The Undergraduate Student Government remained unsatisfied with Chancellor Wendler’s softened tuition proposal and several senators challenged his plan Wednesday to use a portion of the tuition increase to offset fiscal challenges from the state.
Even though Wendler scaled down his tuition proposal and is now asking for an 18 percent increase next fall rather than a 20 percent increase, the Senate still stands firm against any large increase for next fall.
Wendler’s proposal, which he will likely take to the Board of Trustees during its April 11 meeting, is set to raise tuition 18 percent in the fall and 16, 7 and 8 percent the next three years. His proposal would raise tuition 49 percent over the next four years and replace his original proposal to increase it 65 percent over four years.
Senator Neal Young questioned the $2 million earmarked to offset other fiscal challenges after Wendler told the Senate last week this proposal would not plug the budget hole.
Wendler responded by saying this increase would not supplement the entire budget shortfall and the University would continue to tighten its belt to eliminate wasteful spending. He also pointed out that 75 percent of increases will now be used for students directly.
Wendler’s proposal includes $1.5 million for a program he coined workships. Workships would be programs that allow students to work on campus in areas related to their career choice.
Michael Jarard, substituting for an absent senator, said it does not seem practical to make students work so they can afford an increase in tuition.
Can I make the ends to actually survive? To me this sounds like you’re taking away money from students and asking them to work to earn it back, Jarard said.
Saidou Hangadoumbo, president of the International Student Council, said the international student population is particularly concerned about the tuition hikes. A memo addressed to Wendler, which Hangadoumbo read to USG, stated that the international student population has been ignored in discussions about the effects of a tuition increase.
The Faculty Association also took their turn at the microphone and criticized the administrations’ handling of funds.
Chancellor Wendler made a comment that if all administrators were laid off that would save about $2 million I think that’s a good place to start, said Dave Worrells, an associate professor in aviation flight and management and a union member.
His comment met the applause of some USG senators.
But USG’s rejection of the tuition increase may not go very far and following the meeting Wendler said he plans to take this proposal or one very similar to the board.
So will students pay an additional $617 next fall?
I think that’s mostly up to the board, of course I’m going to do whatever the board says, if the board says no, we’re going to do just what we did last year than that’s what we’re going to do.
But the board has hired me to render my best professional advice and this is my best professional advice.
Reporter Molly Parker contributed to this story.
Reporter Jane Huh can be reached at [email protected]