Vice President of Finance and Administration Linda Wagner was on hand at last Thursday’s Student Government Association general assembly meeting to present Gannon University’s preliminary budget for the 2013-14 academic year.

Some highlights of the presentation included a recommended 3.9 percent increase in tuition and the new $550,000 Strategic Plan implementation.

Wagner said the budget has not yet been approved and finalized. The university’s Board of Trustees will vote on the proposed budget at its Feb. 15 meeting.

The tuition increase is structured as follows: students studying business, education, humanities, sciences and social sciences would see their bills jump $510 per semester, while engineering, computer science and health science majors would experience an increase of $540 per semester.

Wagner said there are no planned increases in student fees in addition to the proposed tuition increase.

The budget also includes an inrease in compensation for faculty and staff. The Compensation Committee originally suggested a 3.2 percent expense increase, but the Budget Advisory Board suggested a tighter spending plan to drop the increase to 2.5 percent. Wagner said that most of expense increase – 80 percent – will be designated for merit among the vice presidents and deans for merit awards to faculty and staff. In fact, 10 faculty members will be applying for promotions in the coming months and be notified sometime in March, Wagner said.

While the 2012-13 fiscal year is slated to finish within the planned budget, Wagner said the administration saw a noticeable rise in usage of employee health care. To accommodate this, the section of the 2013-14 budget regarding health care will see a 16 percent increase in spending.

The implementation of the Strategic Plan aims to provide more opportunities for international travel. The program is structured with student trips at the conclusion of courses.