Response to ‘Grad and professional degree tuition freeze raises questions’

by Thomas Fisher, College of Design Dean

As I said during my interview for the Wednesday Minnesota Daily story titled “Grad and professional degree tuition freeze raises questions,” I fully support the tuition freeze at the graduate and professional degree level — not to mention the undergraduate level.

The work University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler is doing on behalf of our students and the University when it comes to holding the line on tuition is paramount.

Further, while the article insinuated that I believe the public’s role in higher education should decrease, I in fact hold the exact opposite opinion and said as much during my conversation with the reporter.

I applaud the cost-cutting initiatives enacted by the University’s administration and take pride in our cost-cutting efforts at the College of Design.

Part of my responsibility as a dean is to balance our budget. While the article draws a connection among college budgets, a tuition freeze and our ability to excel, I didn’t intentionally draw such a connection during the interview — nor do I believe one exists.

Our students, at all levels, deserve a quality education that doesn’t have severe, negative impacts on their financial future. Partnering with the state to hold the line on tuition is not only the right thing to do for our students, but for our state and region as a whole. The future of the community at large depends on it.