Board Tuition Hearing glosses over tuition increases and announces President Houshmand’s contract extension

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President Ali Houshmand contract has been extended as president of the university till at least June 30, 2029.  - Photo via Rowan University

At the end of the spring semester Board of Trustees meeting, members briefly touched on the upcoming tuition cost increase, while also announcing a contract extension for President Ali Houshmand and the introduction of new student trustee Michael Harrington. 

Wednesday’s meeting was originally marketed as a tuition hearing for all undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs, including those at the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. However, the topic of tuition was only briefly mentioned in the beginning. 

For undergraduate students, there will be no more than a 5% increase in tuition and graduate students will increase no more than 5.7%. Housing is also expected to raise 2.5% along with student meal plans by 3.5%. The hearing to decide on these price increases will take place in June 2023. 

Using the cost of attending Rowan provided by universities website for the 2022-2023 school year and just taking into account tuition, housing and meals plans, a projected cost of attending school in 2023-2024 as an on-campus, in-state undergrad student is $32,102– an estimated $1,195 raise.

For 2022-2023 graduate students the approximate cost of tuition, housing and meal plans for on campus students was $32,168 and an estimated number for 2023-2024 is $33,539 which is $1,371 more than last year. 

These estimates do not consider any financial aid or scholarships students may receive and do not include other expenses such as books, transportation or any other personal finances students must consider.  

While talks about tuition were short, two reasons given for the ascending prices were the global natural gas shortages that have caused utility prices to climb, and union contracts that majority of employees have agreed on statewide, and the university is obligated to pay.   

It was also announced during the meeting that the board of trustees has decided to approve a Third Amendment to the contract of President Ali Houshmand, extending his employment as president of the university to at least June 30, 2029. 

According to openpayroll.com, Dr. Houshmand’s estimated 2022 salary was $628,345, making him one of the 831 employees making at least $100,000 at Rowan University — which ranked 55 among the top paying universities and colleges in the country. 

The amended contract includes an annual salary increase by at least 3%, which is a standard raise partially based on meeting performance criteria. The contract also allows for further increases on the determination of the board of trustees.

Towards the end of the meeting, Michael Harrington was introduced as the new Student Trustee, taking over for Alyssa Bollendorf for the upcoming school year. 

The junior double major in political science and law and justice credited Bollendorf during the meeting for her leadership during her term and is excited to make his own impact as student trustee.

“I’m looking forward to advocating for all communities at Rowan, as well as reshaping the structure of SGA to better reflect the experience our students go through in this day and age. I’m also excited to highlight the accomplishments of our clubs and communities, and to learn more from the emerging leaders on our next executive committee,” said Harrington. 

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