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Updated 10:00 AM June 22, 2009

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Dearborn, Flint budgets approved by board

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The Board of Regents on Thursday approved a 6.5 percent increase in undergraduate tuition for students at UM-Flint and a 6.7 percent increase for UM-Dearborn.

UM-Flint's proposed budget for 2009-10 also includes a recommended 4.9 percent increase in graduate tuition and an 8.5 percent increase in institutional financial aid. Dearborn's budget calls for a 3 percent increase for graduate students.

"The University of Michigan-Flint is committed to a culture of excellence, and this modest tuition increase is necessary to maintain our exceptionally high standards," says Chancellor Ruth Person. "During these challenging times, we know that accessibility to education is important to the people of the region we serve, and that is why we are recommending as low an increase as possible while preserving our academic quality."

Despite continuing cost-cutting efforts, UM-Flint is preparing for significant increases in operational expenses during the coming year. Fixed costs that will affect the university include:

• Health insurance will increase by 10 percent.

• Utilities will increase by 5 percent.

• Dental insurance will increase by 5 percent.

UM-Flint continues to implement spending reductions by investing in environmental technology for campus facilities, reducing travel and reviewing the need to fill vacant positions.

"We continue to operate under enormous budget constraints," Person says. "In spite of those challenges, the university community has risen to the challenge, offering a superior educational experience for our students and engaging with our surrounding community."

The UM-Dearborn budget has a 4 percent state budget reduction that includes a 1 percent adjustment because the 2008-09 appropriation was less than anticipated, leaders say. The budget reflects the campus' ongoing work to increase enrollment, particularly in the colleges of Business and of Arts, Sciences & Letters.

"The budget preparation presented to you today represents exhaustingly careful work by many on the campus," Chancellor Daniel Little told regents, explaining the collaborative process that included many groups on campus and emphasized cost containment.

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