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The Daily, Finally, Gets It

Mr. B. has previously posted on the proposed percent increase for tuition at the University of Minnesota.

From Curiouser and Curiouser:

The Daily and the Strib both have a report from last Friday's Regents Meeting.

The Strib's account has been summarized in the post (Bad Move, Bob) below.

Today, in continuing puff-piece fashion, we see in the Daily headlines - "Regents discuss tuition, facilities."

Nowhere in the Daily article do we find information about the amount (5.5-7.5%) of the proposed increase.

Why?

Mr. Bonzo



Today the Daily finally reports the plans of OurLeader (in place since at least last September) for tuition increases:

Tuition to touch $10,000
State funding is low and University spending is high; students pay.

According to the Board of Regents meeting last week, the University expects to raise tuition again next year. The state is draining funds and it remains to be seen how the University will give back to the students now paying even more tuition.

It is projected that Minnesotans will pay over $10,000 for the 2008-2009 academic year, and nonresidents will pay over $14,000 to attend. This is a 7.5 percent increase for families making over $150,000 and a 5.5 percent increase for those making less than $150,000. This is double the tuition of 1995 and $3,000 more than 2003.

The University has now positioned itself as one of the most expensive state universities in the country, outcharging the likes of UCLA, Berkeley, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Decrease in state support makes students shoulder the burden. The increasing amounts of tuition money are being funneled into building repair projects, expanding the Carlson school and funding other special projects, such as the new stadium.

The $58 million remodeling of the Carlson School of Management should help the business students, but what of the decrease in tenured positions for top scholars and professors in CLA and other colleges?

We wonder how the University plans to position itself as a national leader in research when exorbitant tuition rates will fail to attract talented students - in-state or out-of-state.

Although part of the problem of the rising tuition is the state's lack of investment, the University is using the funds they receive in ways that are hard to see on the individual student level.

You cannot raise the expectations of everyone about resources, bleed money from the core to finance new initiatives, spend money on going green, finance a new honors program (this will cost money) and manage to keep tuition down. This last item needs to be a priority, not just an adjustable parameter that is moved up or down to make the budget come out right.

To be making noises about being one of the top three public research institutions on the planet is absurd given our present circumstances. This is the time for OurLeader to make the case that the University of Minnesota should be in the top half of the BigTen. That would, of course, require an honest admission of where we stand right now. But I think such a goal would resonate with the citizens of the state, the legislature, and our students. Think about it, Bob.

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