Archive for Sunday, May 11, 2008

Regents to review planned tuition increases

May 11, 2008


The Rising Price of Tuition

In the past five years, tuition at Kansas University has doubled. It's gone up far faster than inflation, income and even the housing market. The LJWorld takes you beyond the numbers as it looks at the students and parents who have to pay for school and the professors that are made possible through the increases.

Some time Thursday morning, if all goes according to plan, the Kansas Board of Regents - and regular Kansans - will get their first look at what state universities plan in the way of next year's tuition increases.

Each year at this time, the regents begin a process of reviewing tuition proposals. They're then voted upon at the June board meeting. This year, however, the regents started the process in February with a long discussion on whether tuition should be allowed to increase or if by only a certain amount.

They ultimately decided to take no action, but left the unmistakable impression they would look disapprovingly on increases of more than 6 percent. Immediately after that meeting, KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway pledged that KU's tuition increase proposal would be less than 6 percent.

KU spokeswoman Jill Jess declined to elaborate on what KU's tuition proposal would be.

"The first public discussion of KU and other regents institute's tuition proposals will be before the regents next week," Jess said Friday.

Late last month, however, the provost's advisory committee on tuition recommended a tuition increase of 6 percent. That recommendation, however, is one piece of information used by Provost Richard Lariviere and Hemenway in making their recommendation to the regents.

This year's tuition proposals have drawn increased scrutiny because of the major increases that Kansans have endured in recent years.

In 2000-01, resident tuition and fees to Kansas University totaled $2,725 per year. By the 2006-07 school year, that same price tag had climbed to $6,153, a 125 percent increase.

That's juxtaposed against incomes for Kansas families that have inched upward at a much slower rate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median family income for a family of four in Kansas was $56,784 in 2000. By 2006, that figure had increased to just $67,897, a 19.5 percent increase.

The regents will take up the tuition proposals beginning about 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the regents board room of the Curtis State Office Building in Topeka. The tuition and fee proposals are listed as the second item on the discussion agenda.


Hiroyuki Kato 9 years, 10 months ago

Tuition increase is necessary to catch up with peer institutions in the quality of education. But KU has got other work that has to be done before raising tuition. I think the administrator should reevaluate each faculty member's performance. There are many professors who are sitting on tenure status and do no research. Increasing salary for those lazy professors at the expense of students is extremely unfair and doesn't make any sense. Keeping less-qualified professors may be a part of the reason why this year's Kiplinger Magazine struck KU off list for best value despite the University of Missouri with substantially higher tuition made the list. Missouri also outperformed KU in the recent ranking of graduate schools by US News and World Report. Here is a brief summary of rankings:Business: MU(#52 with avg. GMAT 630), KU(N/A with avg. GMAT 569)Engineering: MU(#87), KU(N/A)Law: MU(#59), KU(#72)Raising tuition is inevitable for KU to get out of mediocre status and achieve top 25 among public universities. But before raising tuition, KU should revise the reward system or even eliminate tenure to re-emphasize teaching, not only maintain the pressure for publication but require faculty to subordinate their teaching to the quest for external funding.

jmadison 9 years, 10 months ago

Shouldn't there be government oversight of the burgeoning cost of higher education? The inflation of tuition is nearly as bad as the inflation of medical care costs. Every increase of beneficence for students in the form of increased benefits and cut rate loans is gobbled up by the greedy educational establishment in the form of increased costs which outpace the CPI.

overthemoon 9 years, 10 months ago

"In 2000-01, resident tuition and fees to Kansas University totaled $2,725 per year. By the 2006-07 school year, that same price tag had climbed to $6,153, a 125 percent increase."Hmmm, my math says that a 225 percent increase.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 10 months ago

littlejohnny is correct that each faculty should be evaluated.Those faculty doing no research with no external funding should be required to teach more. As it is now, tenured faculty with no research program often teach the same or less than those with active, externally-funded research programs. This is unfair to students, to faculty, and to the university. It is unfair to all except the lazy, tenured, research-inactive faculty.

Miles Nease 9 years, 10 months ago

littlejohnny, I agree with you that tuition must be raised to offset the lack of state funding. However, KU is a higher ranked undergraduate institution than MU, has many more highly ranked gradute programs and receives and spends more money on research and development. You list THREE programs from US News, while ignoring the thirty others that rank KU higher. Are you a MU grad? You disparage KU in every post, while touting MU. The fact that we are even comparing the two schools should be the real cause of concern for KU alums.

Curtis Lange 9 years, 10 months ago

For once, I'd like to see them decrease tuition. Parking permits are a rip off anymore too. Two years ago they were $80/year; this fall they'll be $200/year. rolls eyes

clyde_never_barks 9 years, 10 months ago

So, how 'bout it ASHANK, anything to say on increasing tuition? How much are you going to raise it? Inquiring minds want to know.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.