Administrator analyzes tuition costs

first_imgIn 1991, when many current seniors were born, undergraduate tuition at Notre Dame cost $13,505. Each year since, Notre Dame has expanded, and so has its price tag.In a Feb. 18 press release, University President Fr. John Jenkins announced that undergraduate tuition at Notre Dame would increase by 3.8 percent for the 2014-15 school year, bringing the total to $46,237. After room and board, that total is $59,461. The increase itself is routine. According to a chart provided by University Spokesman Dennis Brown, this marks the fifth year in a row in which the change is limited to 3.8 percent, compared to increases recorded as high as 9 percent in the past 10 years. Steph Wulz Vice President for Finance John Sejdinaj said the process of setting tuition for each year is just one dimension of the University’s annual budget plans, which are approved by the Board of Trustees. Jenkins, University Provost Thomas Burish and Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves set goals for the year ahead before beginning the budget creation process, Sejdinaj said.“We have tried to get guidelines in place about how we want to think about tuition … and other aspects of the budget,” Sejdinaj said. “It’s really tuition, financial aid, salaries [and] benefits that are the big drivers. And once we’ve done all those, we see what money is left for other priorities.”Sejdinaj said the budget committee takes into account the cost of similar “peer institutions” when determining tuition guidelines.“We don’t want to be too high, and we don’t want to be too low versus our peer groups,” he said. “So we’re always watching what our peers are doing and where we’re at. “In the last four years, we’ve been able to look at what we actually need to fund the needs of the University, and we’ve been able to keep it down.”Specific factors that affect the percent increase each year include compensation and benefits for all employees, “non-salary” components, such as utility costs or information technology services, and building and operational costs of new facilities, according to Sejdinaj. The expenses associated with these dimensions depend largely on inflation or other factors outside the University’s control.One behind-the-scenes group that works to streamline expenses is the Office of Continuous Improvement, which Sejdinaj said works across campus to control costs.“They look at how we can [streamline] our work flows and our processes to try to save people time, so we don’t have to hire additional employees and we can save hours just by adjusting how we do these processes,” he said. “We have the Office of Sustainability that works with buildings like the power plant … to save on our utility costs. “There are a lot of things at work. Yes, we’re doing tuition increases, but we’re also doing these other things and trying to hold down the costs.”Sejdinaj said in recent years, the budget committee has prioritized investment in financial aid. Available aid has increased at a higher rate than tuition costs, he said.“In fiscal year 2000, we were spending about 28 million on financial aid, and next year we are budgeting 120 million,” he said. “So tuition is going up, but the increase in financial aid is growing three times what tuition is growing.”Notre Dame’s financial aid endowment is relatively high compared to peer universities, and more than 60 percent of financial aid comes from this endowment, which is close to $1.5 billion. Having this money allotted for financial aid “takes a lot of pressure off tuition increase so the tuition can be used for bigger projects,” he said.“Financial aid will still continue to be a priority because we’d like to get that 60 percent up closer to 80 percent, so that even more [money] is coming from scholarship endowment and that puts less pressure on tuition,” he said. “From a University standpoint, we’ve got to work to keep tuition low, and we’ve got to work to increase financial aid.”Sejdinaj said the goal is “not to have anyone graduate with more than 10 percent of the cost of four years here in need-based loans.”It is impossible to determine exactly what is or is not funded specifically by tuition because that money is just one stream into the larger “pot” of the overall budget, he said.“It’s hard to divide the pots, because there’s tuition but we also budget the net income from our auxiliaries, so athletics, the various food services and so on,” he said. “It [goes into] one big pot of money, and then we divide it out.” The bottom line when approaching the budget model is to think about it in both percentages and actual dollar amounts, Sejdinaj said. “When we look at the budget model, we take the last five years or so and say ‘Okay, where are all the revenue sources? Well, if we increase tuition by this, and salaries go up by this, and inflation goes up by this and so on, how do we make a balance?’” he said. “You do a little back and forth … and you look at it as percentages to see what’s going to happen, and then you look at it in dollars, too, to see what the actual tuition is then. “It’s a matter of balance and looking at it from different perspectives.”Tags: Tuitionlast_img read more

