U. student fees concerns discussed on Capitol HIll

Higher Education • Audit called for more transparency, firmer guidelines.
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The Board of Regents may have stricter guidelines in determining and reporting mandatory student fees in higher education institutions in the state.

Thursday morning, representatives from the Legislative Auditor General's Office told members of the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee there is a need for increased transparency and accountability of mandatory student fees at the University of Utah.

"Although the university has general financial policies that all departments must follow, no policies specifically guide the process for approving and managing student fees," said auditor Susan Verhoef.

The recommendation comes from an audit in October that identified concerns over the U.'s informal process.

Auditors say the university needs centralized control over establishing new fees or increasing fees, as well as more student voice in decisions.

Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, says student involvement is critical in these decisions because the students are the ones to pay.

The auditors recommended the Legislature require the Board of Regents to place restrictions on student fees and require fee documentation and monitoring.

The committee will start making budget priorities Feb. 13.