band has stretched and stretched, but now we have found our self dangerously close to the breaking point where it comes to quality of education and access to FGCU,” Bradshaw said during the meeting.
Cuderman defied the tradition of student body presidents strictly opposing tuition increases.
“As far as employment, we’re going to lose; as far as education, if this doesn’t pass, we’re going to lose. Money is needed,” Cuderman said.
After two students and several faculty members spoke in favor of the 14 percent increase, Cuderman announced he would vote in the affirmative.
“Obviously, this is a tough position for myself to be in, serving two roles as the student body president and as a trustee,” Cuderman said.
Eight Florida universities requested the maximum tuition increase, but only four received approval of their requests from the Board of Governors.
The approved reduced increase equates to approximately $650,000 in lost revenue for FGCU in addition to a $3 million operating cut approved by the Florida Legislature.
Gov. Rick Scott has spoken out against tuition increases for Florida universities.
“Tuition rates have risen 71 percent over the past four years and graduates are facing unprecedented levels of debt. We can’t continue on this path,” Scott said in a statement.
FGCU has never had a tuition increase denied. The Board of Trustees will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to consider an appeal to the Board of Governors’ decision. No Florida university has ever appealed a tuition increase approval.