UNM teacher raises could mean increase in tuition

Created: 03/25/2014 9:32 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It's a hot topic right now at UNM: The cost of tuition.

On Tuesday, the Board of Regents met on the issue. University President Robert Frank wants to raise tuition 1.5 percent.

The money would go to a three percent raise for teachers and a two percent increase for staff.

But some regents say they don't want to raise tuition this year.

"We as students and as a community can no longer take the brunt of tuition increases," said Bianca Encinias, a graduate student and working mom.

She was among dozens who spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting. Encinias asked the board to think outside of the box, not inside her pocket.

"By thinking outside of the box and what I mean by putting New Mexico first is that we need to clean up our house at UNM and look at fiscal responsibility," she said.

The Student Fee Review Board has recommendations that do not include raising tuition, such as raising student fees for more expensive programs.

"One of the few ways to get money now is to raise tuition on students and that's a very hard thing to ask," faculty member Amy Neel said. She says she has gotten several job offers from other universities with better incentives.

"We really worry that faculty will start leaving for more lucrative positions," Neel said. "We've really been squeezing the value of the dollar at UNM."

Regents will meet again on Friday to discuss and vote on tuition and compensation increase.

Last year, UNM increased tuition by an average of 6.6 percent because of restructuring of tuition and fees.

Teachers got a one percent raise last year.

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