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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

State lease to help pay for costs of pool renovations

Published: September 9, 2011
Section: News

The renovation and re-institution of the Linsey Pool announced by the board of trustees in April will be only partially paid for by tuition increases in the coming semester, with the rest secured by a university lease from the state of Massachusetts, university officials said.

Tuition for the current academic year increased during the 2010-11 cycle by 3.9 percent, which is the second, equal jump in the last two academic years.

“The tuition increase for the 2011-12 academic year was 3.9%, consistent with both the 2010-11 and 2009-10 academic years,” according to a joint statement to The Hoot by senior vice presidents Mark Collins, for administration, and Fran Drolette, for financial affairs. Furthermore, “the rate of increase in the past three years has been below the average increase for private, non-profit colleges and universities, which has ranged from 4.3% to 4.6%.”

Therefore, though Brandeis’ increase in tuition prices was described as being necessary for the pool and technology updates the board enacted, the administration presented the increase as both ordinary and unremarkable when compared to other private schools with which Brandeis competes.

“The university has a limited capacity to increase revenue,” Drolette said. “Endowment; sponsored research; gifts; and then our tuition increases. And increases in tuition do not take place in a vacuum and are not taken lightly. We weigh the fiduciary need for resources with our social responsibility and strong social commitment.”

The administration secured a lease from the state finance authority, Massachusetts Development, which will help fund both the pool and the updates to technology at Library and Technology Services.

Such leases are loans from the commonwealth that can be used for development. Brandeis will pay back the principal with interest in the next seven years.

The tuition increase, as they described, is not unusual, according to Collins and Drolette. “Increases in tuition also cover a variety of other increasing costs at the university, like supporting the academic mission of Brandeis, improvement to facilities, and salaries and benefits for the faculty and staff,” their statement said.