Friday, June 29, 2007

For the Record

On the One-Sided Tuition Reciprocity Squabble

Mr. Bonzo has posted extensively on this situation.

It is unfortunate that OurLeader did not exert a little leadership in getting this thing settled. He repeatedly tried to frame the issue as one of fairness, complaining that Wisconsin students were unfairly paying lower tuition than Minnesota students, while he knew full well that Wisconsin was reimbursing the State of Minnesota for the difference.

Why didn't he address the real problem that was on the Minnesota side of the border? This is what leaders do. I doubt that Mark Yudof would have found himself in this embarrassing situation.

Thanks to our Wisconsin neighbors for bailing OurLeader out.

Editorial: Glad to help, Minnesota

River Falls Journal

Published Friday, June 29, 2007

News that the two governors have brokered a new college tuition reciprocity deal must surely be welcomed by Wisconsin and Minnesota citizens — including the 3,000-some UW-River Falls students who come from the Gopher State.

The problem with reciprocity was always on the Gopher side of the border. Judging by the governors’ deal it looks like Bucky Badger did the fixing.

Tuition costs are going up very fast in Minnesota, faster than Wisconsin’s. This meant the 12,000 Wisconsin students going to Minnesota universities paid less for tuition than the 14,000 Minnesota students going to Wisconsin universities.

Under a longstanding reciprocity agreement, Wisconsin had to make up the imbalance. And it did — to the tune of $20 million in just the past three years alone.

So what’s the rub? Wisconsin’s payments were deposited in Minnesota’s general fund — not the University of Minnesota System’s budget. Don’t ask us why the state of Minnesota and its university system couldn’t figure how to divvy up this money.

But it couldn’t and Wisconsin took the rap. The new deal has Wisconsin students bound for Minnesota paying higher tuition rates, but then being paid off by Wisconsin with “reciprocity tuition supplements.”

Bottom line: Since Minnesota’s bureaucracy and its lawmakers can’t handle money or rein in high tuition, Wisconsin is going to pay its students directly to settle the difference. That cuts out the whiny middleman (Minnesota) and puts an end to the tuition controversy.

Good diplomatic work, governors Jim Doyle and Tim Pawlenty.

Q.E.D. - Bonzo

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