One by one, the leaders of Idaho's state colleges and universities sat before the State Board of Education Wednesday, hat in hand. And, one by one, the college officials got what they wanted - increases in tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 school year.
The University of Idaho was granted a 6.1 percent increase, bringing annual tuition and fees for a full-time student who is a resident to $6,212. Nonresidents will have to pay $12,788.
Boise State tuition and fees were allowed to bump up 5.7 percent to $5,884 for a full-time student who is a resident. Nonresidents will have to pay $11,440.
Boise State also outlined how it was dramatically changing its academic standards to "control costs," including:
-Decreasing credits to graduate from 128 down to 120, effective fall 2012. The university is expected to reduce the number of seats in courses as a result.
-Restructuring class schedules into 75-minute blocks instead of a mix of 50- and 75-minute blocks, effective fall 2012. The university will increase the number of two-day-a-week courses, enabling more students to attend only two days a week.
-Implementing an online course-evaluation system, expected to save funds on copying and distributing paper evaluations.
Earlier today, Boise President Dr. Bob Kustra blogged about his dialogue with the state board yesterday regarding the future focus of the university:
"The frustrations I heard expressed by the State Board yesterday are hardly new to me," wrote Kustra. " People outside of higher education simply do not understand why it is the last sector of the economy standing that is impervious to systemic change and improvement. Times like these require new thinking about how we teach and how our students can learn. It is time to roll up our sleeves and get it done. If we fail, it will not be a pretty picture when Governors and state legislatures step in with harsher solutions than the ones I firmly believe we in higher education are capable of producing."