The tuition freeze has been in place for in-state undergraduates at four-year campuses since 2013 and in 12 of the past 14 years at the two-year campuses. The state budget passed last summer requires tuition remain frozen through the 2020-21 school year.
“We’re exploring a process, and I probably won’t be here in August, but I believe this process will be embraced by the board where they will put forward a tuition increase a year ahead of the implementation,” said Cross, who plans to retire when a new president is expected to begin sometime this summer. “In the coming biennial budget request, you will see the proposed tuition increase as a part of the revenue projections for the coming year.”
The tuition increase, which Cross told lawmakers would be “roughly” inflationary, is far from a done deal.
The regents typically approve their state budget request in August of even-numbered years. The governor and Legislature then take up their request in the first half of the following odd-numbered year by adding or removing items to the agency’s request.
System spokesman Mark Pitsch said Wednesday the regents have made no budget recommendations. Board of Regents president Drew Petersen did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment.
Cross’ hinting of a tuition increase in the next budget cycle would differ from the 2019-21 biennium when the board approved a plan that called for no tuition increases for undergraduate Wisconsin residents.