BOG Budget and Finance Committee rejects UNF’s Academic Enhancement Fee

Joseph Basco

Presidents from universities across the state proposed fees for their respective institutions for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year during the Florida Board of Governors Budget and Finance Committee meeting at UNF Wednesday.

Universities proposed fees that would be used for student living and academic affairs. The proposals were met with intense inquiry by the committee before they were approved.

The University of West Florida was denied a proposal by a 6-3 vote to have a yearly $20 fee for students’ 1Cards, which would have had multiple purposes such as dining services, bookstore, and dorm room operations.

The committee also denied approval of UNF’s Academic Enhancement Fee by a 5-4 vote.

A contentious back and forth between UNF President John Delaney and BOG Chair Dean Colson set the tone for the committee’s discussion of the fee.

Colson said the Academic Enhancement Fee does what tuition already covers. Delaney said the fee would improve student retention and graduation rates.

FSA Chair and BOG member Michael Long said UNF has been doing a great job but now is not the time to charge students more.

The committee also rejected the University of South Florida’s Academic Enrichment and Opportunity Fee proposal with a 5-4 vote.

Budget and Finance Committee Chair Tico Perez said 5-4 votes are uncommon and he would like for the BOG to distinguish what constitutes as a fee later this year.

The board will hold its regular meeting at 11 a.m. today.