The Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents approved a budget totaling more than $228 million in expenses for fiscal year 2013 during its meeting Friday.
The regents also approved the elimination of the course fee and the distance education fee, and created program fees and instructional enhancement fees.
The budget includes $160.7 million in operating expenses, which is $3.6 million more than the current year.
TWU will spend $544,000 on tenure and promotions.
The university also will spend $403,000 providing benefits for adjunct faculty, which the Texas Legislature implemented during its last session, said Brenda Floyd, vice president of finance and administration.
TWU will use $1.5 million in hold-harmless funding to give a one-time $750 payment to each permanent full-time faculty and staff member.
The payment will be prorated for part-time employees.
For example, if a permanent employee works the equivalent of 75 percent of a full-time position, the employee will receive 75 percent of the $750, Floyd said.
The university is expecting at least a 1.5 percent increase in enrollment, which, along with a 3 percent increase in designated tuition and growth above projections from the 2011-12 fiscal year, will increase tuition revenue by $2.9 million.
Along with the budget, the regents also approved changes to a couple of fees.
TWU has the second-highest course fees in the state after the University of Houston, Provost Robert Neely told regents.
That’s why he proposed the elimination of course fees and, instead, have a flat program fee as well as the elimination of the distance education fee and replacing it with a flat instructional enhancement fee.
“The departments were allowed to establish fees, and they did it course by course,” Neely said after the meeting.
The course fees at the undergraduate level range from $2 to $130; at the master’s level, they range from $3 to $100; and at the doctoral level, they range from $4 to $69.
Replacing the course fees with program fees also will give the departments more flexibility in how they use the money, Neely said.
The program fee will be $8 for lower-level undergraduate students, $15 for upper-level undergraduate students and $25 for master- and doctorate-level students.
Money generated by a course fee has to be used for that course, he said, and program fees can be used by the department.
“The course fee was so limited,” Neely said.
The distance education fees, which are charged to distance learners, ranged from $0 to $12 at all levels of education. The instructional enhancement fee will be charged to all students who pay fees and will cover technology-related expenses. The fee will be $3 for undergraduate students and $7 for graduate-level students.
The goals of this new structure is to reduce course fees overall, enable students to better calculate costs, give departments more flexibility in spending and generate additional funding for broader and new services.
The fees will go into effect in January.
Along with those fee changes, TWU also plans to add a $2 student advising fee in two years and a $2 faculty excellence fee in three years.
No vote was taken Friday on those items.
RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.