The George Mason University Board of Visitors voted yesterday to increase the school's tuition 6 percent, the smallest rise in five years, and to create the nation's first collegiate school of information technology.
University officials said tuition would increase from $1,512 a year to $1,608 for Virginia students and from $2,928 a year to $3,120 for out-of-state students. The new fees will take effect July 1.
The board also voted yesterday to reorganize several major departments to create two new schools, a school of information technology and a school of nursing.
"This the information school will be a new type of engineering school, information-based instead of using the physical sciences," said Wade Gilley, senior vice president of GMU. "It will be the first one in the country."
The Virginia General Assembly provided the seed money for the new high-technology school in 1984 when it appropriated $10 million to renovate a building to house the school and provide 50 new staff positions.
The legislative approval of the new school, a less expansive program than GMU officials originally sought, was the college's share of the new research programs established in the aftermath of heated controversy over the location of the Center for Innovative Technology.
Gilley said some of the research in the school of information technology will be tied to the $30 million CIT, which is scheduled to be built on the Fairfax-Loudoun county line near Dulles International Airport.
The new school, which will enroll about 1,600 students and combine programs in computers, telecommunications and electronics, also will offer what George Mason University officials say is the nation's first doctorate program in information technology.
Along with the tuition increases, the board also raised room and board rates by approximately 8 percent.
Although room rates vary according to accommodations, the cost of a dormitory room shared by two students will increase from $2,080 a year per student to $2,400.
Tuition for the law school will increase from $2,184 per year to $2,310 next year for Virginia residents.
Out-of-state students will be charged $7,266 for the year, up from $7,098.