The Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees has approved a $341.5 million budget and set tuition and fees for the 2022-2023 school year. It includes a tuition and fee raise on the Jonesboro campus.
ASU’s Jonesboro campus budget will be $208.3 million, a 2% increase compared with last year, with a 4.6% increase in annualized tuition and fees. Henderson State University in Arkadelphia budgeted $51.5 million, a 25% ($17 million) decrease compared with a year ago, with no increase in tuition and fees.
Tuition and fee rates will rise 3.3% at ASU-Beebe, 4.1% at ASU-Mountain Home, 2.2% at ASU Mid-South, 3.4% at ASU-Newport and 2.9% at ASU Three Rivers.
ASU System President Chuck Welch said he was pleased with the leadership on the campuses for “their continued conservative approach to cost containment and the way we develop our budgets and expend our resources.”
“Our campuses [excluding Henderson State] have not raised tuition three out of the last four years,” Welch said. “We’re trying to be as affordable as possible. Henderson State is not recommending an increase despite their challenges. The Jonesboro campus remains seventh out of the ten four-year public universities [in Arkansas] in tuition and fees. With inflation, it was particularly difficult to budget this year.”
Board Chair Christy Clark of Little Rock said she appreciated the work of the campuses to make “every effort to be careful and conservative” in budgeting. Trustee Price Gardner of Little Rock noted the difficulty of keeping quality employees with minimal raises and that he hopes increased enrollment will lead to the ability to increase compensation.
Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said ASU enrollment trends for fall are encouraging, with year-over-year comparisons of freshman enrollment currently running 14.5% ahead and a 58% rise in international enrollment. He expects approximately 1,000 students at ASU Campus Queretaro in Mexico.
Welch said ASU continues to have the state’s largest online program with 6,000 students and has doubled its online master of business administration enrollment.
The board approved the establishment of the Institute for Rural Initiatives at Arkansas State, which is designed to improve people’s lives in rural Arkansas by providing cultural, health, policy and scientific support through an academic perspective. The university will develop and lead outreach efforts and partnerships in rural communities.
In other business, the board approved:
- ASU-Beebe to offer a technical certificate in emergency medical technology and an associate of applied science degree in industrial technology.
- ASU-Mountain Home to offer a certificate of proficiency in production welding and a technical certificate in education.
- A 2022-2027 strategic plan for ASU-Newport.
- A Henderson State campus operating procedure for health benefits, life insurance and benefits upon retirement.
- New members of the Board of Visitors at ASU-Beebe, ASU-Mountain Home, ASU-Newport and ASU Mid-South.