We've got you covered

The Columbia Chronicle

We've got you covered

The Columbia Chronicle

We've got you covered

The Columbia Chronicle

Get exclusive Chronicle news delivered to your inbox!
* indicates required

Chronicle Countdown
Countdown to Manifest and Graduation
Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

Breaking: College offers partial credits, some refunds for classes impacted by strike

Abra Richardson
Students outside 600 S. Michigan Ave. make picket signs in the morning to prepare for their student walk-in to the Provost’s Office on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. One of their demands was a tuition refund for missed classes during the strike.

Students who had a class where a part-time instructor was on strike this fall will get a $500 tuition credit applied to their spring semester bill, the college said in an email on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

Anyone who graduated in December will receive a $500 refund per class.

The reimbursements apply to each affected class, meaning students with multiple classes where the part-time instructor was out on strike will get the credit for each class.

The tuition reimbursements were approved by the executive committee of the college’s Board of Trustees.

There was no mention of refunds for students who choose to transfer.

The credits or refunds apply to any class with a striking instructor even if that instructor was replaced after Thanksgiving break, said Lambrini Lukidis, associate vice president of Strategic Communications & External Relations. That’s when many of the college’s 221 full-time faculty and some staff stepped in to help students the semester.

How it works:

Beginning Jan. 19, which is a few days before the Spring 2024 semester is scheduled to start, tuition credits will be reflected on student accounts, according to the email. In some cases, credit will be reflected at later dates.

Students and parents with questions can check with Columbia Central.

The tuition reimbursements were not part of a tentative deal the Columbia Faculty Union reached on Sunday, Dec. 17 that would end the seven-week-old strike. Voting to ratify the new four-year contract goes through Wednesday night, Dec. 20. 

Tuition is set by the Board of Trustees and is not something the union can bargain over, even though students rallied around the issue during the strike.

For background: The union went on strike Oct. 30 over cuts the college made to close a $20 million deficit. 

Hundreds of classes a day were not able to meet because the majority of Columbia’s teachers are part-time instructors. 

As the strike went on, students and parents increased their calls for tuition refunds because of the disruption to the semester.

In a Nov. 14  faculty forum, President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim first mentioned a possible tuition credit.

“We’re very aware that our students are frustrated,” Kim said after chemistry assistant professor Derick D. Jones Jr. asked if the college would consider a tuition reimbursement for students. “We don’t have an answer right now,” Kim said.

Dozens of students staged a sit-in two days later at the 600 S. Michigan Ave. building and protested in front of the Student Center, demanding a tuition reimbursement for the three weeks that many classes had been canceled.

Kim later said in a Nov. 18 email that the college would consider tuition credit “in some instances.”

Additional reporting by Miranda Bucio.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Emily Ramirez
Emily Ramirez, Audience Engagement Editor
eramirez@columbiachronicle.com   Emily Ramirez is a sophomore marketing major, with a minor in graphic design. She has reported on Columbia's unions and art exhibits in Chicago. Ramirez joined the Chronicle in August 2023.   Hometown: Trevor, Wisconsin
Abra Richardson
Abra Richardson, Senior Photojournalist
arichardson@columbiachronicle.com   Abra Richardson is a senior photojournalism major and has covered Chicago music festivals, fashion and metro protests. She joined the Chronicle in August 2021.   Hometown: Palatine, Illinois