April 20, 2013

"At a minimum, on behalf of students and their families, I am asking legislative leaders to freeze tuition increases..."

"... for two years for the entire UW System during their deliberations on the budget," said Governor Scott Walker, seizing the political advantage after the revelation that the University of Wisconsin System has a $648 million cash reserve.

UW System President Kevin Reilly had just announced tuition would go up 2% in each of the next 2 years, which was supposed to sound like a break, since tuition had gone up 5.5% in each of the last 6 years, 5.5% being the maximum permitted by law.

52 comments:

Jason (the commenter) said...

With a surplus, one wonders where the money from those tuition increases was supposed to go.

Bob Ellison said...

I'm really starting to want to hear what Scott Walker would do with a Presidency.

Would his lack of a college diploma (despite four years of studying, apparently) be his biggest weakness in a national campaign? It would be tough among voters he'd never win over anyway, but it might even be a strength among the rest of them.

Humperdink said...

After every request from Penn State for a donation, my response is always the same: reduce your tuition They will not see a dime from me until then.

Moose said...

Any explanation as to why the discrepancy? I mean - the term bald faced liars comes to mind...

campy said...

Any explanation as to why the discrepancy?

Greed.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Moose: Any explanation as to why the discrepancy? I mean - the term bald faced liars comes to mind...

Why are they liars? I'm sure the people running universities honestly believe their paychecks should go up every year.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Would his lack of a college diploma (despite four years of studying, apparently) be his biggest weakness in a national campaign?

After eight years of the Harvard-degreed, overcredentialed, hypersquandering Obama, we could think that the actual accomplishments of Scott Walker as Governor would put paid to any extralegal requirements like a college degree.

Big Mike said...

I imagine that outside of the incorporated lunatic asylum known as Madison, Wisconsin parents are saying "to Hell with Walker for President -- Walker for God!"

Humperdink said...

"Would his lack of a college diploma (despite four years of studying, apparently) be his biggest weakness in a national campaign?"

The Ivy League elite have put us $16 trillion in debt, created a disastrous unemployment situation, wrecked the family structure and preserved the "murder-for-hire" business in abortion clinics. Yep, we need to maintain that.

Calypso Facto said...

All of the professors who have been livid about their "Walker budget" non-raises owe the Governor an apology.

They, and the students, should take their protest signs down to the dean's office and demand an explanation.

Note that I'm not at all sure that the kind and size of the "rainy day" fund the UW kept is inappropriate. But hiding it from students, parents, staff, and the citizenry while crying about being destitute certainly was.

David said...

They will hate him even more at UW for doing this.

Phil 3:14 said...

As the ideas get bigger, shouldn't the pay also?

edutcher said...

garage will find something wrong with it.

TML said...

Mitch Daniels is shaking up Purdue like this. About effing time.

bpm4532 said...

Ah, the academic and political elite will waste no effort to explain the great value they bring to the world and thus should be rewarded with great compensation. They will explain, because they have no facts on their side.

Does the modern college educate or merely sell a brand?

paminwi said...

The UW hierarchy are crooks and Steve Nass has had their ticket for years. They think they know better than anyone who does not have the advanced degrees that they have - basically that those who are "less educated" deserve to be screwed by people because we "just don't get it".

At this point I say screw them and they get no extra money over and above what they got say 2 years ago and let them figure it out. This is of course,after the legislature and Governor sign a new bill that cuts the rate of tuition increase to 0% for say the next 5 years and 2% per year after that.

Time to have these liberals in Madison live under the condition us rubes (from their perspective) in the real world live.


kentuckyliz said...

Declining state support is part of the story. Government is actively pursuing a strategy of cost-shifting from society at large to the individuals who benefit from their own education.

Bender said...

one wonders where the money from those tuition increases was supposed to go

Why wonder? By now it should be abundantly clear.

The money would go into the pockets of professors and administrators. Making a career of impoverishing the minds of their students, they have now determined to impoverish them financially as well.

kentuckyliz said...

