About tuition

President Bruininks’ budget proposes a tuition increase — again.

Last Friday, the Board of Regents and President Bob Bruininks made a final push to raise tuition for students attending this public, taxpayer-supported land grant institution. The Regents’ record of rarely ever dissenting — not so much by a vote — suggests that Bruininks’ 2010-11 budget including its tuition increases will be approved in the June 22 Regents meeting. We think they should unanimously dissent against any tuition increases because students have seen enough of those for more than a decade.
But the record also suggests that the Regents will vote for the budget and subsequently express sorrow about it around reporters. Bruininks already stated Monday, “If anyone walks away with the idea that we’ve done this painlessly, I want to assure them they’re absolutely wrong.”
He must be in a lot of pain. Under Bruininks’ presidency to date, since 2002-03, tuition has shot up $4,600 for in-state undergraduate students; and so have the buildings around the University, including a new football stadium the University spent countless hours, money and resources lobbying for and building. And don’t forget about that new biomedical research facility under construction.
In the current proposal, the tuition increase of 4.4 percent for undergraduates is relatively low. If the Regents approve the budget, graduate student tuition will rise 7.5 percent. That number is 9 percent for School of Dentistry residents and 13.5 percent for Law School students.
If the Regents approve the 2010-11 budget, it will mark a decade in which undergraduate tuition has doubled. It’s been a decade wherein legislative support has drastically declined and a decade wherein University leaders have not fought these trends publicly and passionately — at least in the same way they do about empty issues, like drinking inside a football stadium.