This archived article was written by: Heather Myers
Next year tuition may be higher and CEU may be merged with another school.
While rumors of CEU being absorbed into Utah State University seem ramport, according to President Ryan Thomas, the more likely situation will be CEU and the South Eastern Applied Technology College will merge. Thomas stated in an all-campus meeting in January that many of SEATC’s functions are already handled by CEU and the merger would not mean much besides a name change.
With the enrollment of CEU declining, the issue of mergers increasing enrollment was discussed. “Since any mergers are speculative, at best, at this point, it is hard to project impacts. However, it is less likely that an increased merger between CEU and SEATC would impact enrollment at either institution than other merger possibilities since there is already a high degree of coordination of programs and services between the two entities.” Thomas said.
On Dec. 12 of last year the Board of Regents authorized a study to explore the options for advancing the collaboration between CEU and SEATC. Both Thomas and Darrell of Applied Technology supported the study. Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Kendall will direct the study and is to have a report in to the Board of Regents by June 30.
The board also discussed first-tier tuition in the meeting. There are no final numbers, as recommendations must first be made by the legislature. However, the Board of Regents will accept whatever numbers the legislature feels is necessary to fund increases in the cost of schools.
“I am never enthusiastic about increased tuition since I think that our tuition for two-year institutions in Utah is already relatively high compared to both state income and average cost in the region.
“Unfortunately, there is no concrete information on tuition either. The first -tier tuition discussions that I am hearing seem to be lining up in the four percent range,” Thomas said.
Currently the outlook is anywhere from a four-percent increase to an increase in the range of 25 percent in second-tier tuition. Thomas explains that the difference in numbers stems from a conflict between small community colleges that that feel tuition is already too high, and large universities that feel that their rates are comparatively low.