By Keren G. Raz
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday December 5, 2002
Business undergraduates may have to pay an additional $500 to major in business next year if the dean of the business college gets approval to charge business majors more tuition than undergraduates in other majors.
The Eller College of Business and Public Administration faces losing its accreditation as one of the top 25 business colleges in the country if it cannot replace 21 lost faculty members, said Mark Zupan, dean of the college.
A $500 fee for in-state students and a $1,000 fee for out-of-state students would generate the money needed to pay new faculty and save the college's accreditation, Zupan added.
Zupan hopes to raise the business college's tuition from $2,500 to $6,300 in coming years, which is the average cost of tuition for the top 20 public business schools in the United States.
The business college is not the only college considering raising its undergraduates' tuition above that of their peers.
Deans of the College of Engineering and Mines and the College of Fine Arts said they would consider charging a higher tuition for undergraduates in their colleges, though neither expect to raise rates in the near future.
"I think it is appropriate to have differentiated (fees) for engineering because of different costs," engineering Dean Tom Peterson said. But he added "one has to be careful about presenting too many changes all at once."
Peterson said he would not push for an additional increase in tuition for engineering majors if a university-wide tuition increase were to take effect.
Zupan said that the College of Science is also likely to charge its students additional fees in the future because it has higher education costs.
Joaquin Ruiz, dean of the College of Science, could not be reached for comment.
Most deans aren't as enthusiastic as Zupan about charging students more for programs in their colleges.
Zupan wants administration and regents to approve $500 in-state fees and $1,000 non-resident fees for next fall, or by fall 2004 at the latest.
President Pete Likins said he agrees that individual colleges should charge different tuition fees based on the cost of educating a student, but he won't allow any changes for next fall.
"I have told the deans that I don't want to hear about a proposal for undergraduate program fees this year," he said.
In order to get higher fees approved by the Arizona Board of Regents, deans must set aside a percentage of the fee increase for financial aid and scholarships.
Zupan said he would set aside 15 percent for financial aid that would go to business students.
He and student leaders within the business college are trying to rally student support for increased tuition and financial aid.
"All the responses we've received have been positive," said Jenny Rimsza, student coordinator in the business college who chairs a committee that promotes Zupan's tuition proposal.
Some business students said they see reasons why tuition should be raised in their college.
"I guess it's something that has to be done to improve the education here," said Carina Gonzalez, a business management senior.
Kevin Kundinger, a management informations system junior said that he supports the program fee because it will make his education more valuable.
"I think it's a good idea. I feel with the budget crisis and the (business college's) desire to make the top 10 colleges (in the country), it's something that needs to be looked at."
Right now, only professional graduate programs such as law, medicine and pharmacy charge more tuition than most undergraduate programs.
Next month, the Arizona Board of Regents will vote on whether to allow various colleges at the UA to set tuition rates higher than the general tuition rate. The board is scheduled to meet at the UA on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24.