Thursday, February 16, 2017
Our Governor, who spent the last two years out of town has returned. Perhaps he should continue his campaigning. There are a few items in his proposed budget that need reworking. (For a complete rundown see the faculty senate minutes for the February 14th meeting. Kristen Keith did an excellent analysis.) I wish to highlight a couple of issues. First, we get a one percent increase each of the next two years in state aid. Second, there will be no raises in tuition or student fees for the next two years. Our tuition will now have been frozen for 8 of the last 12 years. This does not bode well for next year's union negotiations. Finally, there is the proposal that we pay for students' books. We could charge 300 dollars a year in fees for this. The estimated amount students pay per year is 1250 dollars. The estimated cost to the university--over 13 million dollars per year over and above what we could collect from students. This dwarfs the one percent increase each of the next two years. I believe this budget signals significant trouble for us as an institution.