By Shain Bergan
As the week before Spring Break commences, the three academic issues on everyone’s mind are tuition, fees and tuition. As it so happens, base tuition and mandatory fees for Arizona’s public universities will be decided this week when the Arizona Board of Regents comes to the University of Arizona.
Always looking out for the students, the Board chose in late 2008 to put together a group—known as the Tuition and Affordability Work Group—to “examine tuition policies and affordability issues”. Well, it’s time for that group to put up or shut up. The entire Arizona university system is now—as in, like, right now!—looking to the group for leadership and guidance over whether or not to endorse a plan that would raise tuition about $2,000, which I’m sure will have some weight with the Regents’ decision.
I think we all know what the student preference would be (You know, keeping university enrollment affordable and all that jazz.), so I’m sure such a group would keep their interests in mind, right? After all, here’s a description of the people in the Tuition and Affordability Work Group:
“The work group included senior university staff, student leaders, and Board staff.”
Very well. Let’s go through these, shall we?
–Senior university staff – I’m assuming this means university staffers in lofty positions. The only people this could include, though, would be university upper administration types and those who have been elevated by their peers (a.k.a. Faculty Senate Members). Considering the upper administrative and faculty leadership situations look something like this, this and this, I wouldn’t be holding out too much which stance they chose to go with while in the Tuition and Affordability Work Group.
–Student leaders – Ah, surely if high-salaried folks in the Admin Building and at Faculty Senate meetings are unwilling to stand up for lower tuition and better higher education affordability (Don’t even throw that weak crap about financial aid picking up the affordability slack, because I will bring this up.), students’ own peers will do so, right?
- Board staff – And that leaves members of the Board of Regents themselves. I suppose it’s only fitting that it should all come down to this—make the right decision, and the UA has at least a shot to recover from the agenda-riddled UA Transformation Plan; make the wrong one, and we can expect massive tuition and fee increases, more college/department cuts and consolidations, outrageous differential tuition amounts and even more stifling of voices for years to come. Then when the federal stimulus money runs out, well, who even knows then?
So what’ll it be, Arizona Board of Regents? I think we all know the answer, but we’ll still be there on Thursday.