State funding is up this
year by $1.4 million. If you add up
obligations to the Retirement Systems of Alabama and health insurance costs for
current and former employees the university is trying to cover more than six
million dollars in costs. They say they've
cut back and need the 4.5% tuition increase.
"We have had something
like $16 million in various efficiencies we've had faculty and staff who've
retired or left the university that we've not replaced," says Senior VP of
Academic Affairs David Johnson. Around
campus you see new buildings and some students are upset about paying more
money for the same education.
"Me personally I think
they're building unnecessary buildings on campus that we're not using so I
don't see why tuition can go up," says student Justin Hall. Other students see it the university's way.
"I still like how south's
prices are considerably cheaper than the other institutions here in Alabama,"
says student Shanarus Briggins-Polard. The
board also approved a 3.5% raise for health system employees. They didn't get a raise last year with
university employees because of uncertainty about health care.
"We have the financial
results through the end of April that we just got and the hospitals and clinics
are doing much better compared to this time last year," says VP of Financial
Affairs Wayne Davis.