Sunday, October 6, 2013

Question: Who is Oliver and who is the chef?

Lori Sturdevant writes in the Star-Tribune today:

Can government work anywhere? Sure — in Minnesota
Action on higher education in Minnesota shows hope, even if it’s in lacking elsewhere.
They got an earful about higher education’s Big Hurt — high student debt loads. The latest stats, from 2011, peg average student loan debt in Minnesota at $29,793, third-highest among the states. That’s the legacy of state disinvestment in higher ed and the tuition increases that followed between 2002 and 2012.

“Words cannot describe the depths of despair that too many Minnesota kids are feeling right now,” Bonoff said. “We had young people cry at the microphone. They couldn’t help themselves. This is a travesty that we are putting on this generation.” It’s a travesty marked with bipartisan legislative fingerprints.

The 2013 Legislature took a different tack. It raised taxes enough to send higher ed $250 million in new money over the next two years. It then attached several performance strings to those funds, the largest being a tuition freeze. The Legislature has the authority to require as much at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. For the constitutionally autonomous University of Minnesota, the Legislature had to settle for a handshake deal with the Board of Regents, which has the final word on tuition.

The deal is holding — so much so that I wonder whether legislators will start thinking they can block tuition increases indefinitely at the University of Minnesota. They shouldn’t. [sic]

Mr. Michael McNabb commented on the Strib website:

The U of M administration increased spending by $1 billion from 2002 to 2012. The fuel for this billion dollar explosion was skyrocketing tuition that rose from $293 million in 2002 to $696 million in 2012. This increase far exceeded the reduction in state appropriations from $643 million in 2002 to $572 million in 2012.

Answer to Question:

Oliver is the one under the bag:

The University of Minnesota administration and the State Legislature are currently engaged in trying to figure out who is more responsible for the tuition fiasco.

But I know someone who ultimately deserves a lot of the blame:

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