December 10, 2010

Message from President Perman To All UMB Students

Dear Student:

As I hope you know by now, one central theme of my presidency at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is transparency. Whenever appropriate, I will make public my thinking about key issues, gathering feedback and input from affected shared governance groups, and explaining the factors internal and external that influence my decisions. In this e-mail, I want to bring you up-to-date on my thinking in setting UMB's request to the Board of Regents for tuition and University fees for next academic year—AY 2011-12.

Tuition Increase:
The process for determining tuition rates is long and complex, involving interaction with the University System of Maryland (USM) and the State Department of Budget and Management (DBM) over almost a full year. In late summer of each year, UMB is given guidance on its budget request for the following year. Included in this is guidance on tuition. In August 2010, UMB was given a guideline of an average 4% increase in tuition for AY 2011-12 in order to meet the expected USM-wide increases in retiree and health insurance costs, deferred maintenance, increases in student financial aid, and other items that are known as the "mandatories." In other words, this money does not finance new school or University initiatives. It is the money needed to balance the University's budget necessary to keeping programs and services at their existing levels.

Fee Increase:
The University fees—required of all students regardless of program—are Student Government (USGA), Transportation, Technology, and Supporting Facilities fees. For next year, the USGA and Transportation fees will remain the same. The Technology Fee will increase by $50 to support the student learning environment. The Supporting Facilities Fee (SFF) will increase by 4%. The primary purpose of the SFF is to pay the debt service and other associated expenses of the newly opened Southern Management Corporation Campus Center. The AY 2011-12 increase was a part of the original financial plan and was reviewed as the fee was set last year.

There is no common tuition at UMB. Each of our academic programs charges a different tuition and a different differential between in-state and out-of-state tuition. School and program specific—e.g., MD, JD, DDS, BSN, PharmD, MSW, etc.—tuition and fees are calibrated to their professional context, history, and initiatives. Consequently at UMB, there has been and will be tuition rate increases above the 4% guideline. Increases above 4% will support school-specific initiatives. The dean of each school where there is such an increase will explain to students what any increases above 4% support.

One school, the School of Law, will see a zero tuition increase next year. This decision was made by the School of Law and the University to stabilize tuition expenses for one year due to unique and striking changes in the economic environment for the legal profession. The School of Law will be meeting its financial obligation to the University by transferring dollars equivalent to the 4% tuition increase from funds the school set aside over the past two years in anticipation of possible programmatic and environmental changes.

From now until late December, discussions will accelerate between UMB and USM culminating in a fine-tuned University budget submitted in late December. I am reporting to you today the proposed rates for tuition and mandatory fees for AY 2011-12, which I have approved at this moment. These proposed tuition and fees will be published on our website in January 2011. They remain "proposed" until after the General Assembly passes the state budget, and the Board of Regents acts on tuition and fees included in that budget at its late April 2011 meeting. Please note that the rates being proposed may or may not be the ones subsequently applied in fall 2011 depending on actions of the General Assembly and the Board of Regents.

In summary, there will be an average 4% increase in tuition for AY 2011-12. The deans and I are coming to you this year late in the process with this news. We find ourselves more in the position of explaining the proposed tuition and fees for next year rather than fully consulting with you. We commit to beginning the dialogue with you about tuition and fees earlier in future years.

Sincerely,
Jay A. Perman, MD
President

Attachment to student tuition and fees letter, December 2010
Mandatory Expense Increases:
Retiree, Health Insurance$3.2m
Facilities renewal$2.1m
Operating expenses for facilities new to the University$1.9m
Financial Aid$0.7m
Other$1.4m
Funded by:
Proposed increase in State General Fund$5.3m
4% Tuition increase$4.0m