Saturday, October 17, 2009

Leadership matters...

On Maximizing Tuition Revenue

at the University of Minnesota

According to our administration this is the only strategy left to us at the U. This does not appear to be the case at Ohio State. Perhaps this is because the relationship of the state legislature and the university there is a lot closer. Perhaps we could work on this, President Bruininks?

From the Daily Iowan:

Ohio State is entering its third year without any tuition increases, a promise the university made to students and families. State support also made it possible to avoid layoffs, and Ohio State employees are eligible for a 2.5 percent payroll increase, Lynch said.
Another problem with the claim of maximizing tuition revenue is the situation with respect to tuition for out of state applicants. The U slashed this number a few years ago in an attempt to make us more attractive. This may have helped in the numbers area - ACT scores, etc. - that are important in the beauty contest that is USNews rankings. However, it had the effect of squeezing out yet more qualified Minnesota applicants and at what appear to be bargain prices.

Data from the Wisconsin Provost's Office:

Non-Resident Tuition

BigTen Public Universities

[Academic Planning & Analysis, Office of the Provost, UW-Madison]

Minnesota $15,293

Iowa 22,198
Ohio St. 22,278
Wisconsin 23,063

Purdue 25,118
Indiana 26,160
Illinois 26,650
Penn State 25, 946
Michigan St. 27,781

Michigan 36,163
Now these number seem quite remarkable. Why is it that we are charging so much less than our competitors at Iowa and Wisconsin? And apparently Michigan can get away with charging out of state students more than twice what we do. Something does not make sense here...

I've heard it claimed that the out of state rate charged at Minnesota fully covers the cost of education and is not a subsidy, although no convincing numbers have been produced to back up this claim. If this is the case, then the tuition in state students are being charged, plus the funding from the state, would seem to more than cover educational expenses for Minnesota students.

If the above analysis is correct, why is it that the solution to financial problems at the U is to make the undergrads basically subsidize the University?

And why is it that qualified Minnesota residents are being squeezed out of the U of M by this administration's strategy of fire sale rates for out of state tuition?

And doesn't the situation at Ohio State indicate that there are other ways to deal with this problem?

Leadership matters.

Dr. Bruininks? Provost Sullivan?


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