Finances unveiled at town hall meeting

At the President’s Spring Town Meeting, President Shirley Ann Jackson announced some key financial updates that will be occurring during the coming year at Rensselaer. At its meeting on February 27, the Board of Trustees recently approved the Institute Budget, which will “enable us to focus our energy and resources on the core activities that are central to our mission and purpose, with continued investment in faculty hiring and in selected student life initiatives,” according to Jackson.

The overall operational budget for Fiscal Year 2011 amounts to $387.9 million, a 2.5 percent increase over the current-year approved budget. Most notable to students, the Board of Trustees has approved undergraduate and full-time graduate tuition for the 2010-2011 academic year. 

Tuition for full-time undergraduate and full-time graduate students will be $39,600, an increase of 3.9 percent, while many other universities’ tuition increases are in the four to five percent range, according to Jackson. On average, room and board rates will also increase 2.9 percent. 

Jackson remarked that financial aid will receive a boost in the upcoming year of more than seven percent from the current levels, which will amount to a total of $89 million. Jackson noted that this includes “significant resources to assist financially needy students who encounter unexpected financial hardships during their time at Rensselaer.” The minimum academic year stipend for graduate students will also be increased from $16,500 to $17,500.

Jackson also announced that during the Fiscal Year 2011, the Institute plans to recruit to fill 37 tenured and tenure-track faculty positions, spread through the academic schools and including eight constellation hires.

Additionally, pool of funds has been set aside in the budget for merit employee raises and guidelines for the allocation of this budget pool are currently being developed.

Finally, RPI will continue to hire within the Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students initiative, to ensure that the initiative stays on track.