The University of Maryland Board of Regents has approved a $439.8 million operating budget for fiscal 1980 that calls for a $50 tuition increase and an average 9.5 percent raise in faculty salaries.
The budget reflects a 10.8percent increase over the current $396.9 million spending program, but only $144.5 million, or about one-third, would come directly from state appropriated funds. The remainder would come from tuition and other charges, gifts and grants, a variety of federally sponsored projects, income from endowments, federal land grant funds and contracts.
In approving the tuition hike - to $670 a year for state residents at the College park campus - the regents acted over the protests of several student leaders who complained that the hikes were unjustified and unduely burdensome on students. For out-of-state residents, tuition wwas boosted $180 to $2,390.
Millicent Edwards, speaking on behalf of the Black Student Union at the university's Baltimore County campus, told the board the increase reflect a "growing insensitivity and apathy towards student needs." Students from lower-income families would be particulary hard hit, she said. The new rates will be the same at Baltimore County and College Park, but they will be $170 less at the university's Eastern Shore campus in Princess Anne.
Michael Francus, a representative of the Student Government Association, noted that total costs at College Park - tuition, room and board - will be $2,945 for state residents in 1980, up 113 percent from the 1970 total of $1,390.
If that rate of increase continues, he told the board, total costs for a year to College Park will be $6,325 by 1990. "The price of an education is getting out of hand," Francus said.
B. Herbert Brown, chairman of the Board of Regents, said the board had no alternative to the tuition increases. "No member of this board wants to raise tuition," Brown said. "But it is necessary to be pragmatic and to the governor and the taxpayers of the state."
On the matter of faculty salaries, the budget seeks an additional 2.7 percent pay boost in addition to the 6.8 percent faculty pay raises called for in the $144.5-million Maximum Agency Request Ceiling - a suggested pre-budget limit on spending of state funds set by the governor's office.
That limit, argued university President John S. Toll, is "unsufficient to maintain the status quo against inflation." He added that he is seeking an additional $10 million in state funds. The addition faculty salary adjustments would account for $2.7 million of those funds and are matters of "highest priority," Toll said.
"I am conviced that if we are to maintain the university's competitive position among the major public institutions in attracting and retaining the best possible faculty, we must have at least this much additional funding," he aded.
Faculty salaries have been a sore point at Maryland. University officials have said for some time that Maryland's below average standing in academic pay scales has scales has impeded efforts to upgrade the institution. Currently, the average salary for a full professor at College Park is $29,000, officials said.
Raises will be awarded invidually on the basis of merit and will differ with each faculty member. The average increase will be 9.5 per cent. The proposed budget, which must be approved by the governor and the legislature, is Toll's first since taking office as Maryland's president July 1.
Among the items sought in the document are II new positions in the university central administration at a cost of $224,891. These would include seven posts at the professional level and four support positions.
Among the professional jobs envisioned are an officer to monitor federal legislation as it affects higher education, two academic program specialists, an officer to review procedures for appointments, promotions and appeals, a planning officer and an officer for ongoing self-study of the university.