DRC kicks off fee at 40 cents; UNF Athletics requests $1.77 increase

Spinnaker

Amid fewer credit hours for campus entities to use when requesting fee increases for the next fiscal year, the UNF Disability Resource Center requested 40 cents for its inaugural fee, and UNF Athletics requested a $1.77 fee increase today.

The UNF Student Fee Assessment Committee announced at its Oct. 4 meeting the credit hours students are taking dropped to 403,000 hours in 2011-12 from 408,000 in 2010-11. Fewer credit hours means less money campus entities have access to when planning their 2013-14 budgets.

Because the committee approved UNF’s health fee’s definition to include the center Oct. 4, Dr. Kris Webb proposed the first DRC fee budget at today’s committee meeting.

The 40 cents would give the center $152,741, which would complement the money the center receives from the education and general budget for accommodations, according to Webb’s proposal.

Webb, the center’s director, said she kept the fee as lean as possible. But UNF’s growing number of deaf students and students with serious disabilities necessitates the appropriate funds to accommodate those students.

Webb

Federal law mandates the center not turn away students in need of its services, Webb said, and 15 deaf students at UNF use the center’s specialized accommodations.

Shari Shuman, the UNF vice president of administration and finance, asked Webb for the center’s budget projections from previous years, to see how the center used its money. Webb will present those projections at next week’s meeting.

And Webb was not alone in presenting a fee proposal to solace budget concerns.

Athletic Director Lee Moon said the $1.77 increase will help transition UNF’s athletics programs into fully funded, Division-I programs at the National Collegiate Athletics Association level. He said UNF is a two-year cycle away from this goal.

The fee increase would give the athletics department $556,200 more from student fees than it collected in 2012-13, according to Moon’s proposal.

Besides increasing scholarships to match the increase in tuition and funding salaries for new assistant coaches, the fee increase would establish a $25,000 tailgating budget.

This would make the athletics department fund its tailgating events independently of other entities’ support.

Currently, the Student Life and Services fee, Student Government, UNF Athletics and the UNF President’s Office fund athletics tailgating.

Moon

And although the DRC and the athletics department predict they will need extra funding in the next fiscal year, two campus entities said they can suffice of the revenue from fees they have in 2012-13.

UNF Student Health Services is once again not requesting a fee increase, said Doreen Perez, the director of health administration at UNF. Should the committee agree on Perez’s proposal, the fee will stay $2.99 per credit hour.

Perez will request $21,888 from the UNF Auxiliary Oversight Committee, to make up the difference the decrease in student credit hours creates, according to her proposal.

Shuman said the department’s spending is on target with its projects, and the entities that proposed last week, UNF Health Promotion and the UNF Counseling Center, were not.

Vince Smyth, the director of UNF Auxiliary Services, did not request an increase to the transportation access fee. The fee covers the shuttle system, which started in fall 2007.

If the fee receives the committee’s blessing, it will remain at $4.08 per credit hour next school year.

Smyth said this year’s fee will be enough to fund next year’s needs.

The committee will meet Nov. 15 to hear the extra documentation it requested in past meetings and to solidify its fee recommendations for fiscal year 2014.

Email Ryan Thompson at [email protected]