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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (June 29, 2000)
Regents debate tuition hike
In an effort to stay competi
tive with other public universi
ties, administrators and members
of the NU Board of Regents are
debating whether to raise tuition
rates in the coming years.
Some officials fear the uni
versity may be falling further and
further behind its peers, as NU
annually receives $50 million
less from tuition and state aid
than comparable schools, said
Joe Rowson, director of commu
nications for NU.
NU brings in less money than
schools such as the University of
Iowa, Iowa State University, the
University of Minnesota-Twin
Cities and Ohio State University,
who compete with NU for facul
ty members and student!, he said.
“We don’t have the money to
do the things we want to do,”
hu rresident uenms amnn
is looking at ways to bring more
money to the university, which
include raising tuition rates and
requesting more money from the
Legislature, he said.
If tuition at NU is raised one
percent, the university will make
$900,000 profit in one year, he
To generate the $50 million
with tuition alone, students
would face more than a 50 per
cent increase, which is improba
ble, Rowson said.
“The board knows we can’t
put families in a position where
they can’t afford to send their
kids to school,” he said.
“Nothing can be that drastic .”
Tuition rates for the 2000-01
academic year have already been
'••'^blished, so any increases
• i Id take place as early as
2 jo i -02, he said.
But tuition hikes and
increased state aid aren’t the only
options that could increase rev
enue. The regents have discussed
intensifying efforts to recruit
more students to the university,
especially graduate and out-of
state students, Rowson said.
“It’s not an easy problem to
deal with,” he said.
Rowson said there is also the
possibility that the $50 million
could be raised on a more long
• term basis.
“We might not be able to
solve it in one step,” he said.
Joel Schafer, Association of
Students of the University of
Nebraska president and student
regent, said he is working on
finding out how students feel on
.scnaier said the timing of the
proposed tuition increase was
poor because most of NU’s stu
dents aren’t in class during the
“It’s difficult to speak for die
students when most of them are
away,” he said.
Schafer has called a special
session of the ASUN student sen
ate to discuss the issue, but he
said he does not think enough
senators will be present to take
Members will meet next
Wednesday night. Twenty-one
senators must be present for the
group to vote or pass a resolution,
Regardless of the attendance,
Schafer said the meeting will be
beneficial because it will gener
Schafer encouraged students
to voice their opinions to ASUN,
state senators or regents.
“Students are easily disre
garded because we’re a quiet
body,” he said.
Schafer said he supports a
modest tuition increase, because
he thinks the university needs
more money, but a hefty tuition
hike may not be die answer.
“If our goal is to be one of the
top 30 public universities by
2020, we are going to need
increased appropriations,” he
“But in no way, shape or form
should that be saddled on the
back of students and students
Schafer said he thought a
raise in tuition is inevitable, but
the students can have an impact
on how high the hike will be.
“Students hold a lot of cards
in their hands,” he said.
“The key is getting a unified,
The issue may be discussed at
the July 16 Board of Regents
meeting, but it is unlikely mem
bers will take any action, Rowson
“This is a discussion of a
large issue with a number of fac
tors involved," he said.
“Scenarios haven’t been
- ■. ■■ .. p L
NU Foundation caps
seven-year fund drive
By Kate Grafel
NU Foundation’s seven-year
fund-raising drive will end this
December, leaving behind a dis
tinguished trail of numbers.
Thanks to a record $130 mil
lion donation from the Donald
and Mildred Topp Othmer estate,
the University of Nebraska
ranked ninth in the nation for
fundraising during the 1998
1999 fiscal year.
A total of $218.7 million
received by the NU Foundation
placed NU with the likes of
Harvard, Duke, Stanford,
Columbia and Yale universities.
The Othmers were both
graduates of the University of
Nebraska. A new chemical engi
neering building will honor
Donald Othmer, said NU
Foundation President and Chief
Executive Officer Terry
Campaign Nebraska, a fund
raising project began in January
1994, sought a goal of $250 mil
lion. As of June 1 of this year,
$615 million had been raised.
“We chose two years ago not
to set a new goal,” Fairfield said,
“but to fund the projects we set
out to fund.”
Fairfield says that while most
fundraising drives ultimately
finance 70 percent of their proj
ects, Campaign Nebraska will
succeed in funding 90 percent of
The NU Foundation sets a
goal to raise $60 million to $80
million each year. Fairfield con
siders this an extraordinary
accomplishment for a state with
a population of 1.5 million.
During the 1998-1999 fiscal
year the NU Foundation trans
ferred $51.4 million to the uni
versity, a record that it expects to
beat by 20 percent this year.
ft We chose two
years ago not
to set a new
goal but to
projects we set
out to fund."
ceo, NU Foundation
The NU Foundation’s
Committee invites prospective
donors to events in 20 cities out
side Nebraska, after which rep
resentatives follow up with
donors on an individual basis.
Fairfield says the NU
Foundation coordinates with the
Athletic Department to avoid
asking the same donor to make a
private gift and also purchase a
The academic side has prior
ity over other prospects, but
Fairfield says he is often able to
secure funding for both academ
ics and athletics.
Christine Aguirre, NU
Director, said donors usually
know where they want their
money to go.
“Most often gifts are desig
nated to certain departments,”
Aguirre said. “Rarely will a
donor give an unrestricted gift.”
Gifts not designated for a
particular department go into a
general fund to help areas such
as the library or the Sheldon
Memorial Art Gallery.
NU Foundation currently has
$1,054 billion in assets, its oper
ating costs are funded by interest ,
on these assets.
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