Which “Core Academic Programs” Will Dean Bresciani Cut Now That NDSU Didn’t Get A Tuition Increase?
In perhaps the surest sign yet as to just how much fire they’re under from the public and legislators, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education denied NDSU’s request for a 0.5% tuition increase. “Board president Grant Shaft says he fears lawmakers would axe the previous NDSU increase if the request was approved,” reports the Associated Press.
It really takes some cojones for NDSU to even be asking for another tuition increase after they nailed students with a ridiculous 8.8% hike last year just after promising the legislatures to cap tuition increases at less than half that amount. But, as has become his habit, NDSU President Dean Bresciani was threatening to cut “core academic programs” if his demands weren’t met.
The board on Thursday approved maximum tuition increases of 2.5 percent for four-year colleges but opted to freeze NDSU. Some board members say it would upset legislators after the school received an 8.8 percent bump for this year.
NDSU president Dean Bresciani says the school would likely have to cut academic programs and services without the additional money.
The question now is, will Bresciani (who lives in the university’s president’s mansion, the most expensive home in the Fargo-Moorhead area, and jets around the state in the university’s private airplane) actually make program cuts? My guess is that it was a bluff. A reporter asked him last year if could name specific cuts he would make if he didn’t get the 8.8% tuition hike, and he didn’t have an answer. How the SBHE managed to make a decision on such a massive tuition increase without knowing what, specifically, would have to be cut is beyond me.
Just a reminder, NDSU’s appropriations from the legislature have gone up 96% since 2003:
It is greed and spendthrift administration that is driving tuition through the roof, not a lack of state funding as many higher ed apologists like to claim.
By the way, I made an open records request to NDSU a couple of weeks ago regarding tuition waivers, and in the 2011 – 2012 academic year they waived over $15.2 million in tuition including $3,908,301 for international students and $1,558,260 for “cultural diversity.”
Maybe NDSU could charge its paying students less by reducing the amount of tuition they give away?
One of the most shocking things about the SBHE’s decision, though, is that the tuition increase almost passed. According to the Associated Press, it was a split vote:
The motion died after a 4-4 vote. Michael Haugen, Terry Hjelmsted, Richie Smith and student member Robert Vallie voted in favor.
The student representative Robert Vallie, by the way, is seeking nomination to run for the legislature in the newly-created District 16. Mr. Vallie is supposed to be representing the students on the board, but clearly he knows which side his bread is buttered on. Voting against tuition increases isn’t a good way to get higher education’s backing in running for the legislature.
Correction: Originally this post stated that NDSU had requested a 2.5% tuition increase. That was wrong and has been corrected to indicate that a 0.5% increase was requested.Tags: dean bresciani, Grant Shaft, North Dakota News, north dakota state university, robert vallie, state board of higher education, tuition