Archive for Thursday, January 17, 2008

Students may get break on tuition

Regents suggest rates may not go up this year

January 17, 2008


Board of Regents to discuss limiting tuition increases

The Kansas Board of Regents serves notice to state universities to not expect business as usual when setting tuition rates for next year. Enlarge video

— The Kansas Board of Regents served notice to state universities Wednesday to not expect business as usual when setting tuition rates for next year.

In fact, the words "freeze" and "cap" were used with such frequency that the 7 percent to 10 percent tuition increases of the past decade appear over. Regents said they would make a decision at their February meeting on what levels of increases would be allowed.

"For the last half decade our tuition growth, and it varies, has outgrown our CPI (consumer price index) each and every year. It's outgrown the higher education price index each year," Regent Gary Sherrer said. "But the per capita income of the people who have to pay (tuition)? It's pretty unchanged."

Regent Jill Docking said the tuition increases have been serving as a tax increase on students.

"Essentially, we've shifted the tax burden from the citizens of the state to these kids," Docking said. "As a conservative Democrat, I'd like to shift the tax burden off these parents and kids."

Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Kansas State University President Jon Wefald said the regents were asking "healthy questions."

Hemenway cited KU's fixed four-year tuition rate for freshmen as an effort to keep costs reasonable.

"Our intent with the compact was to approach tuition through a different way than we have before," Hemenway said.

Wefald said higher tuition presents Kansans with a choice.

"You can either pay for access to mediocrity or you can pay for access to excellence," Wefald said. "We're choosing excellence."

But Regent Dan Lykins had a telling comment: "I think when this is decided, Kansas parents and students will be smiling."


KU_cynic 9 years, 10 months ago

Nice split infinitive in your lead sentence, Jonathan. Whatever you paid in tuition to journalism school apparently was too much.

Susan Mangan 9 years, 10 months ago

"...served notice to state universities Wednesday to not expect business as usual..."

"...served notice to state universities Wednesday not to expect business as usual..."

How, exactly, does that mean something different?

"The split infinitive is no longer considered verboten..."

Neither is being able to speak English without sounding like a dolt, but that doesn't mean it's good. Change doesn't always mean progress and it isn't always the easiest choice to learn and follow the rules.

Susan Mangan 9 years, 10 months ago

Excuse me for missing my comma...I know someone will point it out as a grammar mistake. It should read...

"Change doesn't always mean progress and it isn't always the easiest choice to learn, and follow, the rules."

manbearpig 9 years, 10 months ago

back to the topic:

I could be wrong, and someone please correct me if I am, but doesn't the board of regents have to rubber stamp every tuition increase that falls outside of a small discretionary range?

When I was at KU a few years ago, I seem to remember that every time the University wanted to raise tuition by up to 20% that the Board of Regents would have to give its approval.

So I'm wondering, what game are these hypocrites trying to play pretending like they're suddenly shocked to see such high tuition when they are the ones who approved it?

Let me also add though that one should never look a gift horse in the mouth, so even if they are acting like hypocrites, a freeze on tuition rate hikes would be great and so I would take it any way I could get it.

Brian Laird 9 years, 10 months ago

Scene in Harvard Yard

Yokel: Excuse me, sir, can you tell me where the library is at?

Harvard Man: My good man, at Hahvahd we do not end our sentences with a preposition

Yokel: Sorry about that. Can you tell me where the library is at, a$$hole.

penguin 9 years, 10 months ago

No they are not required to rubber stamp any tuition increases.

When the legislature create the BOR during the 1999 Legislative Session they did not add this provision. Prior to the creation of the BOR--the Kansas Legislature had to approve/disapprove of each tuition increase. Unfortunately, the necessary due diligence was not done in the early years and tuition increases were not given much thought. However, the last few years Regent Shank has been voting against the tuition increases at KU and KSU (and last year I believe voted against ESU's proposal). The rest of the BOR did not follow her lead.

Now there is a very different Board. There were a number of new members and this is the best time for them to declare that the BOR is not a rubber stamp. So they are latching onto ideas that have been proposed for the last few years. Actually there was a proposal during the last Legislative Session to cap the received a hearing and was then soon died.

I applaud the new BOR for stepping up and hope that they will follow through.

manbearpig 9 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the clarification Penguin. I retract my hypocrite charge.

janeyb 9 years, 10 months ago

It appears they hiked up tuition until enrollment declined. If they try to raise it again, we should all take a semester off. Maybe with young voters taking an interest because of Obama, they who rule decided it wasn't a good idea to raise tuition in an election year.

I'm a Democrat, but Sebelious is being showcased as the Governor who brought the Kansas budget through hard times without a tax increase. They don't mention that she wanted to raise all the taxes, but the legislature wouldn't let her. She is out on the national stage now, so she will want to hold the line on tax, fee, and tuition increases this year. She has to look fierce on paper, not just in a ballgown, to be Obama's vice president. Sorry about the "fierce", but I just watched Project Runway.

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