Board of Governors denies FGCU's tuition appeal
Nice try, Florida Gulf Coast University.
In a quick conference call Friday morning, and with a unanimous vote, members of a Florida Board of Governors appeals committee denied FGCU's request that its be allowed to increase tuition next year by the 14 percent it originally asked for -- instead leaving that hike amount at the 12 percent the board voted on last week.
It was the only university out of 11 to appeal the decision.
"I am hard pressed to overturn an action of a full board by an appeals committee when there isn't anything new being presented to us," said Board chairman Dean Colson.
FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw and university Board of Trustees chairwoman Robbie Roepstorff had told Colson and five other members of the state university governing board that even the extra revenue from the full requested hike wouldn't make up the budget cut the university is about to shoulder.
With a 14 percent increase, the university's current budget shortfall would total $215,000, Bradshaw said. That's in addition to the $3 million FGCU is about to be slashed as part of a $300 million cut across the system this upcoming fiscal year.
With the 12 percent approved by the BOG, the current shortfall jumps to $650,000.
"That's a huge shortfall for a university as small as Florida Gulf Coast University," Bradshaw said. It could mean layoffs, larger class sizes and fewer course sections: "A negative impact on our students."
It wasn't enough to convince the board.
"Madam chair, I'm sorry. Mr. President, I'm sorry," Colson said. "But I don't think you're surprised."