Biz changes a done deal
By Kevin Gale
The long path travelled by the proposed hike in tuition for Western's masters of business administration program has nearly reached its end.
The proposal to increase tuition for the program from its current level of $3,186 to $18,000 over the next four years was approved by Western's Board of Governors yesterday.
The decision means the program will go to full-cost recovery pending final approval by the Ministry of the Education and Training, which has already approved it in principle.
Western's VP-academic Greg Moran said one of the concerns expressed by the school's faculty has been the effect of losing the students in the university's annual grant calculation by the provincial government.
The grant Western receives from the province is a set amount of money per student, called basic income units. Since the MBA program has proposed to go full-cost recovery, the 400 students in the program would not be counted in the calculation.
If the university did not recover the students lost in the equation by increasing enrolment in other programs, the grant Western will get would decrease.
However, dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business Administration, Larry Tapp, said the business school has made plans to help the university compensate for any problems.
Starting next year, for a seven-year period, the university will levy five per cent of the profits generated from other full-cost recovery programs in the department, such as the executive MBA program. The levy will increase to 12 per cent by the final year. "The better we do, the better the rest of the university does," Tapp said.
Moran said the tuition should cover direct costs to the program, such as faculty salaries and teaching equipment. The levy will be used to cover utilities and janitorial work, the cost of which would still be incurred by Western.
Student representative on the Board Chris Keith asked what effect the tuition hike would have on the joint honours business administration-MBA courses. Keith said students in the MBA program may not think it is fair they are taking courses with HBA students who are paying lower fees.
Tapp said that situation would be avoided. "They won't be sitting in the same classroom."