Section: News

Board of Trustees approves new budget, will increase tuition

On Feb. 16, the Office of Communications released a news bulletin outlining the Board of Trustees’ February meeting, which was held in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 9 and 10. A 4.5% increase in tuition and a 3.25% increase to the general salary pool headlined the report, as well as an approximately $8 million increase in the financial aid budget. Additionally, the Board approved the promotion of five faculty members to full professorship and discussed issues facing the College today.

For the 2023-24 school year, the College’s total student charges will increase from $80,100 to $83,740. This marks the second consecutive year that the Board has approved a 4.5% increase to charges.

According to Vice President of Finance Todd Burson, the increase in tuition will primarily fund the payroll and financial aid budgets, which account for 67% of Kenyon’s operating budget. Of that, payroll represents 38% of the College’s expenses, while financial aid makes up 29%. In light of the increase, both Burson and Acting Provost Sheryl Hemkin acknowledged the community’s concerns over the higher price. “We fully believe in the value of a Kenyon education but recognize that the increased cost can cause concern,” Hemkin wrote in an email to the Collegian. Burson reiterated the sentiment: “[$83,740] is a lot of money.”

Given the College’s commitment to meeting 100% of demonstrated need, the financial aid budget increased from over $51 million to over $59 million. “If we increase tuition by 4.5%, we’re going to increase that need-based aid in the same proportion,” Burson said. 

During a time of increased inflation, Burson emphasized the importance of increasing the general salary pool to help keep faculty and staff on the Hill. “The staff and faculty, that’s a big reason why folks come to school here. And so you want to have those folks year after year, you want that continuity because then they understand the Kenyon culture,” he said. “You have to offer the best compensation package you can to those folks to keep them here.”

In addition to the salary pool and the financial aid budget, the Board approved funding for health and safety improvements to buildings and grounds. Though the installation of generators for Peirce Dining Hall and Gund Commons is the primary improvement, Burson noted that funding will also go to radon remediation in residential buildings.

Beyond approving the College’s budget, the Board held two plenary sessions. The first session focused on forthcoming United States Supreme Court cases related to higher education, and the second concerned implementing Kenyon’s latest Strategic Plan, Foundations for Kenyon’s Third Century.

Finally, the Board approved the promotion to full professorship for five members of the faculty: Professor of Political Science H. Abbie Erler, Professor of Mathematics Brian D. Jones, Professors of Psychology Irene López and Paula Millins-Lipnos and Professor of Film Jon Sherman. Hemkin congratulated the faculty members for their promotions: “They have been very devoted to their work here at Kenyon, and the promotion and recognition is very well deserved.”


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