Business plan to include tuition increase

Northern Kentucky University unveiled its business plan to meet the goals of Vision 2015 in the Board of Regents meeting Nov. 14.

This plan, along with Double the Numbers, is designed to improve the living standards in Kentucky by increasing the number of high school and college graduates.

Enrollment is expected to double at NKU by 2015. Also, the number of bachelor’s degrees issued by the university is set to be 2,400, which is an increase from the current 1,624. Graduate school and law school enrollment is also anticipated to hit 4,400 by 2020.

There must be more space for classrooms, along with more professors to teach the added students if NKU is capable of reaching the 2015 goal.

In order to reach this goal, the Stillwater Group, which is NKU’s business plan consulting firm, said the budget of the university would need to increase from $205 million to $571 million by 2020.

To raise the budget, NKU will seek state funding and funding from students’ tuition. If the state gives no funding, the university will need to raise undergraduate tuition by 16 percent each year. However, if the state invests $14.3 million by 2010, then the tuition will only need to be raised 6 percent each year.

Graduate and law school rates will increase eight percent in the 2008-2009 academic year, five percent in 2010-2011 and four percent thereafter.

With the increase in the budget, several projects are planned to add space to the university. The first priority is renovation of Founder’s Hall, followed by the creation of the Health Innovation Center and a College of Business building. Also, NKU would like to increase student housing.

Some projects already being implement include the Campus Wayfinding Project, which is creating consistent signage to label parking lots around campus; a new Center for Informatics, which will house the dean of informatics, the infrastructure management institute and the departments of business informatics, computer science and communication; a third parking garage, which will add 1,080 parking spaces; a new Welcome Center; and the renovation of the already purchased Lakeside property.

The board also approved new projects in the meeting such as the installation of fiber optic cables from Johns Hill Road to Gateway Community College, which is located at the north end of campus.

Also, the house at 211 John’s Hill Road will be demolished next year. The university will not own the property October 2008.