During my last state of the university address, I highlighted the importance of keeping college affordable as part of the New Normal in higher education. We have undertaken many initiatives to reduce operating costs so that we can pass these savings to our students and their families. These include our policy of capping tuition charges at 15 credit hours per semester, supporting dual enrollment of incoming students, and reducing the amount of energy we use to run the university. Many of our faculty members have also been proactively reducing the costs of textbooks, and that alone has saved our students almost $300,000 dollars in fiscal year 2017.
The University System of Georgia (USG) has also made affordability of higher education a top priority. Recent reports from the system office have highlighted the fact that fees are a major contributor to the cost of attendance. While many of these fees are needed, we must also evaluate them in comprehensive ways – particularly keeping the interests of our students central to our approach.
As we move into the formal financial planning process for fiscal year 2019, Georgia College will not accept any new mandatory fees or any increases to the existing mandatory fee structure. In addition, the Mandatory Fee Committee will continue to review all existing mandatory fees at Georgia College. Members of this committee include faculty and staff Senate representatives with a majority representation from the student body.
The Provost has assembled a Special Course & Elective Fee Committee that will review all elective fees (inclusive of course fees). This committee will conduct a comprehensive review of all elective and course fees and provide recommendations on whether to maintain, reduce, or eliminate them.
I ask all of you to join me in this endeavor to reduce fees and expenses wherever possible. We must remain vigilant in evaluating and prioritizing our current fee structures. I am confident that our collective efforts will continue to lead Georgia College on a path toward preeminence.
Thank you all for helping to keep Georgia College affordable, and for being good stewards of the state’s resources.
With Bobcat Pride,
Steve M. Dorman