For a few years in the recession, my college system had a "Get Jiggy with the Piggy" Guaranteed Tuition Rate program that incentivized students to continue with their education instead of stopping out. The tuition rate you came in with was locked in for a second year. (Two year college system)

This year, the state capped tuition increases at 3% when they had been 5%.

HA said...

American kids are getting raped by our greedy, bloated universities. I'm not sure why this hasn't become a bigger political issue yet.

JHapp said...

They couldn't make Walker look better if they tried.

kentuckyliz said...

Government regulations and administrative processes have vastly increased over the last couple of years when it comes to financial aid. More administrators!

The regional accrediting bodies insist that colleges have a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that usually results in a special project and hiring more staff. We've added several staff advisors in the latest QEP and our next round of reaccreditation is coming up again soon.

What I used to do single-handedly, is now done by several additional staff.

kentuckyliz said...

The middle class and high ability students are increasingly seeking to start at community colleges for the lower tuition. Our state universities have transfer scholarships, most automatic, for our graduates that lock in the university tuition rates at our rates (i.e. half off...finish your university education at community college rates). The private colleges are improving their transfer plans and scholarships to stay in the game.

That's why community colleges often now have honors programs, an enriched education and learning community for high ability students...who are coming to us in droves.

Calypso Facto said...

And don't forget this follows closely on the heels of the discovery that the UW paid out almost $33 million of unearned benefits because of poor accounting and accountability. Whoops.

cubanbob said...

Figure if you fire half of the administrators, eliminate the PC studies and cut salaries back 15% there will be no need for tuition increases. Indeed rollbacks will be possible.

D.D. Driver said...

I'm a little conflicted about this. I'm afraid the lesson that will be learned is to waste money on stuff to make sure there is never a surplus.

D.D. Driver said...

I'm a little conflicted about this. I'm afraid the lesson that will be learned is to waste money on stuff to make sure there is never a surplus.

section9 said...

Althouse cried: "Where's my raise!"

tiger said...

It wouldn't surprise me - in the least - the UW decided to raise tuition to an confiscatory levels then tell the students the System will pick up the difference - in reality just to use of the slush - and in year (or 2 or 3) say: 'TaDA! The slush is alllllll gone! Time to raise tuition!;

They will then -out of the goodness of their hearts say that the past three years were waaaaaay too high and they will therefore lower them to where they are now.

AJ Lynch said...

You should have said he "seized the logical advantage" unless you believe everything is political.

tiger said...

'D.D. Driver said...
I'm a little conflicted about this. I'm afraid the lesson that will be learned is to waste money on stuff to make sure there is never a surplus.'

Exactly.
When I attended a UW campus I was on the Student Union committee booking bands.

In one case we got a deal on booking 5 for the price of 4 which gave us a surplus.

The Head of the Union - a school official - told us we had to find a way to use up the savings because if we showed a surplus our budget would be cut the following year because instead of being credited with being good business people and saying the SU some money the surplus showed that our committee was given too much money to start with.

Stupidest thing I've ever heard.

AJ Lynch said...

HA said:
"American kids are getting raped by our greedy, bloated universities. I'm not sure why this hasn't become a bigger political issue yet."

This issue is bubbling steadily to the surface. A 30 year old I know said all of his friends, with one exception, are over-burdened with college loans and they regularly voice their anxiety about it.

ed said...

@ campy

"Any explanation as to why the discrepancy? I mean - the term bald faced liars comes to mind..."

How else are they going to afford the 5th assistant deputy undergraduate diversity deputy assistant secretary?

glenn said...

Public agencies all over California are doing this. They are trying to protect their underfunded pensions by stealing and hiding public money. Think about it when that check you just wrote the tax folks clears,

Sheridan said...

Yikes! Doesn't anyone get it? The UW System, UC, NY, every public and private "higher ed" system everywhere are businesses all striving for market share and increased profits.

