In addition to Housing being reorganized next year, students will also be facing changes in the Housing and Dining plans to accommodate for changes to residence halls and dining services.
Phil Lyons, Stout’s Vice Chancellor, spoke during the open forum at last week’s SSA meeting about upcoming changes in this area. He called his presentation a “high overview” so that Stout students would have an idea of what was happening and how it affected them.
Lyons showed a visual comparing Stout’s fees for room and board compared to other schools in the UW system. This visual revealed that while Stout’s charges are quite low, there are about five other schools in the system that are slightly lower than ours.
Vice Chancellor Lyons then went on to explain the biggest costs Stout has regarding housing. The biggest expenses are Debt Services and Salaries. Debt Services is the money that is borrowed to renovate residence halls and bring up the standard for housing. This accounts for about twenty three percent of the overall expense.
Salaries account for about 37% of the overall expense. This takes up such a large percentage due to Stout’s reliance on Housing staff. With the Housing reorganization, the Salaries expense is not expected to change very much even though they are eliminating positions, because they are increasing other salaries as well.
Because the Debt Services number has gone up this year from about $2.65 million to $2.96 million, Lyons answered the question as to why are they taking the Housing rate up by about two percent.
Lyons says Salaries and Debt Services must be covered for one year with the increase. Salaries need to be covered because they are expecting that there will be a state pay plan which will increase by around two percent, meaning that in the first year salaries will go up by about thirty-five thousand dollars. In the second year, the salaries are estimated to go up about twenty-eight thousand dollars. The Debt Services increases will be about three hundred thousand dollars, which will cover renovations to the residence halls.
Dining is different because most of their expenses go towards food supplies. The second biggest expense is Salaries because there are so many employees that work for Dining Services. Debt Services costs for dining are not as high as housing, but some of that money has gone into the renovation of the MSC, part of Price Commons and the North Point Dining Hall. Because these facilities are so new, their renovation costs won’t be as high.
The increase for dining is in the pay plan as well. Currently, it is anticipated that the pay plan will increase by about thirty-six thousand in the first year and about twenty-nine thousand in the second year, with a very small Debt Services increase of about three thousand dollars.
The increase on the dining plan is below 1% compared to housing, which will increase about two percent. These increase in tuition is relatively small, but something to be aware of as next year comes up.