While finding budget reductions is a major function of the University of Wyoming Financial Crisis Advisory Committee, searching for new or improved sources of revenue is also a top priority.

A revenue committee will soon be tasked with finding places in UW where more money could be found. Rob Godby, associate professor of economics and finance, is tasked with leading the group, the members of which have not yet been finalized.

“One of the ideas to look at are particular fees that might cover additional costs in various departments or colleges,” he said. “These are cost-based revenues looking at programs where there are additional costs needed to provide for the students.”

The 2015 fee book was about 100 pages of individual courses and the additional costs students must pay for enrollment. The large document can be confusing and might leave other courses without additional assistance, Godby said.

“The first phase is to look at how we can, and whether we should, implement program fees,” he said. “This is separate from a tuition increase. This is incurring additional costs to provide for courses.”

A new plan could create a group or program fee instead of the individual fees currently in place, Godby said.

“There could be a science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fee across all related courses or a performing arts fee for the theatrical costs associated with the program,” he said. “But right now, we haven’t determined any of this. We’re still in the process of finalizing the committee.”

Programs and courses in the College of Engineering and Applied Science could see the largest student-associated additional fees, which could greatly assist various departments in light of the $35 million state budget reduction, Dean Michael Pishko said.

“Engineering, nationally, is one of the more expensive set of degrees to offer,” he said.

“There are significant lab costs, technology requirements and very expensive software programs.”

Pishko said every department will be reviewed in search of additional costs associated with programs.

“The fee structure (UW) has right now is very low when compared to our peers,” he said. “Part of this was because of the large supplement by our state budget. But over the years and with state funding cuts, I would say developing a program fee ensures we have a mechanism in which we can operate and maintain technology and software on a regular basis.”

Much of the funding could go back to the individual departments providing the various courses, Godby said.

“The fees would largely go back to the programs that incur the cost,” he said. “There may be an overhead share. The committee will look into that during its investigation. But it’s important for the students to know their money is going back to the student through their courses.”

The revenue committee needs to have its recommendations completed by October, Godby said, before the Financial Crisis Advisory Committee is scheduled to present suggestions to Pres. Laurie Nichols in October.

Nichols will analyze the committee’s suggestions and decide on the best course of action to present to the UW Board of Trustees.

(13) comments

Pragmatist

With his background, Dean Pishko should certainly be familiar with how to hit students with big fees. Get ready. Here it comes.

freeconsultant

Students WILL be hit ... and, at the end of this, they will still have tuition in the bottom 10% nationally. By the way, keep your eyes trained on the activity fees over the next several years. The Athletics people will be back, looking for more ammo for a football arms race that we are bound to lose.

clipper

Big Ed subsidizes the Ath Dept via student fees. That's a trend nationally especially outside the Power 5 conferences.

Brett Glass

UW has 4 main sources of revenue: Students, donors (mostly corporate, though it will be unable to get much from the energy industry now no matter how much it sacrifices its academic integrity), the Legislature, and the unrelated businesses it operates, often in competition with legitimate local ones (e.g its apartments, which should pay taxes but do not). Watch for it to push forward on all these fronts in the ways that most benefit its administrators and their ambitions rather than the public.

Silence Dogood

Sadly Brett is correct. Even in good times UW has never had "enough" resources at their disposal. UW operates far more unrelated businesses than their housing ventures including their daycare and auxiliary enterprises. Remember that the goal of any good bureaucracy is not to actually get things done but rather to increase the budget and the number of people that answer to it... Let's have a meeting....

waitasec

A committee to find alternative sources of revenue in a state that is essentially bankrupt is an absurdity.
"Let's form a committee!"
UW has raised tuition and fees almost religiously every year. They can claim they are a "good value", but the contrary will prove to be the case.
Giving incentive for early retirement means less faculty and staff, which means less quality educators, which means students who will "graduate" with no skills for the workplace. UW, Laramie, and Wyoming are in a very bad situation right now and people think this will blow over in a year or so.

clipper

"Giving incentive for early retirement means less faculty and staff, which means less quality educators". How in the world do you draw that conclusion?

Entropy

It's very simple clipper. The vast majority of positions freed up by early retirements will not be refilled. Straight from President Nichols' mouth.

clipper

Well, entropy you weren't asked but by interjecting you, like waitasec, have demonstrated that you don't know the difference in meaning between the words quality and quantity. Now go back to your vocabulary homework.

Entropy

I do understand the difference between quality and quantity (I also understand a lot of things that you don't, but we'll save that for another day). A logical person would rationally conclude that as faculty and staff positions are cut, through this early retirement program, not only among them will be "quality" educators, but their loss will impact the remaining "quality" educators, not affording them the time or resources to teach as well as they once did.

You're welcome. Resume your drivel and general nastiness.

freeconsultant

Excuse me. Let's employ a few critical thinking skills here. "They can claim they are a "good value", but the contrary will prove to be the case." And your evidence for this prediction is ...

UW will produce "students who will 'graduate' with no skills for the workplace" based on your knowledge of UW curricula or trends in national employment?

By the way, if training workers for the workplace were the only goal of education, then a university would not be necessary at all. You don't appear to have needed one.

waitasec

When you obtain critical thinking skills, let me know. Wyoming's mismanagement of funds and resources at all levels have permanently altered peoples' lives, and not for the better.

freeconsultant

Prove it, Bub. So far, an unsupported statement.

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