Bowles has recommended a budget labeled as the “A-list,” which consists of the system’s main priorities and adds up to more than $105 million.
The proposal also has a “B-list,” which includes requests that total $41 million. Items on this list focus on individual campus needs deemed important by the board.
However, the cuts could be more than expected because many state Republican legislators, who were elected to office Tuesday, campaigned on further slashing the state budget.
“We are going to have to be reasonable about what we ask for and it will be our responsibility to build relationships with the new members of the General Assembly,” said Dudley Flood, a member of the board.
“We’re going to have to form new liaisons, which we can do,” he said.
Other board members seemed positive about working with new legislators as well.
The board is also expected to discuss a final draft of the system’s Four Year Tuition Plan, which was created in 2006 by Bowles to make the tuition process more structured and predictable.
The plan has dictated the maximum amount universities can increase tuition and how revenue generated from those increases can be used.
The version of the new plan — “A Second Four-Year Plan” — will be presented today and includes few changes to the existing policy.
The plan gives campuses more flexibility in increasing tuition. Although the cap for tuition increases for in-state undergraduate students will be maintained at 6.5 percent, campuses can request a higher increase if necessary.
“Our state has really low tuition compared to most states, and the state constitution requires us to keep it low,” Dixon said.
The new plan will also allow some universities that have held tuition rates lower than similar institutions to play “catch up” beyond the cap.
The board could vote on both proposals as early as Friday.
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