AD Wren Baker attempts to clarify student fee increase

AD Wren Baker attempts to clarify student fee increase

AD Wren Baker attempts to clarify student fee increase
February 10
12:13 2018

Questions and concerns have been swirling throughout campus since the athletic fee increase vote was postponed from Dec. 6 to the spring semester. The vote is now is being held from Feb. 13-15.

One of the concerns has been that the athletic department is taking money from student organizations and other groups necessary to the campus. Athletic Director Wren Baker ensures that is not the case, though, and he feels like the students need to know the truth of the matter.

“The biggest misconception is that the student service fee budget, which funds a lot of clubs and organizations, is taking a negative impact, and it won’t,” Baker said. “They’ll actually have about $100,000 in additional money to allocate.”

The increase in fees is centered on a $6.25 increase in the school’s intercollegiate athletic fee and a $2.00 decrease in the student service fee, as reported by the North Texas Daily’s Sarah Sarder.

The specific numbers may have been questioned, but Baker goes into detail about how it is being disbursed.

“Historically, we have gotten from the student service fee, $2.13 of that goes to athletics, then we had the [separate] athletic fee,” Baker said. “What we would do is the student service fee would go down by two dollars and that two dollars would move to the athletic fee along with the $4.25 increase. So there is still 13 cents per credit hour for them to allocate. And that’s really important because I don’t want anybody to think that any clubs or organizations would be hurt if this if this fee goes in. In fact, in addition to that money, we’re setting aside a couple hundred thousand dollars for club and rec sports, for the Green Brigade and also for our spirit squads just to give additional support to those groups.”

That is the main point Baker wants to get across and has stressed since the thought of this fee increase was initially brought about. He understands it is hard enough to get students to vote yes on this increase and wants to ensure that other groups and students feel like they can get their money’s worth with this fee.

“We’ve had a couple of people ask if additional money would go to paying off stadium debt,” Baker said. “The stadium debt is already budgeted, so the additional money is going to go towards things in our strategic plan. Travel budgets, equipment budget, strength and conditioning coaches, the necessities we don’t have today that you have to have to be a championship level athletic program.”

The final note from Baker is something he has harped on from the start and it is his reasoning for the fee increase.

“You look at the best teams in our conference who are getting 40 plus dollars for credit hour fees, they have access to a lot more money,” Baker said. “We don’t need the biggest fee in our conference and we’re not even asking to be at the average. We’re just asking  for a nominal increase that gives us a fighting chance to compete with the teams on the upper end of the league.”

Featured image: Wren Baker is the University of North Texas’s athletic director. Baker transferred as athletic director from the University of Missouri.

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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2 Comments

  1. John
    John February 10, 21:21

    Hilarious guy! Too bad we barely have a decent football team (they lose all the hard games!). The only reason this school is still receiving funding is because of the College of Music, which by the way needs a better building.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Snowmanvt
    Snowmanvt February 11, 11:34

    C’mon. Money is money and it is fungible. The extra athletic fee could be used to fund other organizations or used by students towards their own tuition. Why should students who are mostly going to be repaying loan debt for years after graduation have to finance additional debt to support athletics? Who wants to be 35 years old and paying interest still on athletic fees?

    Reply to this comment

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