Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tuition increase and the gov't that helped make it happen.

Michigan State University is increasing tuition by a gut wrenching 9.6% this year. This is just another consequence of the ongoing mess in Lansing. Of course, the MSU Board of Trustees are happy to point to the legislature and say that it's "their fault." As much as I am furious with the Michigan government, the decision to raise tuition rests with the Board.
Trustee Faylene Owen said the decision to raise tuition was the right thing to do.

For one, the increase was necessary to compete for the best faculty and to conduct the best research, she said.

And then, Owen said, it would put the responsibility for the increases on the state Legislature.

"These politicians say they want more and better higher education to advance the state's economy and to benefit our young people," Owen said.
Faylene Owen really got my blood going. I really hate the argument that you have to charge students sky high tuition to attract the faculty and research. That's not entirely correct as I went through university with only two distinguished professors in their field and one of them wasn't even a part of my college! And research? The amount spent for research in my college is barely a drop in the bucket when it comes to research money spent by the other colleges. So really, in all this time, my tuition has been subsidizing other students. So I can understand why most students might be a little bitter about an increase when they aren't getting the bang for their buck in the first place. And then to shift the blame to the legislature? You know, I sympathize but the Governor, senators, and representatives didn't twist your arm into voting an increase.

Now this gets me to the Michigan government which I have been absolutely infuriated with for almost a year now. They can't seem to get their act together and come up with a way to save our state. Michigan is going down the shitter. Can anyone tell me of any other state that has declined economically since the last election 'cause I can only come up with one. With reports of government shutdowns, new business taxes (eliminating the SBT to only replace it months later), and now talks of tax hikes from vice, communications, energy, and property--nothing is off the table.

There was an amusing political cartoon that I saw not too long ago. A guy was holding up a sign calling for mass deportations. A man at his back (from the gov't) said something to the effect that there were so many illegal immigrants and that it was impossible. The man replied, "Not them, you." Which is basically how I am feeling about the gov't with both Lansing and Washington. We've got a representative calling the President a Nazi, a senator preaching family values while doing business with the DC madame, and a governor who likes to make international trips while her government is raiding office furniture for lost change. It's ridiculous and frustrating.

Tuition articles here and here.

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