MOSCOW, Idaho – University of Idaho officials say they are ending a nearly free tuition program for employees and spouses of other state schools due to a sharp reduction in state funding.
“We’ve got fee-paying and tuition-paying students subsidizing the education of spouses and faculty at the other colleges, which didn’t sit well with the provost,” said Ron Smith, vice president for Finance and Administration.
He said Provost Doug Baker also said the policy was unfair.
The program allowed those eligible to pay a $25 fee and then $5 per credit to take traditional or online courses at the University of Idaho. That ends Jan. 1, when online courses will be excluded and students must be accepted into a degree program and can take only six credits per semester.
The move has irked some at Lewis-Clark State College.
“The faculty are very upset about it,” said Ruth Lapsley, a business administration professor and the chairwoman of the LCSC Faculty Senate. She told the Lewiston Tribune that the tuition waiver was a perk for underpaid faculty members.
Besides Lewis-Clark State College, the change also applies to North Idaho College, Idaho State University, the College of Western Idaho and Boise State University.
Officials of the Moscow-based university say they waived nearly $125,000 in student fees in southwest Idaho for the 2010 academic year.
Mark Browning, spokesman for Idaho State Board of Education, said Boise State made a similar move two years ago.
Tania Thompson, UI spokeswoman, said fewer than 100 people in the state would be affected by the tuition change.