August 6, 2009
Texas Tech leaders could spend the bulk of the steepest tuition increase in years on raises for faculty and staff under a budget up for approval this week.
Tech's board of regents will look at a billion-dollar budget when they convene on campus this morning. Better competing for faculty and high-performing students and shoring up research - all requirements to tap millions of new dollars proposed by Texas legislators - will take precedence in their plans, regents said.
"We've got a new game plan laid out for us by the Legislature, and it is a path to tier one research status," said Jerry Turner, an Austin attorney and vice-chairman of the board.
Regents increased tuition in June by $283 for students taking a 15-hour semester. Student fees, including a sharp increase in library fees, bring the total for the semester to $3,892.
Top financial officers for the system refused this week to release any figures ahead of today's regent discussion. An early, conservative estimate given this week put the new tuition income at roughly $7 million, down from $11 million presented in June, Regent Mark Griffin said.
Faculty would receive roughly $4.3 million of that through 3 percent merit raises.