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Friday, May 24, 2024

Budget cuts and extra fees will be the leading issues discussed today and Friday by UF's highest governing body, the Board of Trustees.

UF's Cost Reduction and Efficiency Task Force will update a trustee committee on the university's efforts to trim ,34 million from its budget.

Earlier this year, UF hired the Huron Consulting Group to help the task force cut costs and bring in more revenue.

In October, the task force suggested a ,10 transcript fee. UF will begin charging the fee February 2008.

Student Body President Ryan Moseley, who is also a UF trustee, said he's OK with the transcript fee but hopes the amount will be negotiable.

Another trustee panel, the Finance and Facilities Committee, will be asked to approve UF's 2007-2008 operating budget, which totals nearly ,3 billion.

The budget includes this spring's 5 percent tuition increase, which will bring more than ,2,000 during the spring.

The Educational Policy and Strategy Committee will discuss a potential ,2-per-credit-hour fee that UF will charge in spring for online classes.

The fee would cover the cost of using the e-Learning system and would not be included in tuition or covered by Bright Futures.

Colleges and departments will also be allowed to charge a Distance Learning fee to cover costs of providing courses away from UF's campus.

Moseley said he thinks some money from a newly approved 5 percent technology fee could be used to cover Distance Learning courses.

The Florida Legislature and Gov. Charlie Crist approved the fee in October.

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UF will begin charging it in fall 2009, and it is set to amass about ,4 million each year.

"There was a decision to go online, and at that point, students didn't know there would be a fee," Moseley said. "They're retroactively trying to charge it."

Student Government would lobby in spring to add more student input into how the technology fee is used, he added.

In a letter to Machen, Patricia Telles-Irvin, vice president for student affairs, recommended that the UF Activity & Service Fee increase by 42 cents per credit hour. That fee funds student organizations, the Reitz Union and Rec Sports.

She wrote that the UF Student Health Fee should increase by 62 cents per credit hour, the Transportation Fee should increase by 62 cents per hour, and the Athletic Fee should stay the same.

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