Bismarck Tribune: North Dakota’s Higher Education Leaders Don’t Get It
The Bismarck Tribune agrees with the decision by the State Board of Higher Education to nix yet another request for a tuition increase from North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani, but disagrees with the board’s justification.
Board President Grant Shaft, according to The Associated Press, said lawmakers might strip the 8.8 percent tuition increase granted NDSU in the spring of 2011, if the board would approve the half percent now.
What kind of reason is it for a professional board of higher education to take action on tuition based on a fear of retaliation by the Legislature? Shouldn’t the 8.8 percent voted last year, on top of years of steady increase, be a good enough reason to deny the request? Isn’t the exploding cost of higher education a good enough reason? Shouldn’t the “aye” or “nay” for a tuition increase be based on its merits? Shouldn’t affordability be an issue? …
The tomfoolery was compounded by NDSU President Dean Bresciani, who said in the aftermath that the university would likely have to cut academic programs. He said that the university was “at a breaking point.” Such a response leaves us incredulous.
Rather, Bresciani should be called to task for making the request given the escalating trends in tuition at NDSU and, in particular, the increase last spring that snubbed the Legislature.
The flaw in the Tribune’s reasoning is that they assume that the higher education officials are making their decisions based on what’s best for the students. This is wrong. The higher education officials are basing their decisions on what’s best for their university system empire.
It’s not about sound education policy. It’s about grabbing as much money as possible. Students aren’t seen as the customers of these universities, which is as it should be, but rather vehicles that bring lots and lots of state and federal money to the campuses. In that context, it was perfectly reasonable for the university system to nix a tuition hike for political reasons. The students and what’s best for them doesn’t really enter into the equation.Tags: dean bresciani, NDSU, North Dakota News, north dakota state university, state board of higher education