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MTSU Tuition Increase to Address Faculty Imbalance

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Middle Tennessee State University is asking for a tuition increase, saying it needs the money - in part - to address a faculty imbalance.

The finance committee of the state Board of Regents met Tuesday and unanimously recommended increases at its six universities, 13 community colleges and 27 technology centers.

The proposed hikes vary in size. Students at Middle Tennessee State University would see a 6.8 percent rise in tuition if the plan is approved.

Student Rontez Clark is a senior at MTSU studying Recording Industry Management. He says he hasn’t heard anyone talking about dropping out because of recent increases, but says students aren’t happy about the cost of tuition.

“Some students don’t get PELL Grants or financial aid, and it’s hard for them already to have to take out loans for a certain amount. So with them increasing tuition, I just feel like it’s going to be harder for some students. It can cause some students to be late for graduation.”

MTSU spokesman Andrew Oppmann says the school is doing what it can to help anyone struggling with finances, but also says the tuition increase is essential.

He says that part of the increase the university is asking for will go toward correcting a growing imbalance between the number of fulltime, tenure-track professors, and temporary instructors.  Oppmann says just four years ago, three-fourths of MTSU professors were tenure track.

“That ratio’s changed from 74 percent core faculty to 26 percent today. This growing imbalance really threatens program accreditation, it diminishes access to student advising, and it narrows the capacity of our high demand graduate programs.

Tuition increases for all TBR schools will be presented for consideration by the full Regent's board when it meets later this month.