Agnes Harry is Dominica’s newest Centenarian

first_imgLocalNews Agnes Harry is Dominica’s newest Centenarian by: – May 15, 2012 Sharing is caring! Tweet 51 Views   5 comments Sharecenter_img Share Share Agnes Wiltshire Harry. Photo credit: Ashton ShillingfordAgnes Wiltshire Harry affectionately known as Sister Harry or “Doux Doux” is Dominica’s latest centenarian. Remarkably Sister Harry joins over twenty Dominicans who have lived to the ripe old age of 100 years, a figure that continues to draw attention to the island’s culture and lifestyle.On Saturday May 5th family members and friends joined Sister Harry at the Roseau Seventh Day Adventist church in celebration of her one hundredth birthday. During the celebration Sister Harry, showed no signs of fatigue and sang along with the congregation to enthral everyone who attended the function.Sister Harry, who hails from the village of Castle Bruce was born on May 02nd 1912 to William and Victoria Wiltshire. She was one of six children.In 1944 Agnes got married to Martin Harry and spent a significant amount of her years residing in the Village of Wesley with their four children. Her husband passed away in 1976.Throughout her years spent in Wesley, Sister Harry made a significant impression on the lives of those who interacted with her.First elder of the Wesley Seventh Day Adventist church Andrew Shaw described Sister Agnes as being agile in her twilight years.“God has blessed her and up to last year she was still going in front of the stove and cooking and bringing food for someone at the Infirmary at age 99. She is pretty strong and I will tell you what made her strong, it was her faith in God and all the green banana, dasheen and plantain from Wesley which she ate”.In her earlier years sister Harry worked as a domestic worker. Her only daughter Liluis Richards said her mother has been an example in her life and describes her mother as a hard working and generous woman.“She tried very hard to provide family and never found it too much to give to those in need. She always found time to help others and the charity began at home”.Agnes Harry and her sister Masalda Burkette who is 99 years old. Photo credit: Ashton ShillingfordLiluis recalls her mother in her younger days as a stern disciplinarian who played a significant role in raising children as well as grand children.“She administered discipline to her grandchildren, other relatives and to everyone else who needed to be disciplined, she would not hesitate to do it. She did it only when necessary and did it in an effort to stair her children or grandchildren in the right direction”.Sister Harry throughout her life has been a devout Christian attending regular service at the Seventh Day Adventist church. Her daughter Lilius revealed that her mother made God the centre of her life.“Until a few years ago my mother ensured that she attended service every Saturday. To this day he ensured that she devotes her time to her Lord on a Sabbath. It has been declared to me that my mother finds strength in the Lord. Her belief is so strong that she is rock which will not be moved”.Parliamentary representative for the Wesley constituency and Minister for Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs Hon.Gloria Shillingford is impressed with the level of care and support given to centenarian Agnes Harry throughout her years. Hon. Shillingford would like other families on the island to follow suit and care for their elderly parents.“Let me just encourage all of us, those of us who still have our elderly family, including our mothers and fathers to take care of them. The Government can never take over what a family can do for family”.Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau South Constituency Hon. Ambrose George and Health Minister Hon, Julius Timothy were also present to celebrate the milestone achievement of Sister Harry. They both expressed congratulations to Dominica’s latest centenarian and wished her continued long life.In his remarks to the congregation Hon. Ambrose George said “I am sure had her children not taken care of her the way they did we would not be celebrating this milestone here today. I want to thank and congratulate her children and grandchildren and the rest of her family who played an important role in ensuring that sister Harry is well taken care of”.The country’s Health Minister Hon. Timothy in his remarks would like all Dominicans to aspire to live to the ripe old age of one hundred.He said “Today as we celebrate with “Doux Doux” let us use her (Agnes Harry) as a yard stick, let all of us aim to be at least a hundred”.During her birthday celebration sister Harry was showered with gifts from family members and friends.Sister Harry, a lover of poetry during her younger days penned and recited a number of poems. As part of her birthday celebration Sister Harry was presented with a compilation of her poems.Studies on longevity conducted by the Ross University Medical School back in 2008 suggest that the key to longevity in Dominica is a simple lifestyle and a healthy diet, and regular exercises.Government Information Servicelast_img read more