RESOLUTION March 20-21, 2003
Whereas— The Board is accountable to the people of Montana for maintaining quality, access and affordability for Montana citizens; and
Whereas— The Board of Regents fulfills its constitutional responsibility to supervise, manage and control the Montana University System by carefully balancing revenue with the cost of providing education; and
Whereas— Revenue for University System programs and services comes from a combination of State general fund allocation, mileage and student tuition and fees; and
Whereas— Over the past decade there has been a dramatic shift in the percentage of support provided by the State for resident student education compared with the percentage supplied by student tuition and fees; and
Whereas— The combination of diminishing State support and the need to remain competitive in attracting and serving students challenges Montana University System campuses to develop greater efficiencies while maintaining quality education; and
Whereas— the Montana University System has the ability to pay for itself by raising tuition, yet decisions to raise tuition can be counterproductive to the vision and goals of the State; and
Whereas—Each campus has unique type, size and mission considerations with distinctive image, message, and each appeals to different constituencies, and
Whereas—the Regents will use the initiative, expertise and talents of campus leadership teams by encouraging innovation and providing them with management flexibility;
THEREFORE, be it resolved that, once overall revenue can be projected, budgets will be balanced through a combination of tuition increases and reductions in expenditures, according to the following guidelines and priorities for FY 04-05:
- Quality of our research, learning and outreach programs will be maintained or enhanced.
- Proposed increases in tuition will ensure that access of Montana citizens to the Montana University System is not adversely impacted.
- The Strategic plan of the Board of Regents will be followed.
- Alternate forms of revenue will be actively pursued.
- Campuses will be allowed the flexibility to observe their approved tuition rates as maximum levels, but to set, or package, rates on their own, for unique markets, programs, sessions, events, and other situations in which they believe they can produce a benefit or advantage.
- Campuses will propose (through the Commissioner) metrics to the Board of Regents at the May meeting with which to measure progress and impact of proposed budget actions.