URBANA — University of Illinois trustees plan to set new tuition rates when they meet in Chicago this week, but so far there's been no word on what the prices will be.
UI spokesman Thomas Hardy said tuition will likely increase along the lines of inflation, as board policy dictates, but the proposals still weren't available Tuesday afternoon.
The UI has a base tuition rate of $11,104 a year for the Urbana campus, but individual colleges and departments have "differentials," or surcharges. Engineering and chemical-life sciences were the first to add differentials, and others followed suit.
Campus administrators proposed a plan in December to consolidate five differentials into three basic levels, but that was postponed after students raised objections. Associate Chancellor Mike Andrechak said it would have resulted in significant increases in some differentials, and students were uncomfortable with that.
The consolidation will likely be phased in gradually, over four or five years, to avoid large jumps, he said Tuesday.
Former UI President Stanley Ikenberry proposed simplifying the UI's tuition and fees several years ago after hearing from parents that the charges were too complicated, said Randall Kangas, associate vice president for planning and budgeting.
"At the end of the day, moms and dads wanted to know, 'What's the number?'" he said.
Tuition rates to be discussed Thursday won't include any consolidation of differentials, he said.
Trustees will meet Wednesday in a daylong retreat, then begin a formal meeting at 8 a.m. Thursday at the UIC Student Center West, 828 South Wolcott Ave., Chicago.
Also on the agenda are student fees and housing rates for 2012-13. Student fees would rise by $5 a semester on the Urbana campus, or 0.3 percent, to $1,441, or $2,882 for an academic year.
Room and board costs would increase by 2.5 percent, or $118 a semester for a standard double room. The new price would be $4,844 a semester, or $9,688 a year.
The board will also vote on a raise for Paula Meares, vice president and chancellor of the UI Chicago. The "equity adjustment" is intended to bring her compensation package in line with the Urbana campus chancellor, Phyllis Wise, and UI Chicago's peers around the country, Hardy said.
Wise, hired in August, earns $500,000 annually, with an additional $100,000 per year if she stays for five years.
Meares' salary would be bumped to $401,709, and her retention incentive would rise from $75,000 to $100,000 a year for the last three years of her five-year contract, which ends Jan. 14, 2014. That would bring her retention bonus to $450,000. She was hired in 2008 at a salary of $375,000.