Dress it up as you like, all of these education businesses are utilizing "network marketing" for distributing their products and expanding their brand.

Know anyone selling "high end" cosmetics out of their home, their car? Using their family and/or personal relationships to generate sales contacts? The chances are they are utilizing network marketing.

Look-up network marketing and run that model against any higher-ed system. The "consultants" or students pay for the privilege of accessing the manufacturer's "products". They pay in advance and keep paying, so long as they access the product line. And there are no arguments allowed. Pay or get cut-off from the product-line.

For most people, a business is supposed to deliver value for a service or product rendered. Bad service, bad product? The manufacturer is blamed. In network marketing? The "consultant" (student) is blamed. The product is perfectly okay, only the distribution system broke-down and you solve that problem by getting "better" consultants (students).

This model for me at least holds-up for other "businesses" such as newspapers, TV and radio stations.

Finally, even in network marketing schemes the thirst of the parent manufacturer for increased profits is never slaked. Prices go up seemingly against common sense. There seems to be no root cause like increased material costs or the effect of new regulations.

That's just called greed.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Simply going the way of all large institutions, because, fact, everyone acts in their own self-interest, all the time.


"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. - Animal Farm

SteveR said...

There's no way this bubble won't burst soon, benefits will be paid by taxpayers. Retired elite academics living on Cadillac Social Security and Medicare.

Marty said...

Still awaiting the correct opinion from Garage . . .

geokstr said...

Calypso Facto said...
And don't forget this follows closely on the heels of the discovery that the UW paid out almost $33 million of unearned benefits because of poor accounting and accountability. Whoops.


The article doesn't say what the health insurance carrier is that caused the bulk of the problem. It would be interesting to find out if, like most of the teachers' unions plans pre-Walker, they were mandated to buy highly overpriced plans sponsored by the unions.

If so, those overpayments wouldn't even be part of the $33 million in losses, but would add another huge chunk to it as well.

ken in sc said...

I may have commented about this before, I don't remember. I was working on a doctorate and got almost to the point called ABD—all but dissertation. I was almost ready to retire and did not really need the degree. It was mostly an ego thing because many people in my family have the word Doctor attached to their names.

My committee chairman transferred to another university. My department was abolished and absorbed by another. The new department head was a jerk. My other committee members turned out to be drug addicts or emotional basket cases. I could never get them together for a meeting in one place at one time. The last two courses I needed were canceled every semester for two years in a row. The tuition went up every year. I gave up. Does that mean I am not qualified to make comments?

TerriW said...

The Head of the Union - a school official - told us we had to find a way to use up the savings because if we showed a surplus our budget would be cut the following year because instead of being credited with being good business people and saying the SU some money the surplus showed that our committee was given too much money to start with.

We had that when I worked at the computer center back in my college years. And we also had the problem that every Spring Quarter, we would run out of paper (and money in the paper budget) several weeks before the end of the year, but we'd have thousands of dollars in our hardware budget to burn. So we'd have a crazy shopping spree on not-necessarily-needed hardware but students would have to bring in their own paper to print.

Yay.

geokstr said...

Ken in SC:
The Head of the Union - a school official - told us we had to find a way to use up the savings because if we showed a surplus our budget would be cut the following year...


I read a book about waste on a national governmental level back in 1980 - Fat City: How Washington Wastes Your Taxes, by Donald Lambro:
http://www.amazon.com/Fat-City-Washington-Wastes-Taxes/dp/0895266806

One of the chapters tells of a department with millions of dollars left near the end of the budget year, so, in order to prevent a smaller budget being approved the next year, they went and spent it all on color TV's that they put in a warehouse and never used.

This was when the total federal budget was only $400 billion, a pittance in community organizer dollars.

And to compound this waste exponentially, every year under baseline budgeting, every department is assumed to have spent its entire allotment of funds and X% is tacked on for next year's budget, even if lots of last year's was spurious at best.

mikeski said...

