… in the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the most charitable description of what’s been going on at the clubby University of Minnesota medical school would be “bizarre.”
Friday, June 7, 2013
Katie and Kelly McNabb
at Kelly's graduation from
the University of Minnesota Law School
Devouring Our Children
The tuition for students in graduate and professional programs is what really compounds the student loan debt on young persons. The U of M as a land grant institution has a responsibility to provide an accessible and affordable education for our children (including graduate and professional programs that will provide the highly skilled persons we need to provide services to the citizens of Minnesota).
The upward spiral in graduate tuition continues in the U of M budget for fiscal year 2014 with increases ranging from 3% to 9%. For example, the tuition for a freshman law student will now exceed $38,000.
President Kaler explains that "frankly, there is less political enthusiasm around the cost of graduate education." See the June 6, 2013 Star Tribune report. So it appears that the senior administrators and Regents will be willing to relent only when they are forced to do so by the state legislature.
It does not have to be this way.
Our twin daughters, Katie & Kelly, received their undergraduate degrees from the U of M in 2008. Katie continued working at the U of M Hospital and was promoted to be a supervisor. In the summer of 2011 she talked to the director of admissions at the U of M for the Master's program in health care administration. She was interested in particular in the part-time program so that she could continue to work full-time at the hospital. The director informed her that the part-time program is completely online and that the cost is $52,000.
Then Katie talked to the people at Augsburg College about its part-time M.B.A. program with a concentration in health care administration. (She attended an open house at Augsburg where they served a dinner for all the prospective graduate students!) The courses are regular courses with professors and fellow classmates. And the cost is approximately one-half of the cost of the U of M program.
A few days after the open house Katie was telling a friend about the Augsburg program as they were eating at an outdoor restaurant. An older couple at the next table got up to leave, and the gentleman told Katie that he overheard her conversation and he was so pleased to hear all her favorable comments about Augsburg. He gave her his card and told her to call him if he could be of any help. It turns out that he is a Regent at Augsburg.
The next day Katie was going to send him an email when she had a break at the hospital to thank him for his offer. Before she could do so the Regent called her on a conference call with the director of admissions of Augsburg College. They encouraged her to apply for the part-time Master's program at Augsburg. So she did. Now she is studying at Augsburg--with real professors--and will graduate this year.
When informed of Katie's story a senior U of M administrator responded the that the U of M is a research university. But that does not justify the yawning gap in tuition. (In his final appearance before the state legislature President Bruininks testified that tuition is not used to pay for research.) There is also the countervailing factor that as a private college Augsburg does not receive state appropriations.
There is a better (and less expensive) way to educate our children, and we need to use those methods at the U of M.
Michael W. McNabb
University of Minnesota B.A. 1971; J.D. 1974
University of Minnesota Alumni Association life member
Comment (Bill Gleason):
The title of this essay immediately brought to mind the ancient god Moloch, most infamous for child sacrifice. Moloch has been used in English literature from John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667) to Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" (1955), to refer to a person or thing demanding or requiring a very costly sacrifice.
at 7:43 AM