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Board of Regents approves UW budget; fees up, tuition frozen

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News)  U-W students will not pay any more for tuition next year -- but their fees, room, and board will all go up under a budget passed yesterday. Meeting in Milwaukee, the Board of Regents voted unanimously for a university budget that includes a 3.6-percent hike in student segregated fees -- plus a room-and-board increase which averages 2.7-percent at the four-year schools.

U-W president Ray Cross said the increases were needed to cover student-initiated programs, dorm renovations and maintenance, rising food costs, and pay for non-faculty staffers.

Total spending under the U-W budget will rise by 1.7-percent in the next year, totaling $6.1-billion.

Regent Margaret Farrow tried but failed to approve a tuition hike for out-of-state students. She said they're getting a tremendous value. The governor and Legislature ordered the tuition freeze a year ago, amid criticism that U-W campuses were holding too much in reserves. The new budget addresses that, too, with average reserves of 3.3-percent.

Board President Michael Falbo said Farrow's comments would not be forgotten when the U-W asks lawmakers to approve its next two-year budget in 2015. Governor Scott Walker has said he would propose a tuition freeze for those next two years as well.