Gov. Harry Hughes said last week he will both cut funds allocated to the University of Maryland by 6.5 percent and hold down a tuition increase, a decision that angered school officials who were advocating steeper fees.
Hughes said tuition would go up 23 percent, raising a student's total annual cost at the main campus in College Park from $884 to $1,073. School administrators had asked for a 35 percent tuition increase to offset the reduction in state funds. At the university's board of regents meeting Saturday, they lamented the predicament they face in what Hughes once declared would be "the year for higher education."
Joseph P. Tydings, the regents' finance committee chairman and a former U.S. senator from Maryland, said the governor's reshuffling of the state's financial formula for the university encroached on the regents' authority to run the institution.
"It's not a very popular thing to do -- asking for a tuition increase -- but I think there comes a time when the regents must stand up and be counted for the interest of the university," Tydings said.
University president John S. Toll said he hopes "there will be a chance to bring the university's budget back to a more realistic level" if tax revenues surge before the governor's budget deadline in January.
The difference between the increase in tuition and the cut in state support is expected to be about $3 million. The gap could wipe out work-study jobs for students and take the gas out of recruiters' cars, unless school officials dip into money they had set aside for overdue faculty pay raises, according to College Park chancellor Robert L. Gluckstern.
"I don't know," he said, holding out his hand. "You tell me where the money's going to come from."
Both the reduction in state funds and the higher tuition fees will be effective with the academic year beginning in September 1981.