There’s so much to say about this that perhaps I’ll make a column out of it.
The University of Wisconsin System regents have approved raising tuition for out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students at most of the system’s four-year schools starting next year.
The regents approved the increases during a meeting at UW-Waukesha on Friday. Plans call for raising tuition by hundreds of dollars at schools in La Crosse, Milwaukee, Parkside, Platteville, River Falls, Stevens Point, Stout and Whitewater this fall. Tuition for nonresident students and graduate students in a number of programs at UW-Madison by thousands of dollars by 2016.
Quick hits since I only have a few minutes…
- In the face of a cut that hasn’t happened yet, UW’s first reaction is to jack up tuition where they could. That’s telling and exactly why the legislature should neither lift the resident tuition cap nor give them more autonomy.
- This happened very quickly… in less than a week from proposal to passage. The Board of Regents acted as nothing more than a rubber stamp. It was an incredible display of intellectual laziness that undermines the justification for having a Board of Regents in the first place. If they are just going to rubber stamp what the administrators want, then why bother with the charade of governance?
- Speaking of the regents, where is Governor Walker commenting on the action by the regents he appointed to jack up tuition? Specifically, what the heck is wrong with Margaret Farrow?
- This whole episode shows that UW’s leadership is completely out of touch with the real problems facing the middle class. The cost of higher education is ridiculously inflated to the point that middle class families can’t afford it without taking on massive amounts of debt, but instead of addressing the cost of education, they just go after more cash from those same middle class families.
- Whenever a cut to UW is proposed, they react by saying that the decrease in funding will result in degrading the quality of education. If the quality of education has a linear relationship with the dollars spent, then can the UW leaders show how these out-of-state kids will get a better education for a 35% hike in tuition? If 35% more money doesn’t equal 35% better education, is the inverse true too? Can we cut UW by 35% and provide the same quality of education? I bet we could.
If UW could get its professors to teach more than 1 class a semester at UW-Madison or UW-Milwaukee (with possible exception of business school), tuition hike would not be needed and a $300 million cut would be no problem.
The large UW system 4-year schools are the greatest scam ever foisted on the taxpayers when it comes to teachers actually teaching.
When the lack of backbone UW Regents straighten that out, then they can talk tuition increase, if needed.
I think it also shows foolishness of giving Regents more autonomy.