August 27th, 1999

Regents Approve Tuition, 'Landmark'
Budget Request, New Ethics Policy

During its meeting on Friday, August 27 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents approved the Fiscal Year 2001 operating budget request, including tuition and fees limited to a four percent increase.

Tuition at the USM's 11 degree-granting institutions will increase up to four percent for full-time undergraduates who are Maryland residents. The University of Baltimore will have no increase in its full-time undergraduate tuition, and both Coppin State College and University of Maryland, College Park will limit their increases to three percent. Non-resident full-time undergraduates will see increases ranging from zero percent at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to 7.3 percent at Frostburg State University.

The Board also approved a Fiscal Year 2001-2005 tuition plan. It projects anticipated tuition increases for all USM institutions over the next four years, but is contingent on the actual costs of education and the level of state appropriations. Actual tuition rates will continue to be approved by the Board of Regents on an annual basis.

The Regents approved a total operating budget request for Fiscal Year 2001 of $2.4 billion, a 3.6 percent increase over the current budget. Of that amount, $759 million is a request for general funds provided by the state. The state portion of the budget request is 5.7 percent higher than the current amount, but still accounts for less than a third of the USM^s total budget. The budget increase reflects allocations for new facilities, an enrollment increase of nearly 2,000 students, enhancements at College Park and the System's historically black institutions, debt service, and other initiatives and obligations.

In addition, the Regents passed a Fiscal Year 2001 supplemental budget request of $40 million. The USM is proposing this request in response to legislation passed during the 1999 legislative session. The distribution of funds will be largely informed by new draft funding guidelines, to be established by the Maryland Higher Education Commission in conjunction with the University System. The guidelines center on comparisons with state funding of peer institutions nationwide.

"This promises to be a landmark year for the USM budget," said Donald N. Langenberg, chancellor of the USM. "We are establishing a whole new framework for appropriations, one that looks outside of Maryland to make sure our institutions are funded competitively with their peers. It will require a significant commitment on the part of the state, one which we believe the vast majority of Marylanders are willing to make in return for higher quality in and broader access to their public universities."

Finally, the Board affirmed an ethics policy that establishes a prohibition against Board members "for compensation, assisting or representing any party in any matter before the General Assembly." The policy complies with the 1999 Maryland Senate bill on USM governance, a section of which specifically requires the Regents to create the prohibition.

- USM -

Contact: Chris Hart
Phone: 301/445-2739