President Hutchinson increases student fees


Martin Chang

Gayle Hutchinson speaks on why the increased student fees are needed at the open forum on March 6. At each forum, Hutchinson stated that this increase was not due to any mismanagement of funds by past or current administrators.

Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson decided to approve all three proposed student fee increases Thursday, but compromised when each fee would go into effect.

While Hutchinson approved each fee, the Health Services Fee adjustment will be the only increase implemented next semester. The Student Learning Fee increase will begin the following semester, spring of 2019, and the Athletics Fee increase will start in fall of 2019.

Hutchinson announced this decision to spread the fee increases out in an email sent out to all students around noon on Thursday.

“It is my hope that the decision to stagger the fee increases will provide students with more time to plan and prepare. The financial aid set-asides included in the fee increases will reduce the impact on those who receive aid,” she stated in the email.

Phased Student Fee Increases

Alex Grant
Rather than increase all three fees next semester, President Hutchinson decided to spread out the starting dates for each adjustment to help students plan for these additional costs.

While Hutchinson compromised the original plan to start all fee increases next semester, the majority of student voters advised the president to reject all three increases. 5,264 people or nearly 30 percent of Chico State students submitted an advisory vote for all three fees. Over 62 percent of these voters advised Hutchinson to not approve each fee.

To view the chart below on a mobile device rotate phone sideways or follow this link:

The data used in the chart above was drawn from the email Hutchinson released about the advisory voting results. These averages were found by combining the results from each fee’s voting results and then dividing this figure by three, the amount of fees.

Hutchinson also acknowledged in her email that while she didn’t follow the advisory voting results, she felt each fee increase was necessary.

“For the last few days, I have reflected deeply on the sentiments students shared about how the fees would both benefit them and pose significant financial challenges. I searched for alternatives and viable options, and found none,” Hutchinson wrote. “These increases would sustain the three programs for the next five years to enhance our abilities to meet the educational, physical, and mental health needs of our students—services that are vital as we strive for student success and prepare students for their future.”

“I thank every one of you who participated in this process. While the decision may have not gone as you had wished, please know your voice has been heard. The final determination is truly one I make with students’ best interests in mind,” she added.

Hutchinson also included a quoted excerpt from a statement the Campus Fee Advisory Committee released in favor of the student fee increases.

“The committee is largely supportive of these fee adjustments. We believe they are important to the provision of vital services and help maintain the excellent reputation of our institution. At the same time, we also recognize that even a small increase in the cost of attendance can be untenably burdensome for our student population,” the excerpt stated.

If any students have any questions or comments about Hutchinson’s decision, she encouraged them to email [email protected].

Alex Grant can be reached at [email protected] or @AlexThomasGrant on Twitter.