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Tuition hikes are too hard to justify

On June 18, 2012

If approved by the Board of Trustees, tuition rates will increase for undergraduate students by 3.5 percent in accordance with President Lloyd Jacobs’ recommendations. For those in many graduate programs, tuition will increase by 4 percent.

While an increase in tuition may be appropriate in order to support UT in tough financial times, it would be more acceptable if tuition were spent more wisely and not wasted on needless things.

Tuition needs to remain affordable for the students of the city of Toledo and their money should not be wasted if tuition is going to be increased year after year.

Part of an administration’s job is to raise funds for the university outside of simply raising tuition. Part of maintaining a position as a top university and simultaneously serving the Toledo community is ensuring that it is reasonably priced for the local students. UT administrators whose jobs consist in part of fundraising need to continue to allow the tuition to be affordable for students.

Funding seems to be continuously wasted on frivolous things. Administrator six figure bonuses continue and enrollment is down as reflected by the cut in scholarships. The question remains, are the administrators earning their keep?
In the administrators’ defense, UT spends money on things that may seem extravagant yet necessary. Examples are the new parking system and bonuses keeping quality administrators at UT. These so-called “extravagances” are in order to continue the university’s mission of improving the human condition and becoming a top university. Additionally, inflation really does need to be taken into account.

It is, in fact, important to continually improve the university physically and on our mission to be a top-tier institution and improve the human condition. However, students still do not wish to see their money wasted on extravagances when valuable resources are being lost.

Lost resources are the cuts in Carlson Library in terms of books, journals and other resources in order to prevent the library from becoming what Vice Provost Ben Pryor called in an IC article, “a museum consisting of books people aren’t reading or checking out anymore.” Another example is the massive layoffs experienced by former UT employees in recent years. These cuts to valuable aspects of university academic life are in the face of extravagances like the new parking system which has proven ineffective and the six figure bonuses in the face of decreasing enrollment.

With these in mind, it seems difficult to justify a tuition increase.

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