Budget, tuition increases approved for next fiscal year by Board of Trustees

Elizabeth Stoeger, Staff Writer

Tuition is expected to increase by about $1,000 in the 2016-17 academic year.

Mary Ann Rodriguez, Vice President for Finance and Administration, along with Ehren Cahill, Vice President of ASLC, presented the budget at the most recent ASLC meeting on March 1.

The Board of Trustees and the College Planning and Budget Council have already accepted the budget. The Budget Working Group Review (BWG), made up of faculty, staff, and students, also endorsed the budget proposal.

Rodriguez said the budget was about “how to keep the college running from one year at a time” while fairly compensating staff and faculty and giving students the most effective education possible.

According to President Hellie’s strategic plan goals, the budget will focus on compensation, community distinctiveness, and stewardship.

It is a projected 12-month operating budget for the college. It needs to support Linfield’s 164 faculty members, 272 staff members, buildings, majors, students and many assorted expenses.

The Linfield Nursing Campus in Portland is almost at maximum capacity with 393 fully enrolled students.

They are projecting a freshman class of about 475 new students, 85 transfer students with a freshman to sophomore retention rate of 85.5 percent.

The administration is expecting an increase in transfer students in the next few years due to free community college that has recently been implemented in Oregon.

Rodriguez said, “We want to make sure we have a clear path for those [transfer] students to come in so we want to make sure that we’re ready to bring those on.”

In order to cover expenses, tuition will increase 3.65 percent.

Rodriguez said, “The goal here is to try to keep tuition . . . between three and no more than 4 percent increase because what we want is our students to be able to stay here and finish in 4 years with us.”

The financial aid discount rate for the McMinnville campus will increase by 3.5 percent. This is “how much, on average, students are getting on financial aid,” Cahill explained.

There is expected to be a 4.5 percent increase in residence hall expenses.

This is about a 4 percent increase across the board.

Linfield generates 73.3 percent of its revenue from tuition and 19 percent from dining and residence halls.

The increases will support and expand the Online and Continuing Education (OCE) marketing budget, McMinnville student admissions and recruitment, software for institutional advancement, alumni outreach, and athletic coaches and sports recruitment.

There is also a proposed 3.66 percent faculty salary increase. Plans for a new insurance plan are also in action.

Some of the items not funded by the proposed budget are new faculty positions and more funds for work-study and campus employment.