The Board of Trustees voted to increase tuition by 3.9 percent for the 2016-17 school year, announced Interim President Lisa Lynch on Friday, April 1. Lynch gave various reasons which factored into the decision including sustaining financial aid and renovating dormitories.
The 3.9 percent increase will affect comprehensive charges which include tuition, fees, housing and dining. Housing and dining changes will vary based on the plan and location. Judy Glasser, interim senior vice president for communications, expanded upon what the tuition change will mean for housing and dining programs. “Of the two dining plans available to upperclass students with kitchens, one is staying at the same rate while the other is actually decreasing, despite cost to the university, to try and better align with students’ financial need,” wrote Glasser in an email to The Brandeis Hoot.
Increasing the amount of tenured faculty on campus was another focus for the 3.9 percent tuition hike. According to the faculty headcounts that were provided to the AAUP in fall of the 2014-2015 school year, there are 205 tenured faculty at Brandeis. Another 50 professors are ‘on-track’ to receive tenure and 102 are non-tenured.
According to the Common Data Set for the 2014-2015 school year, there are 160 part-time instructional faculty. This number includes “Adjuncts and other instructors being paid solely for part-time classroom instruction.”
Lynch’s email stated that the university is looking to hire, “17 new tenured, tenure-track and other full-time faculty members, in areas within the humanities, the sciences, the social sciences, the creative arts and business.”
When asked whether adjunct faculty would be considered for these new tenured positions over new hires, Glasser responded that, “We will consider all applicants and we will always select the best qualified candidate.”
Funds raised from the increase in tuition will be contributed to renovations. According to Lynch, changes will be made to buildings in East Quad in pursuit of sustainability. There has been a large push for a more sustainable campus community. The changes that will be made this upcoming summer are just a few that are intended to increase overall sustainability on campus.
Tim Touchette, director of the Department of Community Living, explained these changes. “Both Hassenfeld and Pomerantz are getting a new roof this summer. Additionally, Pomerantz is being fitted with new windows this summer and Hassenfeld will be done next year. These improvements will drastically impact the energy efficiency in East Quad,“ wrote Touchette in an email to The Hoot.
Glasser further defined the renovation plans. “We will also be replacing parts of the underground steam distribution system, repaving some campus walkways and driveways, and repaving some parking areas as well, including most notably the Tower lot.”
Lynch’s email read that $2 million would be devoted to East Quad renovations. The cost of renovating the castle is not included in this sum. “My understanding is that the Castle project is a completely separate project,” wrote Touchette in an email to The Hoot.
The budget for sexual-assault awareness, prevention and support services will also be augmented as a result of the 3.9 percent tuition increase. The investment will be $750,000 over the next academic year. This sum will change according to needed resources. As of now, the additional funds will be contributed to the special examiner’s process, training, education and support services. Additions to these areas were highlighted in a report from the Task Force for Sexual Assault Response, Services and Prevention.
“As noted, these costs are expected to exceed $750,000 next year. It is difficult to give a more specific number because the amount will vary depending on the type and scale of individual support that is needed, as well as the number and complexity of the sexual misconduct investigations that are conducted,” wrote Glasser in an email to The Hoot.