The University of New Mexico regents announced they are in favor of a 3.75 percent increase in tuition next year.
Final action on the budget will not come until April, but regents voted on Friday to accept President David Schmidly’s budget proposal.
The vote was 4-1, with student regent Jake Wellman voting ‘no’. Regents Jack Fortner and Carolyn Abeita were absent.
The vote came after almost five hours of deliberating a proposed budget that also includes a 5.6 percent increase in student fees, which are paid on top of tuition.
Regents also were in favor of using 20 percent of the revenue generated from a tuition increase towards financial aid for needy students.
Regents said they were on board with the administration’s proposal, which also includes a one-time payment to employees and a $1.25 million loan to athletics, which is expected to finish with a deficit this year.
“I can’t say I’m 100 percent happy, but I don’t think anyone can be 100 percent happy,” regent Don Chalmers said.
University of New Mexico administrators have backed down from a proposal to increase student fees by 8 percent to fund libraries and athletics.
In a presentation before the Board of Regents on Friday, administrators said they would fund a cash-strapped libraries program through a one-time allocation of general funds. That would alleviate the burden on students, who were facing an increase in fees to pay for libraries.
Students responsible for setting fees had allocated $33.45 per student to libraries; President David Schmidly in his budget proposal raised that to $60.45 per student.
But about 50 students on Thursday protested the proposal outside the Student Union Building, saying they already paid enough in fees, and had in fact already upped funding for libraries two years in a row.
Schmidly is now proposing a $463,697 one-time fund from the general budget for libraries.
The proposed 8 percent increase is now 5.6 percent for undergrads.