As families face uncertainty in the midst of a pandemic and struggling economy, U-M’s proposed tuition increases for the fall failed in a rare tie vote.
ANN ARBOR, MI — A tuition increase at the University of Michigan failed Thursday in a tie vote by the school’s governing board.
The 4-4 vote was a rare public sign of tension among regents and President Mark Schlissel’s administration.
Schlissel had proposed a 1.9% tuition increase at the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses and a 3.9% increase in Flint, where enrollment has been sliding.
Denise Ilitch said it’s “plain wrong” to raise tuition when families are facing uncertainty in the midst of a struggling economy and the coronavirus outbreak.
She said the university could use its multibillion-dollar endowment or other sources of money to support the budget. The fall term will start Aug. 31 with a mix of in-person and online classes.
“We’ll bring back at our next meeting a budget again for UM, hopefully one that can achieve majority support,” Schlissel said. “Until then, we’ll live in further uncertainty and instability.”
Annual undergraduate tuition during the last school year was $15,558 to $17,522 for Michigan residents.
Regent Mark Bernstein said a tuition increase was justified.
“To not raise tuition in a very modest way, at this moment, deprives the university of the resources to spend that money and desperately needed financial aid for the students who need it,” Bernstein said.
Michigan State University and some other schools are freezing fall tuition.