Hm. The CPI calculator I checked for 2006-2012 said total inflation over that period was 14%.

5.5% tuition hikes compounded for 6 years is 38%.

What's the other 24% for? That is (pardon my French) a shit-ton of money in this economy.

Are the graduating students 24% more educated than six years ago?

Did their starting salaries go up 24% vs six years ago?

mikeski said...

...and for the folks talking about the horrors of budget cuts due to previous-year's leftover cash... you've got the argument entirely backwards.

They've been needlessly jacking up tuition, at the maximum level the law allows, for years, and just socking that money away.

If tuition had been FLAT for six years and they discovered a surplus, and Walker told them to rein it in further, THEN you'd have the right argument.

John said...

A bit off topic but Wisconsinites have good alternatives to a UW degree and a job at Starbucks.

One is WITC up the road in New Richmond.

I've been a fan and supporter for about 10 years now. I was just up there last month. They have an impressive program training Packaging Machinery Mechanics. 2 year degree, reasonable cost. Most of their students are already working part time and on vacations in the field. They probably earn more than enough to pay their tuition while gaining valuable real-world experience.

All of them have firm, full-time, job offers well before graduation. Low starting pay for one of their graduates is $45,000, many start higher. Those willing to be service techs, on the road most of the month, make $100m +.

For the past 20 years or more, it has been hard for manufacturers to find good packaging machine mechanics and salaries/unemployment in that field reflect it.

WITC also has other technical programs in robotics, motorcycle repair, factory automation and more. I did get the tour and these facilities look pretty good, lots of new equipment, though I don't know much specific about them.

If you want to know about packaging machinery, go to www.packmachbook.com to see a video collection of fillers, cappers, labelers, cartoners, baggers and more in operation.

While there, buy my Packaging Machinery Handbook at a discount(WITC and UW Stout both use it as a textbook).

John Henry

John said...

Kentucky Liz said:

The tuition rate you came in with was locked in for a second year.

I must live a charmed life. I went to InterAmerican U in the 70's. I paid $25/credit undergrad. As long as I stayed continuously enrolled, that rate could not go up.

Went to their Grad school 77-79 and it was the same deal. Tuition was fixed at whatever it was when you entered. ($60/credit)

Got an MSBE from SNHU in 2001-2003, forget the rate but it was fixed based on what it was when I entered.

Both kids went to UPR, rate was fixed when they were entered, could not be raised as long as they were enrolled. Ditto UPR med school which my son attended.

I always thought this was standard practice, though I never paid much attention. Apparently I was wrong.

John Henry


MadisonMan said...

A good question to ask: How much should be in a rainy day fund?

The difficulty with any Govt-funded department is that every manager knows that if you don't spend out all of your money, you'll get less money next year, because you obviously don't need it because you didn't spend it. There is no incentive to save.

Methadras said...

HA said...

American kids are getting raped by our greedy, bloated universities. I'm not sure why this hasn't become a bigger political issue yet.


This has been going on for decades. Universities and state collegiate systems have been swimming in hundreds and in some cases billions of dollars while they increase tuition rates on students when that money alone could pay for every student going there plus their room, board, food, and textbooks and much much more. The reason why this isn't a political football is because the leftist apparatchiks won't let it become one because you would literally be the hoard at their gates and they need to find a way to stop you in your tracks.

Urkel has been lauding college education loans since before he was president. It's nearly in all of his speeches as president and yet these colleges and universities increase their tuitions which require more loans because government subsidizes it all. Are you shocked/

Chase said...

Any explanation as to why the discrepancy?

Felony fraud.

Gene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gene said...

Here's why tuition is going up. The universities created all these ethic studies programs which flooded the market with people with no useful skills. To try to accommodate them the universities created a whole bunch of administrative positions to manage "diversity." The University of San Diego has 46 of them. This provides jobs for these otherwise unemployable graduates and a continued justification for useless college major.

Alex Ignatiev said...

Wow. That's a monstrous surplus for a public entity.