No Tuition Increase

Dear Campus Community:

The single most important measure the University of Memphis can take to improve retention and completion rates is to contain student costs. We have studied the challenges our students face in considerable depth and detail. The single greatest challenge is financial. Accordingly, we will not be increasing tuition this year. It is entirely likely that the University of Memphis will be the only university in Tennessee, public or private, not to increase tuition this year. Last week, the Tennessee Legislature approved a budget for the coming fiscal year. As expected, Governor Haslam's recommendations were approved, with increases in general operating funds and support for general maintenance. A more detailed summary of the fiscal year budget will follow.

The UofM has experienced several good years, including notable improvement in performance and efficiency. For the third consecutive year, we will have an increase in faculty and staff pay. Three years ago we provided bonuses, last year there was a 3% raise, and we will receive up to a 2.5% raise in the coming fiscal year. Details about the raise will follow.

When our University is doing well because of improved student performance (both retention and graduation), we need to return some of that gain directly to students. This will be the second year in the past five that the UofM has held tuition flat. Over the previous four years, our average tuition increase has been 2.1%, compared to 7.4% over the previous decade and a half. With this year added to the equation, our average tuition increase over the five year span will drop to 1.7%.

It will not be possible to hold tuition flat every year given increased infrastructure and support costs that continue to increase. We are dedicated, however, to both supporting our students and containing costs in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Our Board of Trustees discussed and supported this recommendation at our last meeting. Now that the Legislature has formally approved a budget, the Board of Trustees will officially vote at our June 6 meeting.

Warm Regards,

M. David Rudd
President | Distinguished University Professor