In most recent developments, Vice President for Finance and Administration Bob Leonard has commented on the Board of Trustees’ decision to approve a 2.9 percent increase in student tuition and room and board (TR&B) beginning 2020, and emphasized how important TR&B revenue is for DePauw University.
“Like most small private colleges, DePauw relies heavily on tuition and room and board to fund its annual operating budget. In fact, TR&B accounts for approximately 50 percent of our annual operating revenue,” Leonard said in an email interview with The DePauw. “Like other businesses, private colleges must ensure that revenue growth keeps pace with annual increases in operating costs.”
Leonard’s comments are in response to Wednesday and Thursday meetings where President Mark McCoy updated faculty and staff about the Oct. 12th and 13th Board of Trustees meeting. It was during their October meeting that the Board approved for the tuition, fees, and room and board increase; however, the approval was reluctant, said McCoy.
“We really didn’t want to do this (approve the increase in tuition), but this is the nature of higher ed today. How do we give a raise, how do we take care of increasing healthcare if we don’t increase our revenue? So, we all reluctantly agreed to this increase,” he said.
Leonard agreed with the current nature of higher ed, and pointed out how DePauw is not alone in its increased TR&B costs. Other colleges in the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) and Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), or what Leonard refers to as DePauw’s peer group, increased 2018-2019 TR&B pricing by 3.5 percent, he said.
Other issues addressed in the two faculty and staff meetings included updates on the Gold Commitment, the first-year housing plan for renovation, accreditation results, the drinking culture on campus and the financial state of the University.