Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- February 22, 2002

Students to Vote on Cal Poly Quarterly Fee Increase March 13, 14

Cal Poly students will vote March 13 and 14 on a series of proposals that could raise the fees they pay.

Each of the university's six colleges is asking students to approve a fee hike. The revenues generated by the fees would stay within the individual colleges. It is possible that students in some colleges will vote to approve the fees while students in other colleges won't.

Administrators in Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, College of Engineering, Orfalea College of Business and College of Science and Mathematics are each asking their students to approve a $200 per quarter fee increase. The university's College of Liberal Arts is asking its students to approve a $125 per quarter increase.

Currently, undergraduate students at Cal Poly pay $721.50 per quarter in fees. The $721.50 includes the $476 California State University fee, plus a $46.62 campus academic fee, a $23 Associated Students fee, a $55.95 instructionally related activities fee, a $79.95 University Union fee, a $29 health services fee and a $7 sports complex fee. The proposed $200 or $125 per quarter college fee would be in addition to the $721.50.

University leaders proposed the college-specific fee increases after listening to student input.
"Students have said that they want to see a more direct and visible benefit from their fees," explained Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Robert Detweiler. "We agree with their view that the best way to engage students and obtain their advice and counsel is to present the information about a fee increase at the 'local' level of colleges and departments."

If approved, the individual colleges and their departments will decide how to spend the new fees, with significant input from students. But in general, any new money generated by the
fees would go to pay for additional course offerings in majors and general education, computer lab updates and equipment purchases.

As with all California State Universities, the level of Cal Poly's state funding has declined over the past decade. The decline has hurt Cal Poly in particular because most of its students are enrolled in technical and science-related majors that require lower student-to-faculty ratios and expensive and continuously updated equipment, Detweiler explained.

University President Warren J. Baker is continuing to work with the CSU Chancellor's Office, CSU trustees and others to improve state funding for higher education, Detweiler said. Cal Poly has also launched the Centennial Campaign, a major fund-raising campaign with a $225 million goal - the largest in its history as well as in the history of the CSU system, he noted.

But in order to maintain quality labs, sufficient course offerings and a low student-to-teacher ratio - all historic assets at Cal Poly - the university believes the fee increases are necessary, Detweiler said.

"Revenues from an increased academic fee can bring about additional improvements more rapidly, and on a broader basis - in particular, making it considerably easier for students to get the classes they need in order to make progress toward earning their degrees," Detweiler said.
Each of Cal Poly's colleges will be holding meetings with students over the next month to discuss the fee increase proposals. Several have already set up informational Web sites about the proposals and held initial meetings with students.

For more information on the proposed fee increase, visit the Student Affairs Web page on the issue at: For information on the history of fees charged at Cal Poly, visit For information on current fees charged at Cal Poly, visit the University Fees Web page at and click on the link for "Winter 2002."

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