UT Board Of Trustees Approve Tuition Hikes - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

UT Board Of Trustees Approve Tuition Hikes

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP/NewsChannel 5) - The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Thursday approved tuition hikes that range from 8 percent at the Knoxville campus to 3.5 percent at the university's College of Law.

UT President Joe DiPietro told reporters after the meeting that nobody wants tuition hikes.

"But the reality is if you want to drive your programs forward ... there's not much alternative," he said.

Also Thursday, Governor Bill Haslam said he doesn't believe Democratic lawmakers' request for a special session to discuss using surplus state revenues to halt tuition increases is "wise planning for the state."

The legislators told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that lawmakers would like a session to be held in August, possibly before students return to school. They also want to uses the state surplus to drop the sales tax on groceries below 5.25 percent. Haslam included funding in his budget to reduce the sales tax from 5.5 percent.

But the governor told The Associated Press before a meeting of the trustees that there are many other issues to be addressed. 

The university system has an enrollment of about 50,000 students at campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin; the Health Science Center in Memphis; state Institutes of Agriculture and Public Service; and the Space Institute in Tullahoma.

While it might be tough to deal with a tuition increase, Tennessee universities still have lower tuition than other neighboring states.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Board of Regents will vote on proposed increases at Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, and Austin Peay State University next week.

Earlier this month, the Tennessee Board of Regents recommended a tuition increase of as much as 7.2 percent for one of its universities.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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