Topeka State higher education officials on Wednesday started a discussion on whether to establish tuition rates at public universities for two years.
Rates now are set annually.
Kenny Wilk of Lansing, chairman of the Fiscal Affairs and Audit Committee of the Kansas Board of Regents, said a two-year tuition rate could improve long-term planning. He noted that Gov. Sam Brownback has said he will propose a two-year state budget when the 2013 legislative session starts next month.
Regent Fred Logan of Leawood expressed support of setting tuition rates for two years, saying, "It's a great idea with the understanding that nothing is going to be set in stone. I just think it's good fiscal practice."
Board members voiced concern about increasing tuition rates over the past several years.
Regent Ed McKechnie of Arcadia said legislators need to better understand their funding decision's impact tuition increases.
"I think we are at the tipping point where something has to change in the tuition world," he said. "We just cant keep raising tuition at the rate we've been raising. That doesn't work for me."
University administrators said a two-year rate was doable, but expressed some concerns.
"There are so many costs we don't control," such as health insurance increases, said Theresa Gordzica, KU's chief business and planning financial officer.
KU already has a compact that locks in tuition rates for four years, but that rate changes with each incoming freshman class. In June, the regents approve a 4.9 percent increase in tuition and fees for incoming freshmen at KU.
The Fiscal Affairs panel asked representatives of the schools to start talking with students about the idea to see what they think of it.