Chad Livengood of the Jackson Citizen Patriot writes,
"With tuition at record highs, university leaders in Michigan say the Legislature's continued cuts to higher education threaten the existence of public universities. Sen. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, blames Senate Republicans for the recent rash of tuition increases -- ranging from 5.7 percent at Western Michigan University to 21.1 percent for incoming freshmen at Central Michigan University."
What is really laughable about Mr. Schauer's blaming the Republicans is that in the last two years, the Republicans approved funding at $110 million MORE than what the governor proposed.
But what frustrates taxpayers is that public universities are AUTONOMOUS. It says so, right in the constitution. In other words, they come begging for more money every year, but then remind us that the legislature can't tell them how to spend it. If they want to pay their university president $600,000 that is their prerogative. If they want to spend $6 million of taxpayer dollars to build a home for the president, that's just fine. If they want to provide foot baths for Muslim students, or offer a class on "How to be Gay", hey you taxpayers, just shut up and fork over the dough.
Well, maybe the universities had better figure out how to do with what most taxpayers have...LESS. It is possible, you know. Just look at what new President John Dunn at WMU has pulled off. He kept tuition increases to just 5.7%, well below what all the other publics are doing. Ratter than whine about how the state is shorting them, he and his board rolled up their sleeves and figured out how to make the best of a bad situation.