WEST MEMPHIS — The Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees today approved a $341.5 million budget, as well as tuition and fees, for 2022-2023 with a continued focus on affordability to students.
System President Chuck Welch commended leadership on the campuses for “their continued conservative approach to cost containment and the way we develop our budgets and expend our resources.”
“Our campuses (excluding Henderson State) have not raised tuition three out of the last four years,” Welch said. “We’re trying to be as affordable as possible. Henderson State is not recommending an increase despite their challenges. The Jonesboro campus remains seventh out of the 10 four-year public universities in tuition and fees. With inflation, it was particularly difficult to budget this year.”
For FY2023, Arkansas State in Jonesboro budgeted $208.3 million, an increase of 2 percent compared with last year, with a 4.6 percent increase in annualized tuition and fees. Henderson budgeted $51.5 million, which is a decrease of $17 million or 25 percent compared with a year ago, with no increase in tuition and fees. Tuition and fee rates will rise 3.3 percent at ASU-Beebe, 4.1 percent at ASU-Mountain Home, 2.2 percent at ASU Mid-South, 3.4 percent at ASU-Newport and 2.9 percent at ASU Three Rivers.
Board Chair Christy Clark of Little Rock said she appreciated the work of the campuses to make “every effort to be careful and conservative” in budgeting. Trustee Price Gardner of Little Rock noted the difficulty of keeping quality employees with minimal raises and that he hopes increased enrollment will lead to the ability to increase compensation.
Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said A-State enrollment trends for fall are encouraging with year-over-year comparisons of freshman enrollment currently running 14.5 percent ahead at this time and a 58 percent rise in international enrollment. He expects some 1,000 students at A-State Campus Queretaro. A-State continues to have the state’s largest online program with 6,000 students and has doubled its online Master of Business Administration enrollment, he said.
Henderson Chancellor Chuck Ambrose said that since January the university had experienced $4 million in savings through various personnel actions. Efforts are underway to work with ASU Three Rivers and A-State to address both institutional challenges and academic solutions for students.
“Possibilities are being created daily for a different future,” Ambrose said.
The board approved establishment of the Institute for Rural Initiatives at Arkansas State, which is designed to improve the lives of people in rural Arkansas by providing cultural, health, policy and scientific support through an academic perspective. The university will develop and lead outreach efforts and partnerships in rural communities.
In other business, the board approved:
• ASU-Beebe to offer a Technical Certificate in emergency medical technology and an Associate of Applied Science degree in industrial technology.
• ASU-Mountain Home to offer a Certificate of Proficiency in production welding and a Technical Certificate in education.
• A 2022-2027 strategic plan for ASU-Newport.
• A Henderson State Campus Operating Procedure for health benefits, life insurance and benefits upon retirement.
• New members of the Board of Visitors at ASU-Beebe, ASU-Mountain Home, ASU-Newport and ASU Mid-South.
Press Release – ASU System